November 24, 2010
Poetry can be compared and contrasted in many ways. I have chosen to compare and contrast two poems by Siegfried Sassoon. “His poetry both described the horrors of the trenches, and satirized the patriotic pretensions of those who, in Sassoon's view, were responsible for the pointless deaths of millions” (Wikipedia). His poems contains a deep meaning and an important message, his poetry has a passionate expression of outrage at the horrors of war and feels pity for the young soldiers who sacrificed their life. He writes from experiences he witnessed and heard of. These are both examples of the type of poems that Sassoon wrote to showcase the difficult lives faced by British soldiers in the trenches of World War I. He felt he had to expose the ugly face of war to the naive civilians on the home front. First the poem “How to Die” is about the religious aspects of a soldier dying and about the propaganda made by society. This is a sonnet about war and death of a soldier. The poem tells a very vivid story of the last feelings and last thoughts of a soldier before he is about to die. His use of “some people talk” and “regard for decent taste” show that it’s the soldiers’ duty to fight for their country and not curse about it. It shows how a soldier should die, proud for their duty and country. “Sassoon also uses the simile of "sullen faces white as chalk" (11) to show the pessimism of how many of the soldiers leave off to war, knowing that they are going to face their doom. Lastly, Sassoon ends his last lines with a paradox, "...not with hast / And shuddering groans; but passing through it / With due regard for decent taste” These lines express the contradiction of death and decency” (Poetry Essay). This poem is made up of two stanzas. The first one is about religion and looking up to the heavens and whispering His name on their lips as they lay dying. The second stanza is about the propaganda that society has on how...
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