English Poetry

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In ‘Bayonet charge’ and ‘Belfast confetti’ the consequences of war are presented as inhumane, devastating and confusing by the poets.
In both poems a range of semantic fields are used to display the confusion of the soldier in ‘Bayonet charge’ and the civilian in ‘Belfast confetti’. For example in ‘Belfast confetti’:
“Nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys. A fount of broken type. And the explosion.
Itself - an asterisk on the map. This hyphenated line, a burst of rapid fire…”
Several semantic fields are used at once. For instance “nuts, bolts, nails and car keys” belong to a semantic field of household objects, whilst “asterisk” and “hyphenated line” would fit in to a semantic field of punctuation and “explosion” and “rapid fire” are part of wars semantic field. This use of variation in semantic fields creates a sense of confusion as the words do not fit in with the scene Carson is trying to paint, much like the civilian does not fit in with the war that is raging on around him.

Similarly Hughes also uses the semantic field of nature as metaphors to create confusion:
“Stumbling across a field of clods towards a green hedge” “Clods” are something used to describe mud or soil in a field. Here Hughes are using them as a metaphor for the people who had fallen during the charge. This metaphor shows how disorientated the soldier is, “stumbling” around the field oblivious to what he was walking through. However the poet makes the soldiers ignorance sound as if it was forced, that in order to make it through the battle he had to ignore what was happening to his comrades. The metaphor “field of clods” also shows the inhumanity applied to warfare, making the soldiers appear as nothing more than pieces of earth not human beings who had lives and families. It also shows how devastating the battles were, as an entire field has been covered with the remains of those fighting. “Green hedge”, another metaphor used in the quotation I have chosen, used to describe the end...
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