“Perhaps –“Vera Brittain

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  • Topic: Poetry, Stanza, Vera Brittain
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“Perhaps –“Vera Brittain

To what extent do you agree with the view that the poem “perhaps” is the most significant of the poems we have read so far?

The poem “Perhaps” is written by Vera Britain, who was an English writer, feminist and pacifist but she is best remembered as the author of the best selling memoir ‘Testament of Youth’ recounting her experiences during World War 1 and the beginning of her journey towards pacifism. The poem “Perhaps” is written in memory of her fiancé Roland Leighton who was tragically killed in the war. However the poem which appears in ‘Testament of Youth’ was not written until two moths after his death.

The structure of the poem “Perhaps” is written five quatrains and the speaker reflects on the beauty of nature around her which she can no longer appreciate and the speaker uses nature to demonstrate the passing of time and her feelings of grief for her lost lover. Throughout the poem the speaker questions whether she will ever be able to appreciate the beauty of nature again after experiencing such loss and Brittain’s moving poem provides a window onto a new perspective of war poetry that of the female point of view. In the first stanza the writer uses repetition in the poem to create a feeling of hopelessness, see in the recurrence of ‘and’, as every day seems the same. The use of the adverb ‘Perhaps’ at the beginning of each stanza shows the uncertainty of a future without your loved ones. At the end of each stanza there is a emphasis of ‘You’ which makes it clear that it is a source of grief and this is made even more touching by the descriptions of the world that it might see if the poet’s lover did not die in the war. In the first stanza the poem opens on a note of doubt ‘Perhaps,’ followed by the two lines “some day the sun will shine again, and I shall see that still the skies are blue.” These two lines and ‘although bereft of you’ show the tone of grief and sorrows.

The next three stanzas of the poem takes...
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