THIS IS THE DARK TIME, MY LOVE
The theme of this poem is about a people whose dreams of a better life have been threatened by the destructive power of the ‘strange invader’.
The atmosphere of the poem is one of tension, fear, anxiety. “Everywhere the faces of men are strained and anxious.” This is because of the presence of soldiers: “all around the land brown beetles crawl about.” Even nature is sympathetic to the cause of the people as expressed in the line “red flowers bend their heads in awful sorrow.”
The poet’s mood is one of lamentation for the misery of his people, the instability and sorrow brought about by the strange invader.
The images appeal to the sense of sight and sound. They present visual pictures that are striking.
The picture of the soldiers, “all around the land brown beetles crawl about”, in their thick armoury, the hard covering on their backs is like beetles. Here you hear the tramping of soldiers “whose boots of steel tramp down the slender grass”. You can also see the slender grass trampled upon and looking withered.
Metaphor: All around the land brown beetles crawl about.”
The soldiers are compared to brown beetles.
Personification: “Red flowers bend their heads in awful sorrow.” The poet gives the flower qualities of a human being - the emotion of sorrow.
Irony/Metaphor: “It is the festival of guns, the carnival of misery.” The words “festival” and “carnival” are indicative of joyous celebrations but what the country is really experiencing is sorrow, not joy.