Analysis of the Structure of WWI Poetry

Topics: Poetry, World War II, World War I Pages: 3 (997 words) Published: January 8, 2014
WW1 poetry

The first poem, “Who’s for the game”, is written in 1915. 1915 was the second year in world war one, and thereby the beginning. Therefore, England needed as many young men as possible. At least Jessie Pope meant that. Around 5 million soldiers was the total number of the British army during the whole war. At the beginning of the war, the British army consisted entirely of volunteers, and they had quite a smaller army than France and Germany. This might be why Pope wants to get the young English men to enlist.

The second poem, “Base Details”, is from 1918. This was the last year of the war, so Sigfried Sassoon could look back on the war. Sassoon joined the army at the age of 28. It was the day England declared war in 1914, so he was a patriotic soldier. This poem is not the first critical publication he did. Earlier in 1917 he had a letter published in a newspaper, where he criticized the government for prolonging the war on purpose.

Who’s for the game?:

The poem “Who’s for the game”, written by Jessie Pope in 1915, is has one stanza with 17 lines. The rhymes it alternate rhymes: ABAB all the way, except for one line, “Com along, lads –“ In the first 12 lines, there is a certain structure of the syllables: 10, 8, 10, 8, 10, 7, 10 8, 10, 8, 10, 9. The last 5 lines have a different number of syllables: 4, 6, 11, 9. Therefore it’s irregular. In the end it only gets more irregular, because of the “mess” with the syllables and the length of the lines. The rhymes make the poem regular though.

Then poem is centred around some questions. The word “who” is repeated several times. These rhetorical questions make young men want to join the army, like, “Who’ll grip and tackle the job unafraid?”. The question is made to make the readers stop and think about it. This strategy with questions on repeat make the text a bit more regular. The title is matching the content about the game of war.

Base details:

The poem “Base Details”, written...
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