Comparing the themes in two poems by Les Murray
The poem Broad Bean Sermon and the Burning Truck are two contrasting poems by the poet les Murray. The poem Broad Bean Sermon explores various themes such as; the beauty of nature and positiveness e.g. the positive outlooks on the environment. It is about the person giving a spiritual speech about these beans; however he’s not focusing on the ordinariness of the beans but rather he is concentrating on the uniqueness and different types or personalities they all have therefore we can assume he is comparing the beans to humans. However, the burning truck deals with concepts such as the horrors of war, the helplessness associated with it and destruction. It is also based upon les Murray’s view of urban life and possibly its culture as well and has a fast pace. There are many differences and contrast between the two poems, one is that les Murray glorifies and focuses on the beauty and the abundance of nature while in the other poem he focuses on horrors and terrors of war and how in war there are only two main types of people, people who seek and glorify war and people who don’t. Murray comments on the abundance of the beans through enjambment and throughout the 7th stanza where he poses the question “till you ask yourself Could I have overlooked so many” which leads us to believe that there is plentiful amounts and abundance of nature and peaceful serenity. This can be strongly contrasted by the horror and terror of war as well as how uncontrollable it is and how it can change society forever, Murray shows this through the use of phrases such as; “shambling by our street doors” and “a wave of lagging cannon shells” which shows that the truck, which represents war, is out of control and that it is starting to affect people. It also informs us that the initial wave or attack in this case is not the worst part but the force or people behind it are the part to be feared the most and the most destructive part. As shown...
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