Aim: How do the “War Poets” convey the complex nature of war?

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E2, Pd 7 Byun 3/4/15

AIM: How do the “War Poets” convey the complex nature of war?

(What are the poets communicating and how do we account for differences?)
As you read and discuss these poems:

Note dates, figs of speech, syllable count, (e.g. there’s a discrepancy in the Sassoon poem)

Marks to use to annotate the poem text:

! = important details (ideas you agree with)

* = interesting or provocative details

? = confusing details (e.g. words that need definitions)

Sassoon’s “Suicide in the Trenches”

  • 7 syllables: “No one ever…” turning pt (forgotten); worst part is that he’s forgotten; 1 less syllab (1 less person); finished line sooner; cut short

  • Shift to anger when this hero died for the country; no one really cares about the missing syll or realize

  • Not a perfect rhyme (brain/again)

Randall Jarrell’s Ball Turret Gunner poem

  • Soldiers treated unfairly

  • Easily wash them out (like “no one ever”)

  • Terrible death have to wash him out; fur: the soldiers are just animals

  • “State” (a place like a country); drafted (from mother’s warmth)

  • Belong to the State (state is the turret)

  • Only 1-2 ppl can fit; can’t socialize; only yourself; die alone

Magee’s “High Flight”

  • To the soldiers, the war means everyth

  • Feels special + excited; proud; reached this surreal exper

  • Only neg line “where never lark…” whole other dimension

  • Wrote the poem before he died? Last msg?

  • Suicide? Accepts death?

  • Choosing to die this way

  • “Delirious” (neg connot)

  • Silent/silence= death

  • Excited to go into war; the WRITER wrote the poem BEFORE he died young

  • Country (“War”); young men want to go; escape  after war, you think differently

  • Write it this way so your parents don’t worry? So parents don’t blame themselves

Overall thesis for a poetry essay: 3/11/15

WHAT does a poet say and HOW does the poet convey this?

In “The Swimming Lesson,” Mary Oliver uses alliteration and metaphor to raise the question: Do the ends outweigh the means?

BP 1: Oliver uses alliteration to illustrate the speaker’s mixed feelings about the way adults sometimes teach children. The poem centers on a time when an adult had tried to teach the speaker how to swim. Oliver uses the lines, “not knowing that none of us… ever learned anything,” to show that the adult ultimately failed (lines 8-10). The alliteration of “not knowing… none” may emphasize the adult’s dismissal of the child’s emotional wellbeing (8). In other words, the repetition can represent the adult’s fixation on teaching a skill and getting results by force (by “[tossing her] in line 6) than on guiding the child with “love and grace” (13). The way this child learned this “lesson” can represent the helplessness and resentment that can result when children struggle through life, despite any positive results.

E2, Byun 3/4/15 Pd 4

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