Analysis of War Poetyrr Essay example

Submitted By KyleDillon
Words: 1770
Pages: 8

War Poetry Analysis Essay on Walt Whitman’s “Reconciliation” and Rupert Brooke “TheSoldier”When it comes to decide how to approach to the polemic topic of “War”, all humanbeings have different opinions. Whereas most do reject War, since they argue that there’s notruly any winner in it—as Death takes casualties from both sides in conflict—there’s also aminority whom see in War a circumstance when Men can demonstrate the noblest and deepest(and most of the time unexpected) feelings that come from its moral and social values;examples of this are bravery, patriotism and sacrifice, just to name a few.Both Whitman and Brooke wrote about War. But Whitman was a man of the nineteenthcentury, whilst Brooke lived at the dawn of the twentieth century and therefore, before his deathin 1915, he could see the beginning of the so-called Great War, also known as World War I.Their poems “Reconciliation” and “The Soldier” respectively, show us two different and almostantagonistic visions about War that will be deeply analyze throughout this Essay.Whitman’s poem is characterized by its author: it is composed in free verse and isfocused on the use of figures of speech. On the other hand, Brooke chose to begin with rhymeas a way of expressing his feelings—through the persona—towards the topic in discussion.Indeed, the use of a sonnet composed by 14 iambic pentameters shows us, at first glance,gravity, solemnity and respect towards the topic discussed, creating in this aspect a certainmood around the poem that does not allow the reader to consider in it the use of words in an

Real 2ironic and/or sarcastic way; i.e. words mean what they are supposed to, even though the personauses common concepts in an exalted fashion. A primary analysis from a structural point of viewshows us immediately a noticeable difference in the approach apropos of the subject. WhilstWhitman does not ‘utter’ any a priori attitude through rhyme, Brooke sets a serious, exaltedambient that instantly influences the reader—perhaps even unconsciously—to have a seriousreading of the poem.Now, if we go deeper into our analysis, we will have to focus on the words themselvesand, at the same time, we must perceive the feelings that run through them: i.e. the theme of each author in the face of the same topic. In the beginning of “Reconciliation,” Whitman firstexplains to us that reconciliation after a war—in spite of everything that has been said—is onlya word (1). Although he says that is a beautiful one (Whitman 1), he is not praising it: he isstating clearly that there is no true reconciliation, because you cannot totally clean the woundscreated by your actions, as you cannot resurrect the Dead nor make people forget the traumaticexperiences they suffered. On the contrary, Brooke’s “The Soldier” begins with a truly strongstatement in favor of War, as he justifies the casualties of it: “If I should die, think only this of me / That there’s some corner of a foreign field / That is forever England” (1-3). The persona of this poem clearly does not care about his life; for him, it is not a matter of life and death butinstead, a matter of England—and overall, the defense of Her. Meanwhile, on Reconciliation’ssecond verse, Whitman ironically employs the adjective beautiful again, but this time he puts itbesides war, attacking the construction shortly after by enunciating the consequences that‘beautiful’ war will bring in an unknown future (2). Moreover, in this way Whitman evenhighlights the importance of those consequences. In the third verse the persona in“Reconciliation” concludes this idea, developing a cycle about war, using adverbs repeatedly

Real 3and directly relating war to death and darkness, being darkness figuratively shown throughnight (Whitman 3). Also, Whitman uses a visual imagery to describe death, as it can be seenhere: “That the hands of sisters Death and Night,

incessantly

softly

wash…