wearing sandals, a cock that crows, a cloak
to dissect, a sponge, some vinegar and one
man to hammer the nails home.Or you can take a length of steel,
shaped and chased in a traditional way,
and attempt to pierce the metal cage he wears.
But for this you need white horses,
English trees, men with bows and arrows,
at least two flags, a prince, and a
castle to hold your banquet in.Dispensing with nobility, you may, if the wind
allows, blow gas at him. But then you need
a mile of mud sliced through with ditches,
not to mention black boots, bomb craters,
more mud, a plague of rats, a dozen songs
and some round hats made of steel.In an age of aeroplanes, you may fly
miles above your victim and dispose of him by
pressing one small switch. All you then
require is an ocean to separate you, two
systems of government, a nation's scientists,
several factories, a psychopath and
land that no-one needs for several years.These are, as I began, cumbersome ways
to kill a man. Simpler, direct, and much more neat
is to see that he is living somewhere in the middle
of the twentieth century, and leave him there.
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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||
What surprises me on this page is that there are a good many (poor) affirmations and few good questions. Here are a few:
If we consider the first death to be one of a saint, even a non-death because Jesus was resurrected, and the second to be an heroic death, what types of death are the others?
Is a chronological explanation the only one possible? What evolution can we find?
Last elemental question: is physical death the only type of death? Clearly the poet is speaking of himself and he wasn�t in a coffin while writing this. Why does he consider himself to be dead?
| Posted on 2012-06-16 | by a guest
I think the last stanza is about the environmental and economical crisis that we were and are now living through.
| Posted on 2012-05-03 | by a guest
It seems to have gotten lost in the conversation that the poem was published in 1963, not 1950, and certainly not in the 21st century. Each stanza pretty clearly refers to fairly specific historical times: the crucifixion (probably of Jesus, since the \"cock that crows\" wasn\'t a requisite part of crucifixions in general); armoured knights at war in medieval England; World War I in the early 20th century in Europe (men in muddy trenches beleagured by rats, bombs, and deadly mustard gas); the use of the hatom bomb on Hiroshiima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II; and finally, Brock\'s commentary on his \"modern\" times, that the \"simpler, direct\" way to kill a man is just place him in contemporary society and let him be.
| Posted on 2012-03-04 | by a guest
Basicly the fifth stanza is actually quite confusing but it says that the 1950s was the time of hell at the end of the war and people lost there family. People also were afraid of someone pressing the leaver to set off a nuke. If you need help with this becuase you are doing it for an esay check out my you tube channel. It has lots of videos about poems and english texts. My you tube: huggy678brad. Hope this helped you!
| Posted on 2012-01-08 | by a guest
the fifth stanza! many are confused in it as it is really CONFUSING! in the fifth stanza the aspect of human life is mentioned it is the time AFTER THE COLD WARS. The heavy expenditures of the wars,the shattered families,the massive destruction of the infrastructure,the great economical loss to the