In this essay I will compare the two poems, “Belfast Confetti” and “come up from the fields farther” and show, how they show how they covey the feeling of helplessness. Walt Witmens poem “come up from the fields farther” was written in 1880, Ciaron Carson’s poem “Belfast confetti” was written in 1985. War in both the poems, creates a feeling of helplessness although they were written at almost 100 years apart, and written about different wars, no matter what they do they cannot change a thing. I will demonstrate how despite the differences in time, both poems are very effective in exploring the theme of helplessness.
In the poem, “Belfast confetti” the narrator in the poem is the poet himself, though in “come up from the fields farther” the narration changes from the daughter and the mother talking to the poet talking himself. “Belfast confetti” title is both positive and negative. It is ironic because Belfast is place of terrorism and war, yet confetti is the stuff to celebrate happy times such as weddings.
“Come up from the field farther” title, you cannot tell if it is positive or negative without reading the rest of the poem.
The moods in the poems are really different, “Belfast confetti” the whole poem is about the violence and terror that is on the streets of Belfast. Where as “come up from the fields farther” starts very calm, but as the poem goes on the poem becomes more upsetting for the family. The similarities in the end of the two poems are that the characters cannot do anything to change the situation.
The style of “Belfast confetti” is structured in terms of stanzas but it does not follow a rhyming pattern, it has a long line of writing then the next line is short and cycles through this throughout the poem. The reason he choose this style was so that it gets them poem moving fast but then a pause. In “come up from the fields farther” there is no structure in the poem, he may have done this to portray the view of war, that anything can happen in war and it is not structured.
Suspense is built up in the poem “come up from the fields farther” by starting the poem as really calm but gradually, as the reader continues to read they see that everything isn’t right, something is wrong.
When the reader reads,
“Open the envelope quickly… oh stricken mothers soul”
The reader knows terrible has happened, the repetition of the “O” sound represents the crying and pain for the mother. In “Belfast confetti” suspense isn’t built up, its there right from the very start all through the poem, The lengths of sentences over flow onto the second line, so that it has a pause at the end of the sentence, to add impact.
In “come up from the fields farther” the phrase
“But now from the fields come farther come at the daughters call”
This builds up suspense because it is the point, in which the poem changes from this beautiful painted scene, into the horrible truth of war the word ‘but’ is important in building up suspense, this is because something bad always happens after the word ‘but’. Carson listed street names because they are places in the Cremia where the British and the Irish fought together, but now the Irish wants to get away from the very thing they were fighting for.
There is imagery in the poem “come up from the fields farther” such as “where the trees deeper green, yellowier and redder” this creates a colourful image in the readers mind.
In “Belfast confetti” The imagery is how the poet uses punctuation to symbolize the weapons of war.
I feel that both poets were successful in portraying the picture of helplessness of war, although, I think that ‘Come up from the fields farther” had more impact, because it shows the mothers grievances.