We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Compare And Contrast Two 1900 War Poems Essay Sample

  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1,301
  • Rewriting Possibility: 99% (excellent)
  • Category: poetry

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Introduction of TOPIC

People write poetry for many reasons. War poetry is written mainly to express feelings. War poems can achieve catharsis and are sometimes written in remembrance. They express deep emotional states such as love, hate, suffering and joy. War can amplify all of these feelings so it is likely that poetry would be written about it.

“The Charge Of The Light Brigade” was written by Alfred Tennyson as a memorial for the brave heroes which died during the battle against the Russians. It is a pro-war poem:

“Honour the Light Brigade”

“The Battle Of Blenheim” is an anti-war poem. The view the poet wants to get across is spoken through the children, Peterkin and Wilhelmine.

“Why ’twas a very wicked thing!”

I think the author made a mistake in choosing the children because children are not respected enough to speak an unpopular view and be taken seriously. If he had chosen a character of higher status then the public would have paid more attention to his opinions.

Tennyson’s poem is very straight forward, using limited vocabulary.

“Cannon to the right of them,

Cannon to the left of them,

Cannon in front of them”

This makes it attractive to the people of the time, most of which would have been poorly educated. It would appeal to more people than Robert Southey’s poem. This is because Southey’s poem in my opinion, is too well written. It is too clever for the audience to which it is directed at.

Southey’s poem is much more complex. It uses irony where Old Kasper refers constantly to the “great victory” when the view the poet is giving is that it was far from “great.” At first glance it seems a simple poem but after analysis the true meaning of the authors writing comes to light. Certain metaphors projected through grotesque images show the disturbing understated themes of this piece. There is juxtaposition of the incongruous imagery concerning the innocence of the pastoral setting and the grim skull and plough.

“He came to ask what he had found,

That was so large and smooth and round.”

The above rhyming couplet on its own seems harmless until you realise what Peterkin has found is a skull! The skull is the personification of death. It symbolises the past while the children are visions of the future. The children; the future, are literally digging up the past. Skulls are obvious representations of death while the youthful children holding it shows juxtaposed incongruous images. Children are related to life innocence and goodness. The buried skull is showing the reality of the past has become buried and the lies are unearthed by the go

odness of the future. Kasper is intended to be the stereotypical

Sorry, but full essay samples are available only for registered users

Choose a Membership Plan
view of adults. He sounds as if he was programmed with what little information he has on the battle. He was unquestioning and when he tries to programme his grandchildren in the same way he dismisses their inquisitive minds in a way which seems patronising even to those so young. The words “great victory” have become his mantra and it seems this is all he knows about the battle. I find it sad Kasper found no need to form his own opinion of the battle. He is full of so much blind faith which he has learned seemingly by rote from unreliable sources.

“And often when I go to plough,

The ploughshare turns them out!”

I imagine Old Kasper saying this in such a casual way that you would never dream he was talking about ploughing skulls! The image is highly ironic as ploughing is a way of rebirth and new life while in the piece of poetry they are harvesting death and bodies.

The author expresses his view through the children, as mentioned before. The questions the children are made to ask are themed with confusion and perplexity as to why all the terrible happenings associated with the “great victory” had to occur.

A hint to the authors perceptions of the war are shown in the fifth stanza. Wilhelmine asks:

“Now tell us all about the war,

And what they fought each other for.”

I believe asking why the two sides fought each other is quite a sophisticated question to ask and this is what makes me assume it is the poets own questions showing through.

“The Charge Of The Light Brigade” is written to make the best of a bad situation. It boosts morale by portraying the six hundred as gallant and heroic.

“Boldly they rode, and well”

The tragic truth of the matter had been glorified to try and disguise it and make it easier for the public to come to terms with. That is what the poetry was written for, to influence the opinion of the general public.

Alfred Tennyson is said to have written this poem quickly in response to a report he read. Certain factors make it obvious to me it was written in short time. When comparing it to “The Battle Of Blenheim” you can see whilst they both use writing techniques they are very different. Tennyson’s simple, accessible vocabulary; alliteration; repetition and use of rhetorical questioning gives his poem a punchy feel and an edge over Southey’s unspecific; complex; well concealed; slow moving piece of poetry.

In “The Battle Of Blenheim” Peterkin and Wilhelmine question Kasper about the “great victory.” The questions all remain unanswered by the end of the poem. They are left unanswered because Old Kasper does not know the answers. It is aimed to make you ask the same questions yourself. In “The Charge Of The Light Brigade” the questions use rhetoric.

“When can their glory fade?”

It is intended to include the reader. It makes the positive stand out. You are not supposed to think about the answer to the question. Yours should be the same as the authors.

Tennyson’s poem is full of kinetic energy. As it is set in a battlefield it is very active. In comparison, Southey’s poem is absolutely static. The tale does not leave the cottage door and field. “The Charge Of The Light Brigade” is more action packed.

To close I would like to summarise that Tennyson’s poem was written to boost the morale of the country. For that reason it is an unreliable narrative. It was not written from the heart as he was telling people what they wanted to hear. Southey’s poem is more true to his own feelings. I respect this poem more as it was not a popular view of war at the time but he stood up for what he believed in which was peace. Southey’s undervalued, slight way of projecting his viewpoint may not have earned him as much money as Tennyson’s exaggerated style but it was genuine which has earned him the respect he deserves from some if not many

We can write a custom essay on

Compare And Contrast Two 1900 War Poems Essay Samp ...
According to Your Specific Requirements.

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

A Filipino Metamorphosis - Poetry Essay Reviewing

Once upon a time there was a poet who woke up and found himself turned into ''some kind of animal''. It was dog-like with sharp teeth, whiskers, a hand becoming a paw, a voice with a ''keening sound''; it scratched and rooted around in the soil with a swishing tail. The creature still maintained another 'self', the voice of a more human consciousness, yet could suddenly understand everything: "the birds saying something about sadness, the dogs discussing sunlight. '' By the end of the experience in the poem (Persona) he realized that his 'animal' self was just one of his many selves and was ready to introduce them. This is one of the imaginative conceits that Joel M. Toledo chooses in his new book 'The Long Lost Startle'. He uses it to engage with that post-modern pursuit: 'Naming of Parts', to quote the title of the famous poem. Like Henry...

The Water Dragon

The theme I chose for this poetry project was fantasy. I chose this theme because I really enjoy fantasy and it inspires me, and it's a subject filled with wondrous surprises. I like reading books about fantasy, and the many different mystical creatures they are based on. Fantasy means a lot to me, because it's the main subject I like to illustrate. I have liked fantasy since I was little, and I believe I will always enjoy the mysteries that come with it. One of the poems I chose to include in my project was "The Water Dragon", written by Anne Johnson. I thought this poem was very well written, and I liked how it rhymed, because it made it more enjoyable to read. While reading this poem, I tried visually picturing the Water Dragon and the narrator who feared her. I believe the author's use of words and well-detailed...

"Tonight I Can Write" by Pablo Neruda...

Now it seems to me that love of some kind is the only possible explanation of the extraordinary amount of suffering that there is in the world. The reason that there is so much suffering in the world is because people still love and care for each other. The love which is shared by the people bonds them and hence makes their hearts wrung and suffer. This essay explores the emotion that is love and its connotations in situations where a lover suffers due to the immeasurable love which he feels for his beloved. The House of the Spirits is an epic novel of love, magic, and family pride. Initially, the novel was rejected by several Spanish-language publishers, but became an instant best seller when published in Barcelona in 1982. The book was first conceived by Isabel Allende when she received news that her grandfather was dying, and she began...

Popular Essays


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?