I'm working on a school project analyzing pieces of poetry. My assigned poem is Rupert Brooke's "The Dead". I'm having trouble really getting it. I understand it's a reflection of WWI poetry, but I don't understand much of it line-by-line. I'd like to hear your ideas on tone and meaning. Above all, I'd love some direction in analyzing it. Thanks!
These hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
Washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness.Dawn was theirs,
And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
These had seen movement, and heard music; known
Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
Felt the quick stir of wonder; sat alone;
Touched flowers and furs and cheeks. All this is ended.
There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
And lit by the rich skies, all day.And after,
Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
And wandering loveliness.He leaves a white
Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
A width, a shining peace, under the night.
Natural (is that what you want to be called?),
This poem is not a reflection of WWI poetry. It was written at around Christmas time 1914, after the outbreak of war but before Rupert Brooke saw any service. He died quite soon after, in April 1915, not from a war wound but from blood poisoning from an insect bite.
The poem you have been assigned to analyse is the fourth in a set of five sonnets meant to be read together. It is the second of two sonnets in that set that were titled 'The Dead'. In their tone and attitudes those five sonnets are really pre-war poetry. Brooke, who never got to participate himself in any close-up WW1 fighting, wrote in a romantic, idealized way about men who had volunteered for the war. 'The Dead' is about those who were killed in the prime of their lives. Far from expressing grief at the waste and tragedy, Brooke seems entranced by the glory of it all, as he perceived it.
See some more comments here:
and in a previous E-mule thread which focused on comparing Brooke with Wilfred Owen whose work really did reflect wartime experience:
Which lines of 'The Dead' are you having difficulty understanding?
Poetry analysis in the sense of identifying the form, the metre, the rhyme scheme, the poetic devices used, etc, isn't difficult, but can be a boring technical exercise. Different teachers can require it to be done in different ways. How does your teacher expect you to approach poetry analysis?
please how do i create a new 'thread' (to ask questions?) it seems that the system can only allows me to follow the others' thread, is that so?
You should see "New Topic" as a choice at the top
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try that, if you don't see that, then I have no answer