A poem which I have read recently is “Soldier” by Rupert Brooke. The main point in question throughout this poem is appreciation for ones country. I will prove that this is the main point in question during the course of my essay.
The poem “Soldier” is Brooke’s views on the possible occurrence of his own death in the field and what he feels that foreign country would gain from his death. When viewing his own death Brooke only looks at the thoughts and ways England has provided him with in the course of his life. Towards the end of the poem as if looking at the end of his life he mentions that he feels no anger or feelings of evil or hate toward the enemy or anything else but instead recollects all the wonderful things about his country.
Three poetical techniques used in this poem were metaphor, simile and image groups, two of which I will explore. Firstly I’m going to look at image groups. There are several noticeable image groups in this poem one of which is ” Death & Mortality”. As the idea of the whole poem is based around this topic it was used regularly. The first obvious use of this image group was in the very first line of stanza one: “If I should die, think only this of me”. This sets the scene for the topic of discussion in the poem, the word die has many connotations as it is such a dark and vile word often associated with sadness. This leaves the reader with a feeling of seriousness, this is very important as the reader is captivated within the very first sentence of the poem. After the above quote was used the poet moves away from the initial seriousness and looks more deeply at his own mortality. The next significant mention on this subject is in line two of the second stanza were the sentence: “A pulse in the eternal mind “. This shows that mortality is indeed an important issue, this however has greater connotations as it shows that he feels he has left an impression on the world which he later puts down to being English.
The next poetic term is simile. The main point in the poem is again shown as the poet discusses all he has benefited from being English and says: ” dreams happy as her day” on line four of stanza two. When the you read this particular part of the poem you can almost imagine the poet with a look of delight on his face as he thinks back to his homeland. This simile further emphasizes his real joy of being English.
When reading this poem I realised that when the poet uses such terms as: “That there’s some corner of a foreign field that is forever England” and “There shall be in that rich earth a richer dust concealed” he isn’t talking about his own mortality in particular but more on the general war effort made by England. Evidence which supports my theory also appears later on in the poem. When Brooke talks about the dust in the ground almost being sacred to an extent, this shows that when he talks about the sites and sounds of England in relation to the dust comment, that by the physical memory of this war ie. the dead men, will give that land the glory of being English. The poet feels that being English is almost heavenly and sacred and for any country or land to have that blessing has been truly honoured, a quote which supports this belief: ” In hearts at peace, under an English heaven”.
Towards the end of the poem the author shows no hatred or anger for the enemy or the constant threat of death but instead feels that by him being English has been a provided him with a good enough life and would be at rest at the end. Moving on from the explanations of the poet’s word choice I will finish off by briefly viewing the way in which the poem was written. The most noticeable way in which this poem is written is the tone of the author. This tone shows that it is a serious poem, which may have been perhaps based on a letter to a loved relative. This shows as it is written in a very personal sense, for example: “If I should die, think only this of me” this again backs up my opinion on this poem being based on a letter.
Throughout this essay I have explored the poetic language/terms used by the poet, these terms include- Image Groups and Similes. Along with poetic techniques I also explored other possible meanings this poem could have in that it could be based around the entire war at that time, another important observation I made was that the author shows his general appreciation for being English. I finished off with a few more smaller observations. Overall I believe that I proved that the main point in this poem is appreciation for ones country.