“RECALLING WAR.” By Robert Graves
All of us hate war, but sometimes, our governors seem to having a pleasure with this. All of us hate war, all, the ones who are humans. And this poem written by Robert Graves has a lot of perspectives about this horrid vision of war. I choose this one because it has some images that let me think about the vision of the war. Images those are sad and terriblefor us the readers.
The first stanza of the poem is a picture of war veterans. They are from the World War I.
Entrance and exit wounds are silvered clean,
The track aches only when the rain reminds.
The one-legged man forgets his leg of wood,
The one-armed man his jointed wooden arm.
The blinded man sees with his ears and hands
As much or more than once with both his eyes.
Their war wasfought these twenty years ago
And now assumes the nature-look of time,
As when the morning traveler turns and views
His wild night-stumbling carved into a hill.
Mutilated, using wooden limbs. There is one special fragment that for me is really terrible: The time has made a cruel picture of the nature-look of time in the description of the blinded man. He can see something that is etched on hismemory.
What, then, was war? No mere discord of flags
But an infection of the common sky
In the second stanza he uses contrast when he asks something: What, then, was war? He says it is not just a discord of flags, something that is without harmony, but he says that is an infection in spring. I cannot imagine that. Spring is the most beautiful season and with an infection such as war, itbecomes something sick an impossible to live with. With this sickness, humans become strange creatures oppressed by the sky.
Fear made fine bed-fellows. Sick with delight
At life's discovered transitoriness,
Our youth became all-flesh and waived the mind.
Never was such antiqueness of romance,
Such tasty honey oozing from the heart.
Fear and sickness are normal. They are part of the routine.This new order is, somehow, delightful and waived the mind. It is if we get used with this and, our senses fail. This is one part of the poem that is difficult to see in that context. What is that thing that comes back? It is a transition? In here, the poet makes a contrast between the good things of the old importance. When they are supplies to have a good moment and when there is a lack ofthem.
War. As I said at the beginning, war is the worst thing ever happen to us. And Mr. Graves is conscious of that: War was return of earth to ugly earth. Extinction is a powerful word for me. It is eradicated, erased from earth. In this case: “the happy art and faith”. When he refers to happy art it could be every single thing created by men, everything that brings us happiness. Our faithfails, as well. Our faith in whatever we believe could disappear from earth. He describes the moment, the precise moment when the war starts. It is a moment to run mad and to scream. It is the moment when our basic instincts make us do this kind of things.
Why he says something like: “And we recall the merry ways of guns”? There were merry for us? No way! They nibbling the walls; they killedeverything. The images again are comparing something good with the destruction. In this part, the author plays with a kind of irony, because he is describing some beautiful images and contrasting them with the cruelty of war: “Like a child, piecrust; felling groves of trees” and then, “Machine-guns rattle toy-like from a hill, down in a row the brave tin-soldiers fall”. These two comparisons, two imagesshow us the irony. I think the author tries to show us the irony of the war in these moments. Two images like that are impossible to live together. But in war, this kind of things happens. Somehow happiness and cruelty, death, and innocence live together in an ironical world.
As a conclusion, the author gives us a vision about war. Through images and descriptions based on contrasts, we can...
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