poetry flashcards -analysis

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Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, all into the valley of Death

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1

Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, all into the valley of Death

beginning in media res, capital ‘d’—> abstract as well as personal idea of death

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2

‘Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!’ he said

exclamatives, speech marks critique officers in charge who gave the orders and introduce speaker as well as narrator

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3

Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred

biblical language, pslam 23, suggests soldiers are happy to die for god and country and don’t have to fear death

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4

was there a man dismay’d? Not tho’ the soldier knew some one had blunder’d

rhetorical question, blind following of orders, ‘blundered’ had contrasting connatations to seriousness of war

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5

Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die:

anaphora, true heroes were the men who fought, small mistake but cost is huge, alliteration of ‘d’ sound

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6

Cannon to the right of them, Cannon to the left of them, Cannon in front of them

epistrophe and anaphora

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7

Volley’d and thunder’d; storm’d at with shot and shell,

sounds ‘v’, ‘d’, ‘th’ have an onomatopoeic thudding, echoing quality like distant gunfire

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8

Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell

refrain changes as the situation gets worse for the soldiers, animalistic language, foreshadows they won’t return so jepordizes previous comfort of afterlife

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9

Flash’d

anastrophe makes lines more dramatic

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10

Then they rode back, but not Not the six hundred

broken meterical pattern, reflects state of army, turning point of battle, repetition emphasises loss of men

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11

Cannon to the…[repeated]

tri-repition syntatic parallelism emphasises soldiers’ terrible situation

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12

while horse and hero fell

euphemism

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13

when can their glory fade?

volta, shift in semantic field

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14

COTLB poem format

follows structure of a battle

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15

COTLB structure

dactylic dimeter, military rhythm like metronome, each of the 6 stanzas is like a memorial for 100 soldiers

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16

COTLB form

similar to narrative ballad, homeric poem, link to classical world

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17

Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knive us…

distancing effect created from actual war, ellipses hint that they are waiting for something

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18

Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles

the brambles as ‘barbed wire’ remind us of the pain caused by nature, man-made weapons are cheap imitation of nature

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19

flickering gunnery rumbles,

assonance and onomatopoeia create vivid aural description

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20

like a dull rumour of some other war

biblical reference where jesus foretells the end of the world. he says ‘you will hear of wars and rumours of wars’

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21

dawn massing in the east her melancholy army

juxtaposition between military and natural imagery, normally dawn brings symbol of hope but not here

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22

attacks once more in ranks on shivering ranks of grey

mirrors soldiers in trenches, lack of colour- battlefield is lifeless, grey the colour of german uniforms

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23

snow-dazed…sun-dozed

half-rhyme creates a link between their current situation and their dreams of the past

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24

crusted dark-red jewels

fire offers no warmth, poet sees men’s lives as valuable and ultimately wasted

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25

on us the doors are closed,-

caesura in this stanza creates division in each line-reflects how poet feels that people back home were losing interest in their fate as the war dragged on

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26

For God’s invincible spring our love is made afraid

contrasts battlefield with garden of eden, use of scattered punctuation slows the pace, we can imagine the soldiers finally succumbing to exposure and dying

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27

Suddenly he awoke and was running

media res, tension

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28

field of clods

perhaps a biblical reference because adam and eve came from lumps of dirt

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29

Sweating like molten iron from the centre of his chest

further dehumanises him- makes him seem more like a machine

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30

In what cold clockwork of the stars and the nations was he the hand pointing that second

alliteration, existentialism, soldier’s insignificance and lack of control, rhetorical metaphor for his actions being like clockworks of a machine, time dilation

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31

Like a man who has jumped up in the dark and runs

reckless uncertainty, simile creates an image of someone blind and irrational—> no rational reason for war. enjamberment over 4 verses implies he’s come to a realisation and it both seems to drag on and happen at once

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32

King, honour, human dignity, etcetera dropped like luxuries

abstract nouns, propaganda, no tangible value, reasons that people go to war not worth listing, abandons those ideas and reduced to a basic level—> he’s attacking out of desperation not principle

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33

His terror’s touchy dynamite

metaphor shows volatile emotional state, soldier seems to have become weapon rather than human being

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34

BC title

knives attached to rifles, suggests he’s on board, ready to do it, sterotypical soldier

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35

BC form and structure

blank verse reflects chaotic atmosphere and no sense of order

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36

I swear-

informal, conversational, personal tone and sense of intimacy created—> contrast between the tone of the poem and the profound effect of this incident behind him—> conversational bravado masking his inner turmoil

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37

body…lorry

disjointed rhyme reflects narrators’ disjointed mindset

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38

end of story, except not really

turning point, volta

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39

dug in behind enemy lines

ww1 imagery

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40

REMAINS title

double meaning- remains of the body, remains of the memory

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41

REMAINS structure

reflects his troubled mindset, struggling to keep things organized, contrasts expectations of a soldier

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42

REAMAINS form

1st person perspective, present tense—> constantly reliving the memory

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43

yellow bias binding around your blazer

alliteration of ‘b’ emphasises bustle, mothering over her son

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44

released a songbird from its cage

metaphor-how she’s released emotions when he left. signifies how she’s letting go of her child. emotional response contrasts with son who leaves ‘intoxicated’, avian imagery

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45

tucks, darts, pleats, hat-less

listing implies awkward feeling of the mother trying to distract herself from grief, unprotected and exposed to pain, all she has left of her son is painful ‘stitched-up stomach’

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46

leaned against it [memorial] like a wishbone

typically you have to break a wishbone, suggestion that she has to break memorial to get her son back

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47

POPPIES perspective

woman’s perspective- addresses female experience and also a political act

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48

POPPIES form

dramatic monologue with 2nd person address

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49

POPPIES structure

irregular rhyme scheme and meter shows fragmentation that has happened because of her son leaving

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50

spools of suffering set out in ordered rows

sibilance creates calm, hushed atmosphere which contrasts chaos of warzone. he tries to bring control to chaos of war

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51

all flesh is grass

biblical illusion, transitory of life

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52

though seem to now.

caesura-control, stops shaking, this is when reality sinks in

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53

a hundred agonies in black and white from which his editor will pick out five or six

shift from ‘a hundred’ to ‘five or six’ creates the impression of our limited perspective-sense that the pain is being reduced or concealed

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54

WP structure

inconsistent rhyming couplets suggests how despite photographer attempting to create order out of chaos, war is chaotic and he can’t organize it

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55

WP form

4 stanzas so regular form- could reflect regularity of our lives and photographer trying to make order out of chaos

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56

embarked

double meaning- getting on plane/going on an adventure

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57

sunrise

japan known as land of rising sun- establishes setting and references japan war flag

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58

samurai sword

symbol of ritual, bushido code, honour

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59

shaved head

soldiers shaved head to demonstrate readiness for war, sign of being dignified even in death

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60

full of powerful incantations

suggests pilot was under a spell, indoctrination

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61

one way journey into history

foreshadowing death, ironic because death will lead to immortalisation in history

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62

swivelled towards the sun

mimics movement of kamikaze plane as it moves towards target. also contrasts with ‘dark’ suggests turning around will be a bright future which is ironic since he was shunned

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63

the turbulent inrush of breakers

could be metaphor for the battle-he’s turning away from where his comrades will crash into boats like waves

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64

only we children still chattered and laughed

shows how honour and pride are traits we learn

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65

KAMIKAZE perspective

3rd person narrator + daughter

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66

KAMIKAZE structure

no regular rhyme scheme shows his internal conflict between his desire to live and duty

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67

I met a traveller from an antique land

harking back to ancient civiliation- emphasises how large the word is- link to how to English know so little of the world yet colonise so much of it—> also from distant time like Ozymandias

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68

who said

reported speech, distancing effect

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69

two vast and trunkless legs of stone

emphasises size and stature but also shows statue is incomplete

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70

stand in the desert

setting suggests absence of life

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71

near them on the sand, half sunk

double meaning- his impression of himself is different nowadays and nature has literally eroded his impression

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72

a shattered visage lies

double entendre, ironic- even a powerful human can’t control the damaging effects of time

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73

whose frown, and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command

rule of 3, sculptor understood arrogance of ozymandias

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74

tell that its sculptor well those passions it read

emphasises power of art to last throughout generations

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75

which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things

‘survive’ and ‘lifeless’ on same line hints at how art can outlast human power but ruined statue shows that ultimately art can’t immortalise power

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76

the hand that mocked them and the heart that fed

synecdoche, hand is sculptors, showing vainglory of his subject, heart is ozymandias’s own, feeding on his own arrogance

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77

and on the pedestal these words appear

volta

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78

my name is ozymandias, king of kings

biblical illusion—> used to refer to jesus

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79

look on my works ye mighty and despair

ironic because none of his ‘works’ remain except his stautue which was made by sculptor

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80

nothing beside remains.

caesura

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81

round the decay

ironic- tells other rulers to ‘despair’ because of his power but actually they should despair because their power is temporary

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82

of that colossal wreck

ruined statue shows how human achievements are insignificant compared to passing of time, oxymoron

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83

boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away

alliteration emphasises feeling of empty space surrounding desert, desert vast and survives longer

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84

OZYMANDIAS tone

nihilistic tone

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85

OZYMANDIAS use of irony

shows shelley’s hatred of oppression and belief about overcoming social and political order

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86

OZYMANDIAS title

rameses II (ozymandias to greeks) greatest pharoah

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87

OZYMANDIAS form

petrarchan sonnet, second- hand account

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88

OZYMANDIAS structure

narrator builds image of statue then ends up describing desert- insignificance of ozymandias

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89

OZYMANDIAS rhyme scheme

iambic pentameter is disrupted- devolution of rhyme scheme reflects erosion of statue

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90

i wander through each chartered street

poet’s voice, refers to charters of london

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91

near where the chartered thames does flow

link to trade and docklands→ ironic becausecan’t control river but industrial rev did, juxtaposition between chartered and flow

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92

charter

law → blake introduces theme of restriction only able to trade good with charter

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93

marks of weakness, marks of woe

highlights widespread nature of distress and vulnerability in london

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94

in every cry of every man, in every infant’s cry of fear

inclusive, everyone in ldn faces hardship

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95

in every voice, in every ban

power of 3, repetition, ban =announcement

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96

the mind-forged manacles i hear

ordinary people can’t determine their own fate, handcuffs, allusion to slavery and oppression

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97

How the chimney sweepers cry

people are so poor and suffering-→ they believe that’s all there is to life—> complete obedience and lack of agency

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98

every blackening church appalls

juxtaposition and metaphor for oppression, argues that church promises rewards for the ordinary peoples’ suffering- life after death, shouldn’t suffer on earth

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99

blackening

black as a result of soot from industry

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100

runs in blood down palace walls

reference to french revolution, widening perspective

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