ENG 2003: Introduction to Poetry

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    In the Battle Piece the author does not distinctively distinguish the moment he’s in. He takes me or (the reader) from the battle field to the monument. A place of violent to a place of peace without even realizing .A place of lost to a place of honor.
    In one stanza one got the feeling of being in the battle field as soldiers and in another I feel as if I’m with the mourners or picnickers as in stanza one who came for a short visit. They fill their bellies and rests for a while then go but never will they go down to the bivouac.

    In stanza two the images and sounds narrated then takes me back to the war setting where I can hear the soldiers grit in clenched teeth…the clap of doom… I can almost feel the billows of white fitly smoke that choked them Clem, Eustace, Willy. “It would be useless to call them.”

    “Anyway that’s already done” the narators tone is not suprised he seems used to it. He takes me back to the mourners. “Every fall they come with honors and gifts of everlasting plastic daises which probable represent the new life or young lives of the soldiers killed.

    It’s an August afternoon and once again I’m transported to a peaceful place where “the sun fingers through sleek pine, their edges cropped like the clipped, elegant grass.” and “heat-mist glistens on slick granite.”
    Then comes the shock of seeing “a caisson blown to flinders” and the cindered sweet tree” the evening which represent the end (or death) call the solders eagerly.

    In the last stanza ends with the soldiers achieving their marble pillows (tombstone) like a mission completed. I think the author shows the results of war or the cycle of war as somewhat normal and continuous.



    I do agree with much of what you’ve said, as I had some trouble interpreting the poem at first and it took me some time to understand clearly what the poet was trying to portray. I have concluded that this poem surrounds the theme of war and the memorial that is left after the war. If one were to look at the first stanza one would get the image of people sitting around and having picnics and camping about. Suddenly in the second stanza the poet throws us into a zone of war as we are taken from a place of peace to a place of turmoil as stated here “… cannon cracks … the clap of doom.” She uses these transitions of peace and war throughout the poem and concludes with an image of peace as she uses the word “pillow” that represents rest, rest for the men who died in the war as stated here “… these boys achieved each his marble pillow, astonished by the sky.”

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