Andrew Renard's Etched In Memory

765 Words4 Pages
“Schools are like munitions factories and ought to be turning out a constant supply of living materiel,” remarked Reverend Percy Kettlewell, former headmaster of St. Andrew’s College in 1913. The following year his words would be met with action. Many boys enlisted, 125 of them died. Against this traumatic past “Then & Now” by Thomas Crutchely and “Etched in Memory” by Andrew Renard emerge as contemporary considerations of the Great War, by poets from St Andrew’s College. Both poems try to reconcile past trauma and grief with existence in the present. “Then & Now” self-reflexively considers the authenticity of representing the sufferings of the past in contemporary war poetry, whilst “Etched in Memory” considers loss and memorialisation. Both poems convey the limitations of representation or even commemoration as neither fully encompasses the experience of war, or its devastation. In “Then and Now” the speaker is a pupil of St Andrew’s College, this is evident in the reference to the “…clock tower” and “…our 1st XV” (l.34& l.37). However, even in the shared schooling experiences with those who enlisted, the speaker struggles to comprehend the suffering of those before him. This is evident in his use of “we” and “they” in the first…show more content…
In accordance with its form as a Shakespearean sonnet, which is demonstrated by the rhyme scheme and stanza structure, the resolution is presented in the concluding rhyming couplet. A trailing echo is created Through the use of dactylic rhythm in the ending of the couplet, thereby creating connotations of continuation. When read against its title: “Etched in Memory,” an optimistic outlook arises; as memory is not static like “wood” or “stone,” and allows for the dead to live on for as long as we remember (l.1). “Then & Now” concludes with an equally optimistic vision rooted in shared culture and
Open Document