Slain Militiamen Poem

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Commentary for “Song for the Mothers of Slain Militiamen”

In the poem allocated, Neruda uses imagery and repetition to convey to readers the severity of the impact the deaths of militiamen have on the ones they died to protect.
Visual imagery is used throughout this poem to help convey how greatly the deaths of the militiamen impacted the other civilians. It is used to depict morbid scenes to imply that the shock of the militiamen’s deaths affect the thoughts of the civilians. The imagery indicates that the deaths of the militiamen make civilians realize the full impact war has on them. The speaker describes the militiamen as “… standing in the wheat … dominating the great plains.” Because the militiamen are depicted in wheat fields, they
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In one instance, it is used to convey that the mourners believe they should try to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again because of the impact the deaths had on them. For example, in the fourth, stanza it states, “for there we strike by day and by night, / there we kick by day and by night, / there we spit by day and by night / until the doors of hatred fall” the repetition allows the reader to realize that the narrator is frustrated by the war that has caused the militiamen to die. The repetition of “there we…by day and by night” indicates that the mourners are greatly impacted by the militiamen’s deaths because they are willing to take action “by day and by night” to make sure this does not happen again. In addition, repetition is also used to relay how strongly the mourners feel about the loss of the soldiers. They feel “more than anger, more than scorn, more / than weeping,” and the “mothers [are] pierced by anguish and death”. The repetition of, “more than…” helps to reinforce the negative emotions felt by the mourners. The mothers’ feelings are enhanced because of this repetition as they not only feel overwhelming negativity, as with the other mourners, they are “pierced” by their feelings. Repetition reinforces the weight of the impact of the militiamen’s deaths as it constantly reminds readers of the thoughts and emotions of those affected by the soldier’s
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