The Drugs Of War Les Murray Analysis

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Introduction Hello, or should I say G’day, since we are all Australian here and lovers of Australian poetry it only seems relevant to say so. Let me start by saying this, although war has been paramount in setting a foundation that has shaped Australia’s identity, the brutal process that took the lives of many inside and out of the battlefield, not only with guns and bombs, also laid an emotional distress creating an emotional spilt to the outlook of war. Yet through poetry, writers are often depicting these stories of history to enhance deeper understanding to these events such as Les Murrays ‘The Drugs of War’ and well renowned poem ‘Men in Green’ by David Campbell. Both of these Australian poets have had a long history in the lines of poetry, winning many awards…show more content…
He writes to depict a theme that war never truly ends, and people who have experienced it generally do not know how to end it, thus an unseen minority turn to drugs and alcohol for salvation. Inevitably they end up in a loop of substance abuse, as it seems to be a pattern through history, as he writes in each stanza. “Rome’s Legions stemmed avalanches” (line 1), “flogged peasant boys faced front” (line 4). Each stanza interoperates a new period of time where war was a predominant piece of that era, starting back with the Roman Empire and gradually moving forward through time. However, the parallel to these stories is the progression in illicit substances and how that effects a soldier’s lifestyle with these movements throughout history. Stanzas three and four pose to be impactful to identifying an Australian theme as he writes about wars in the trenches, “rising helicopters” and napalm. Although it is not explicitly stated that this poem is about Australian’s, it can be interpreted that way since these wars played a large part in developing Australia as a nation as well as being an Australian

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