War Poetry: The Poetry Of 'Staying Alive'

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In this essay I have been asked to choose one of the twelve sections from ‘Staying Alive ‘and discuss why I believe it to be the most effective. It is clear that section 9 ‘War and Peace’ is the most effective. War poetry is harsh and to the point. It is filled with gruesome images and vivid descriptions of war time. The poems in this section will resonate with you for a lifetime. .Most poetry of this genre is based around the topic of World War One and World War Two. But also around other famous wars in history such as the American Civil War and Troubles in Northern Ireland. This poetry contains messages of hatred towards war and towards the idea of war. This section includes poetry of very famous poets who not only were alive during the war but some of whom also fought in the war like Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. Both poets expressing their disgust at war. One poem from this section that is particularly powerful is ‘Grass’ by Carl Sandburg. In this free verse poem Sandburg deals with different wars that happened at very different times. He says, “Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.”. And pile them high at Gettysburg” Both wars at Austerlitz and Waterloo were fights for America’s independence. While in the second verse he refers to two major battle of World War One. “And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun” Each one of these battles has a common factor. Each battle had extremely heavy casualties. In each

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