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Suicide in the Trenches

Poem Analysis
by

Euna Catampongan

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Suicide in the Trenches

Conclusion
Poem Analysis
Suicide in the Trenches
Siegfried Sassoon
I knew a simple soldier
boy
Who grinned at life in empty
joy
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.
In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.
You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.
by Euna, Andrew, Ana, Aaryaman
- Written in WW1, published in the 1918 poem collection: "Counter-Attack & Other Poems"
- The poem describes the change that war inflicts on soldiers
The psychological effects on soldiers who fought the war
Poet's Intention
Tone
Mood
Form & Structure
Rhythm & Rhyme
Language & Devices
juxtaposition
Context

nursery rhyme
- Sassoon's parents separated when he was four.
- In 1895 Sassoon' father died of tuberculosis. This could have affected his life in a big way, and might have impacted his poems.
This could be why his poems are so negative.
innocence
carefree
Siegfried Sassoon
easily amused
fearless
brave
coward
scared
dirty
unhygienic
no fun
no joy
bitter
the cruel fate of soldiers
ignorance is bliss
warning
ignorant
unaware
bitter
forgotten
- Has 12 lines and 3 stanzas (iambic tetrameter).
The depression the soldiers have because of the war
naive
immature
easy-going
young
not affected by negatives
FORM & STRUCTURE
rhyming couplet
- Suggesting that the poet actually thought about form and structure.
- In addition, the same year that he wrote Suicide in the Trenches, he went back to the front where Owen was killed and he was wounded.
This could have also affected this poem by channeling his negative feelings.
Tone
- Uses full-stops effectively: in third stanza, last line, it is short to emphasise how miserable the front lines are and how quickly the boys life ended.
- Sassoon was commissioned to go to war which could relate to the boy in the poem.
- The final stanza gives a sense of a warning tone, and some jealousy.
directly speaking to readers
- Also in the third stanza, the use of commas makes it seem like a list thus emphasises the horrible conditions in war.
life and death
war is strict
war attracts the young and happy, and kills them
- In the first stanza, there is a light tone - the happiness of the soldier.
- Then the next stanza is less positive - winter connotes the coldness and the loss of life.
- Trenches add on the thought of death and war.
no will to live
- Then suddenly the pace of the poem picks up, and the tone becomes harsh and dark/gloomy.
- Sassoon changes his tone in each stanza, in a way like he is telling a story with a meaning
- Rhyming couplets - like a nursery rhyme
alliteration
alliteration
personal
- Shows the difference between the death of the war and the life of the people at home - and warns
This poem is effective.

Structure
Tone - like a story or nursery rhyme
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING
:)
Full transcript