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Suicide in the Trenches -- Sigfried Sassoon

English - Extra Credit Assignment

Kristyn Caterer

on 21 November 2012

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Transcript of Suicide in the Trenches -- Sigfried Sassoon

Sigfried Sassoon Suicide in
the Trenches 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. Sites http://www.studymode.com/essays/Siegfried-Sassoon-Suicide-In-The-363327.html 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 Background -Sassoon wrote this poem during his First World War military service and published in his 1918 collection: “Counter-Attack and Other Poems” -This poem is a lyric which contains of three stanzas each containing four lines. This is written in rhyming couplets, the style of the poem seems very simple and song-like Style Suicide in the trenches is an intriguing poem about the horrific and crucial aspects of war. Sigfrield Sassoon uses a variety of poetic language to illustrate an important message of the atrocities of war. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Suicide_in_the_trenches_sassoon Analysis A young man who is very happy and has a good life until... He goes off to fight in WW1. He gets so upset he kills himself. Sassoon then goes on to criticize the crowds of people who cheer on the war and the soldiers, although secretly they are glad they don't have to fight. Summary Poem Soldier Boy (line 1) - Portrays the innocence and young age of the soldier (explaining why he could not cope)
Lark (line 4) - Male Skylarks flew over battlefields singing their song
. Crumps (line 6) - The noise made by shells falling in soft earth. Lack of rum (line 6) - Rum was given to the troops, sometimes before an attack and sometimes after, to steady nerves, increase confidence and numb feeling.
Kindling (line 9) - Shining or enthusiastic.
When soldier lads march by (line 10) - This probably refers to the enthusiastic parades of new soldiers marching through town and city centers before going off to fight.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_the_Trenches The poem comprises of three stanzas, in the first stanza sassoon uses First person, I, this demonstrates that he would have been connected to the character or shared similar experiences in relation to war. The use of alliteration, Simple soldier boy, portrays how naive and ordinary this person was, who would have possibly believed there was merit in being a soldier and even lied about his age to get into the army. The metaphor in the next sentence, laughed at life in empty joy, depicts how this person was easily made happy in life and would have not faced hardships in his young life and shows how to an extent how immature this person would have been at the time before he left for war. The use of alliteration again by Sassoon with, Slept Soundly, shows how he had nothing to fear and lived life to the full with the hope of awaking tomorrow. The onomatopoeia, whistled early with the lark, portrays how he looked forward to his life and embraced everything that came his way, in the first stanza with his poetic devices he inflicts a sense of serenity and sets the scene of a happy joyful young man.
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