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Poem Analysis "Attack" by Siegfried Sassoon

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Sunny V

on 9 June 2015

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Transcript of Poem Analysis "Attack" by Siegfried Sassoon

Introduction
This war poem was published in 1918, depicting the first World War
At dawn the ridge emerges massed and dun
In the wild purple of the glowering sun
Smouldering through spouts of drifting smoke that shroud
The menacing scarred slope; and, one by one,
Tanks creep and topple forward to the wire.
The barrage roars and lifts. Then, clumsily bowed
With bombs and guns and shovels and battle-gear,
They leave their trenches, going over the top,


And hope, with furtive eyes and grappling fists,

Flounders in the mud. O Jesus, make it stop!
Lines of grey, muttering faces, masked with fear,


Poem Analysis "Attack" by Siegfried Sassoon
At dawn the ridge emerges massed and dun

In the wild purple of the glowering sun,

Smouldering through spouts of drifting smoke that shroud

The menacing scarred slope; and, one by one,

Tanks creep and topple forward to the wire.

The barrage roars and lifts. Then, clumsily bowed

With bombs and guns and shovels and battle-gear,

Men jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire.

Lines of grey, muttering faces, masked with fear,

They leave their trenches, going over the top,

While time ticks blank and busy on their wrists,

And hope, with furtive eyes and grappling fists,

Flounders in the mud. O Jesus, make it stop!

Information mostly acquired from https://prezi.com/ct5xaqwi8oxn/attack-siegfried-sassoon/
Men jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire.
While time ticks blank and busy on their wrists,


References
http://888965255251427928.weebly.com/attack-by-siegfried-sassoon.html

Figures of Speech:
https://prezi.com/ct5xaqwi8oxn/attack-siegfried-sassoon/

http://revisionforni.com/2013/01/24/attack-siegfried-sassoon/

http://www.markedbyteachers.com/as-and-a-level/english/attack-by-sassoon-critical-analysis.html

http://genius.com/3888267/Siegfried-sassoon-attack/Then-clumsily-bowed-with-bombs-and-guns-and-shovels-and-battle-gear

http://siegfried-sassoon.firstworldwarrelics.co.uk/html/poems.html

Google Definitions
The Analysis

https://prezi.com/ct5xaqwi8oxn/attack-siegfried-sassoon/
http://genius.com/Siegfried-sassoon-attack-annotated/
Gives us imagery of the time of the day and the weather
Purple; symbolizes power in this context
Glowering Sun; the sun is giving off much more heat
Gives us imagery of military (tank) advancement through the conditions of the environment
The tanks go through harsh conditions, only to their dooms, (falling slowly towards the wire)
http://genius.com/Siegfried-sassoon-attack-annotated/
Gives us imagery of artillery bombardment
Soldiers battle-gear had weighed around 70 pounds with "bombs and guns and shovels", this is imagery and also gives a sense of "feel"
http://genius.com/Siegfried-sassoon-attack-annotated/
Imagery of men running towards the attacking enemy, "bristling fire" is aggressive, as if running towards their death
http://genius.com/Siegfried-sassoon-attack-annotated/#
Tells us how soldiers were not treated as equal individuals but as one whole unit, nameless yet muttering, and showing an emotion of fear
http://genius.com/Siegfried-sassoon-attack-annotated
Trenches were a major use in WW1, providing protection from enemy fire
Most soldiers did not like to the trenches,into enemy fire but had to in order to fight the enemy
http://genius.com/Siegfried-sassoon-attack-annotated
Tells us the terrific side of war, "time ticks blank'', it can be perceived as prolonging the war or ticking faster towards death
http://genius.com/Siegfried-sassoon-attack-annotated
Hope is avoiding the soldiers, will struggling
Flounders are a type a fish, and if fish are on mud, they struggle to survive, even if the future seems doomed for them
Jesus is watching but doing nothing to help
This is a sonnet, and at the 13th line the poem stops, after the time "O Jesus, make it stop!" indicating the soldier does not want to go on anymore or was killed
http://genius.com/Siegfried-sassoon-attack-annotated
Sassoon portrays the "realness" of war, how it actually was, since many people such as Brooke and Owen wrote the positives about it
Portrays what happens in the battlefield as if the reader was viewing it through their own eyes
Soldiers fought for their country, not knowing how harsh it truly was and Sassoon depicts the true nature of war
The voice (a soldier) wants the war to end in the last line, it doesn't give us a definite/clear answer, but an idea of what could have happened.
The last line could also show the soldiers feelings towards the war, ending the poem by himself
http://888965255251427928.weebly.com/attack-by-siegfried-sassoon.html
Full transcript