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The poem "The Green Fields of France" by Eric Bogle is an anti-war poem speaking about the sadness and losses when young soldiers go to fight in wars. The poem is very emotional and the tone is very sad and deep. He wrote it this way so the audience could reflect about all the young soldiers who fought in wars and gave up their lives thinking that they were doing the right thing. The poet has thoughtfully used a variety of poetic devices.
Alliteration is the repetition of a sound (usually a consonant) at the beginning of a word in neighbouring words. It is used in this poem
Personification is when a non-human object is given human characteristics or feelings.
Repetition is when a word or a group of words are repeated
The poet Eric Bogle uses many poetic devices to covey his anti-war message to the audience. He has included imagery, alliteration, personification, repetition, rhyme, evocative language and hyperbole.
The personification used by the poet is very effective. For example, "The warm wind blows, and the
red poppies dance
". This describes how the strong wind blew the red poppies around. Another example of this is "The trenches have vanished long under the plow". This tells the audience that the trenches have been there for a long period of time.
Alliteration has been used in this poem to very effectively. For example, "The
blows gently". This use of alliteration creates a picture in the reader's mind. Another example is, "Old photograph,
and stained. This is also another use of imagery.
By Jeremy Chia
The poem has 5 stanzas
The theme of the poem is, reflecting about young soldiers who died unnecessarily at young ages while fighting in foreign countries during World War I.
The tone of the poem is sad and depressing. It also speaks the truth about the horrors of war
Rhyme is when there is a correspondence between a word or the ending of a word
Historical Context of Poem
The Green Fields of France is an anti-war poem by Eric Bogle. This poem historically relates to World War 1 as the poet Eric Bogle wrote this in 1976. The poet talking about Private William McBride and all the other soldiers that had died while fighting in France. He is reflecting by McBride's grave which is in no man's land (part of the cemetery where no one has claimed to know the soldier).
Imagery is the use of figurative language or sensory words which creates sense
experiences in the reader's mind.
Is the use of exaggeration or an overstatement
Hyperbole was used in this poem in stanza 4. It said "
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned".
This use of hyperbole was used to emphasize how many people suffered. It was used very effectively in this context.
Well how do you do, Private William McBride
Do you mind if I sit here down by your grave side?
A rest for awhile in the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day and I'm nearly done.
And I see by your gravestone that you were only 19
when you joined the glorious fallen in 1916.
Well, I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Or, William McBride, was it slow and obscene?
Did they beat the drum slowly?
Did they sound the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?
Did the bugle sing 'The Last Post' in chorus?
Did the pipes play 'The Flowers o' the Forest'?
And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some loyal heart is your memory enshrined
And though you died back in 1916
To that loyal heart are you always 19.
Or are you just a stranger without even a name
Forever enclosed behind some glass-pane
In an old photograph torn and tattered and stained
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?
The sun's shining down on these green fields of France;
The warm wind blows gently, and the red poppies dance.
The trenches have vanished long under the plow;
No gas and no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard that's still No Man's Land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man.
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned.
And I can't help but wonder now Willie McBride
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause?
Did you really believe them that this war would end war?
The suffering, the sorrow, some the glory, the shame -
The killing and dying - it was all done in vain.
For Willie McBride, it's all happened again
And again, and again, and again, and again.
Evocative language is language that makes you feel a certain way (happy,
The rhyme pattern in this poem is AABBCCDD through every paragraph and it has end rhyme which means the rhyme is at the end of a sentence. For example
. This is very effective as it creates a rhythm pattern
The repetition used in this poem was used to create a rhetorical question. For example, "Did you really believe" in stanza 5 was repeated. Another example is, "For Willie McBride it all happened again. and again, and again etc. This is used to exaggerate how long it was.
The use of evocative language was thoughtfully used in stanza 4. The example was "Well the
suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
". This was used to make the reader feel sad, sympathetic and sorrowful for the soldiers.
The poet has compellingly included both visual and tactile imagery (see/touch). For example, "An old photograph, torn, tattered and stained". This is visual imagery which makes readers visualize a really old and crumpled photograph. Another example is "The warm wind blows gently". This is an example of tactile imagery where the readers might be able to feel the warm breeze hit their body.
This poem engages audiences as it is very descriptive and emotional. The poem had included many different poetic devices which made it very interesting for me to read. I really enjoyed reading this poem as it spoke about the truth of war and the poets thoughts on war. Descriptive language is used across the entire poem which doesn't make it boring to read.