Literature and War

Literature is the mirror of the society. It gives highlight to the important details of the history. More often than not, literature serves as the chronicles of the society to understand the past, the present, and the future in any situation. As part of literature, poetry played a significant role to describe the lives of people in short verses. The poets discuss each situation depending on their chosen topic. In Graves and Blunden’s poems, they discuss the context of war.

Through their poems, they strengthen the idea how literature can incorporate and respond to war because they justified the situations, the feelings of the soldiers, the characters of the society, and the realization of the system towards the struggle for freedom and salvation. Graves’s poems entitled “The Last Post”, “Dead Cow Farm”, and “It’s a Queer Time”, described the emotions of the soldiers through their own perspectives by using a soldier as the speaker.

In “The Last Post,” a dying soldier shared his thoughts on how he wanted to die rather than being alive. “Dead in the gas and smoke and roar of guns, / Dead in a row with the other broken ones (Graves, 6-7). ” In the “Dead Cow Farm,” a retired soldier describes the life of the people during war where there is no escape from death like being on a dead cow farm – seeing different bodies full of blood, dead.

“An ancient saga tells us how / In the beginning the First Cow / (For nothing living yet had birth / But Elemental Cow on earth) / Began to lick cold stones and mud: (Graves, 1-5)” In “It’s a Queer Time,” a struggling soldier who accepts the fact of saving his country as he encounters different people with different burdens is the main point of the poem. “You’re struggling, gasping, struggling, then … hullo! / Elsie comes tripping gaily down the trench, / Hanky to nose—that lyddite makes a stench— / Getting her pinafore all over grime (Graves, 21-24).

” As what Graves has tried to convey for his readers, Blunden has the same purpose – he wants his readers understand the sacrifices of the soldier in the war as they show their emotions through literature, specifically the genre of poetry. In Blunden’s “At Senlis Once,” he discusses the feelings of a hopeful soldier who could not wait to see the beautiful sunrise of freedom and salvation. He hoped for the freedom of his society so he could be able to free himself, but still with a fear that he could be dead before he saw the rising sun of their success.

“How comely it was and how reviving, / When with clay and with death no longer striving (Blunden, 1-2). ” In the “Vlamertinghe: Passing the Chateau,” a dreaming soldier sees the wonderful homecoming being presented to them as heroes of the society. This soldier is happy while dreaming this significant part of their lives after a long battle with the enemies but at the back of this soldier mind, all he wanted to become is a soldier who will fight until the remaining days of his life. “But if you ask me, mate, the choice of colour / Is scarcely right; this red should have been duller (Blunden, 13-14).

” As a conclusion, these poems pointed out the fact that soldiers and war are connecting factors for us to understand the meaning and essence of battle. Literature gives us the freedom to choose what topic we are going to discuss to show our readers the emotions of each speaker that we have – they will serve as the eye-opener of the society from different issues that we have gone through. Through these poems, literature is a powerful tool to share our thoughts about the issues of war in the past and even these present days of our lives.

Works Cited Graves, Blunden,