Shilloh A Requiemm Analysis

Great Essays
The battle was the most surreal example of how many men it was possible to slaughter in battle. Overall, it was shocking, morbid, and horrendous how much death there was, especially to the people of that time who hadn’t experienced this level of barbarity. With the invention of the camera, more people were able to see this devastation and read about it in poems, such as the one that is the center of our focus.
Now, that we understand the poet and the setting, on to Melville’s poem, Shiloh: A Requiem. “Skimming slightly, wheeling still,/ the swallows fly low/ over the field in clouded days,” The birds (swallows, to be exact) are mentioned twice, once at the beginning and once at the end of the poem. They are the first and last powerful image we see. They are
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The appearance of the bird is meaningful. In many powerful pieces of art, a Dove is pictured. A Mourning dove’s soft feathers are brown, allowing it to blend in, unlike the Barn swallow. The Barn swallow has stand-out colors, like blue, yellow, orange, and brown. Because it relatively blends in, the Mourning dove is more stealthy and elegant.
Another comparison is the way the dove finds its food. Like the swallow, the dove mostly eats bugs and other insects. However, unlike the swallow, the dove does not perform aerial acrobatics in order to find its food. To some, this may seem like the dove is more modest, and less extravagant. The dove finds its food by foraging in trees and on the ground. If the dove were to forage for its food next to, and among the dead, this would make the bird seem much less distant from the soldiers. The swallows fly above the dead men, somewhat separate from them, but the doves would have to get up close and personal with the dead and dying soldiers in order to find food on the ground. It would also seem more as if they were there to comfort them and carry them and their souls to where ever it is they may need to

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