Theme Of Conflict In Mametz Wood And Poppies
In both Mametz Wood and Poppies, the poets manage to show the consequences of conflict in both similar, and different, ways. Owen Sheers reaches back into history in order to retell the events of World War I, whereas Jane Weir’s Poppies is a much more emotional take on the outcomes of conflict.
Sheers’ use of imagery allows the reader to look back on the past in a reflective manner. For example, the first verse conjures up a very raw image in order to highlight the injustice and unfairness of the war – “the wasted young”. The use of the word “years”, also in the first verse, gives the reader a sense of just how many died during the war, …show more content…
However, much like the aforementioned usage of imagery, these language devices are used to add a personal, familial touch. The metaphor can be interpreted to show that Weir is unable to speak, being so overcome with emotion and grief. The metaphor also transforms halfway through as the second stanza progresses into the third “[…] turned into felt, slowly melting”. It’s almost as if halfway through her train of thought, she managed to regain composure but shifted the subject on as to not fall victim to her emotions once again. Another metaphor represents the closure, and the letting go of someone dead, as Weir’s persona describes herself as being “released [like] a song bird from its cage.”. This is symbolic of her finally becoming accustomed to the fatal consequences of conflict, as she is able to begin to let go of her emotions, and her …show more content…
Mametz Wood, although just as somber, removes the personal touch and instead replaces it with a blunter, less subtle way of highlighting the ramifications of conflict.
Continuing on from this point, the form also reflects the candid manner of the poem. Throughout, Mametz Wood never falls out of line in terms of its structure. Sheers maintains the same measured tone, with same length stanzas all the way through. This allows the poem to be hard-hitting, but also concise. The structure also progresses in a clear, planned-out way; the enjambment moves the poem on from individual parts of the body to a whole person. Thus, the focus becomes more on loss of life, without losing its unattached, yet still mournful, voice.
This is dissimilar to Poppies, which appears to digress at points. There are also parts where the poem focuses on minor details, such as the colours of her son’s clothing, and the frequented use of listing. It’s almost as if the mother is desperate to ramble aimlessly in order to hold onto her son for as long as possible. Additionally, the third stanza seems to end quite suddenly, indicating that perhaps she is gathering herself to carry on and finish the poem. The tone of the poem is brimming with emotion, helped by the form and structure, unlike Mametz Wood. The shivers moved down my shoulder blades in double