Similar tips in watts b yeats and keith douglas

Paper type: Literature,

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An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

A major comparison of ‘An Irish Cropduster Foresees His Death’ and ‘Vergissmeinnicht’.

W. W. Yeats’ ‘An Irish Airman Foresees His Death’ and Keith Douglas’ ‘Vergissmeinnicht’ are poems carefully preoccupied together with the theme of mortality in fight. The images and language of battle and fatality permeate the verses, nevertheless , both poems are not exclusively fixated on the gore of warfare. Alternatively, both thought-provoking poems disclose the inner monologue and, as a result, the inner your life of troops that are or else nameless in the eyes of the general public. Consequently , the emotive language and reflective develop with which the speakers communicate death sensitise us (the listeners) for the reality why these soldiers are only human.

Both poets take several approaches in their depiction of death. Berryman posits, ‘poetry is composed simply by actual people and tracts of it are extremely closely info. ‘ Both poems undoubtedly contain confessional elements of the poet’s individual life evoked through the use of emotive language. It of Yeats’ poem quickly sets a sombre tone as it probably ‘foresees’ a tragic plot. However , Yeats inverts each of our expectations, since the airman does not portray the truly grievous characteristics of warfare deaths. The reference to the battle as ‘tumult’ (l. 12) downplays its violence. The airman’s euphoric ‘impulse’ (l. 11) to perish ‘among atmosphere above’ (l. 2) is possibly Romantic, this suggests his desire to escape the limitations of human physicality. Likewise, the ‘clouds [above]’ provide a paradoxically sublime battle setting. Yeats’ poem is an elegy to his friend, Key Robert Gregory, who fought against and perished in the Initial World Conflict. So , it can be no wonder which the poet projects his hopes of a peaceful albeit impractical death on the poem’s persona.

In stark comparison, Douglas experienced the distresses of the Second World War first-hand, as a result it is not unexpected that he portrays death in a more practical manner. The opening picture reflects a less pleasurable image of warfare deaths: ‘Three weeks absent and the combatants gone’ (l. 1). The plosive repeating of ‘gone’ exaggerates the unpleasant image of loss of your life. It also onomatopoeically mimics requirements of a shooting gun, which will enables the listener to visualise the violence. Furthermore, Douglas uses vivid symbolism to refer to death: ‘the soldier sprawling in the sun’ (l. 4). The sibilance exaggerates the sinister theme as the speaker also downplays the gravity with the soldier’s fatality by recommending that he could be simply ‘sprawling’, lounging agreeably. This happy image juxtaposes the graphic image of the soldier’s ‘decayed’ (l. 16) body protected in ‘swart flies’ and ‘his rush stomach’, hollowed out and darker, ‘like a cave’ (ll. 18-20). The discrepancy in the soldier’s explanation and actuality highlights the desensitizing mother nature of war, the military perceive dreadful images of death since normal. Without a doubt, ‘the sun’ literally and metaphorically outdoor sheds light for the horrific wake of conflict: a ridicule image of a ‘[decaying]’ body system covered in black flies on the ‘nightmare ground’ (l. 2). Consequently , both poets’ experiences affect the difference between idyllic sense of fatality, conveyed simply by Yeats’ poem, and its grotesque portrayal in Douglas’ composition.

Furthermore, both military express differing attitudes toward mortality salience. Arguably, the airman’s ability to ‘foresee’ his death enables him to accept his loss of life in a calm and ‘balanced’ manner. The spondaic affirmation of his opening phrases, ‘I know’, followed by the imperative ‘I shall’, illustrates that he’s not just mindful, but is usually certain and accepting of his death. His absolute assurance is also echoed in the predetermined ‘ABAB’ rhyme scheme and iambic tetrameter. His calm acceptance is also expressed in the formal balance at the end of the poem: ‘In balance with this existence, this death’ (l. 16). The comma creates a deliberate pause separating ‘life’ coming from ‘death’, while bringing stability to the syntax and image resolution to his preceding thoughts. This is a direct contrast to the uncertainty of death illustrated by the unstable rhyming pattern in ‘Vergissmeinnicht’, it commences In Memoriam ‘ABBA’ but switches towards the balladic ‘ABAB’. Unlike the airman who have chooses to die, ‘death [¦] has got the soldier singled’ (l. 23). The hissing sibilance tensions death’s selective cruelty, a single understands that fatality respects no person as it in addition has ‘done the lover persona hurt’ (l. 24). Consequently , the contrasting way in which the speakers are aware of their loss of life influences the tone and mode that they express it in.

Both poets demonstrate the soldiers include lives outside of combat relatable to our individual. Though Yeats’ poem can be written in Major Gregory’s persona, it also conveys Yeats own views on the ‘wasteful virtue’ of war” a style he also touches on in ‘Easter 1916’. The airman indicates and refuses all possible reasons for gonna war: ‘law’, ‘duty’, ‘public men’, ‘cheering crowds’ (ll. 9-10). Yeats then uses chiasmus to intensify the effect of the airman’s reflective method: ‘The many years seemed squander of breathing, /A spend of breath the years behind’ (l. 14-15). This helps the listener to similarly echo, and grieve not only pertaining to the loss of life of the gift but for time ‘[wasted]’ on something that has no real cause. Furthermore, the speaker’s consistent make use of ‘I’ and ‘my’ marks his specific presence, although there is no ‘I’ in battle, the cropduster repeatedly makes his death personal to the listener.

Contrastingly, in ‘Vergissmeinnicht’, Douglas illustrates the actual of conflict where an individual merges into thousands and dead troops are merely quantities: ‘We discover him practically with articles, / abased’ (ll. 13-14). The speaker’s condescending attitude towards the soldier’s death is definitely shocking however reflective in the dehumanizing character of conflict. Though there is also a lack of personal pronouns, Douglas still claims the lifeless soldier’s personality by referring to his fan, ‘Steffi’ (l. 11). The inscription of ‘Vergissmeinnicht’ (Forget me not) on her image emotionally raises the image of her weeping for her lifeless lover (l. 17). Within an ironic turn of events, she now has to be the one to not forget him. The story’s verisimilitude moves the listener to see the dead gift as individual rather than ‘killer’ (l. 21). Thus, although war frequently effaces identity, Yeats and Douglas demonstrate that troops do possess sentiments and identities.

In conclusion, Yeats’ ‘An Irish Airman Foresees His Death’ and Douglas’ ‘Vergissmeinnicht’ the two focus on the thoughts and emotions from the soldiers and so sensitise the listener for the gross inhumane nature of war fatalities. Douglas and Yeats help remind us that soldiers aren’t just cannon fodder, they are individuals with private lives. Their poems are poignant simple guidelines that warfare is in the end between individuals and, despite its aim, these ‘combatants’ do not ought to have their tragic fate.

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