Post 1900 War Poetry

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By looking at several war poems written before and after 1900, I can see that many elements of the types of poetry change greatly in several ways. I will be looking at a selection of war poems written by three different poets, in chronological order, so as to see if the attitudes to war and writing styles change over time or during various stages of the war. Firstly I will be looking at a poem written by Alfred Tennyson about the charge against the Russian gunners in 1854. The poem is called "The Charge of the Light Brigade" as it is exactly what happened. The information that Tennyson used to write the poem came from a newspaper article from the Times. Tennyson has used the information very well to give an accurate and informative, yet poetic description of the charge. Although Tennyson is writing from secondary information, he has still incorporated poetic and rhythmic effects to make the poem follow a rhythm similar to that of a galloping horse. 'Half a league, Half a league, Half a league onward', the distance of the charge is stated at the beginning of the poem as it starts straight into the charge. Although in the article written in the newspaper it states 'At a distance of 1,200 yards', Tennyson has edited it within similar distance whilst making the information poetic to read. By starting the charge at the beginning of the poem, Tennyson has instantly caught the reader's attention whilst still providing the relevant information for the poem to tell the story of what happened. Tennyson glorifies the soldiers greatly by using strong dramatic language and graphic images that can be vividly formed in the reader's minds. "All in the valley of Death, rode the six hundred." The dramatic language here makes it seem like just the unusually small amount of horsemen used in such a
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