WAR POETRY ESSAY by Jarelle Robertson
The subject matter of this essay is Australian war poetry. I chose this subject because Australia is proudly known for its involvement in war and the ANZAC soldiers were seen to many as the bravest of men. I was interested to read about the different emotions the writers would use to represent war and how they would capture these historical moments in their writing.
The essay will analyse six chosen poems and split them into three topics (two poems under each topic), It will then show a clear link between the topics and their poems and how the two poems were similar. The essay will also relate each poem to the 1981 Australian war film ‘Gallipoli’ directed by Peter Weir.
STARING DEATH IN THE FACE
Death and mourning is the effect of war.
‘War!’ by Leon Gellert
The poem ‘War!’ by Leon Gellert is a short single stanza poem with eight lines. It has an inconsistent rhythm and a relieved tone. The immediate emotional effect this poem had on me was similar to that of the character Leon used in the poem. The character in the poem saw a brighter more humorous side to death, which also had a humorous emotional effect on me. The poem did not use any figurative language mainly because it is straightforward and the reader recognizes the imagery of the poem already.
The poem is about a soldier who has died and is watching his body as a spirit as it topples down a hill. The soldier is relieved and even thanks the bullet that killed him. The soldier knowing that he could not forgive himself for what he done strolls quietly into hell.
Relation to Movie: In the movie there is a famous scene that relates to the topic. The soldiers are stuck in the trenches and an impatient commander decides to send the soldiers over the wall, knowing that beyond it was almost certain death. Hearing their orders the soldiers are at first afraid, but as they prepare they begin to optimize and see a brighter side to death like the character...