The poems that I have chosen are “The hero” by Siegfried Sassoon appeared in printing in 1917 and is about a real war poem thinking of those left behind when it shows respect and admiration for the mother and the way that the poet has revealed the truth about the situation happening in both sides of the story compared with the poem written by Winifred Letts in 1916 named “The deserter” that tells the story of a young British soldier who is shot for desertion and describes the feelings and fate of a man terrified and proper shocked at the same time by the war.
The reason that I have chosen these two poems is because of the titles. They both suggest different meanings. In one hand Hero is someone displaying courage and the will for self sacrificed totally dissimilar from the deserter displaying someone who abandons the duty and does not have courage.
This story is quiet shocking by picturing the fear felt by the soldier who run off only to be caught and shot by his own army ,and in the other side it shows the Deserters mother who thinks that her son died ‘a hero’ by saying “He was serving his own country”.
This poem is actually describing exactly what the soldier was ‘a deserter’ and the poet using an irony “An English bullet on his heart” repeated more than once in the poem to explore the theme that ‘war affects men and the way that they cannot deal with the horror’. , and also serve to emphasises the speaker’s sympathy for the deserter.
Another imagery used in the poem is personification used in line two, exploring the strong feelings of the soldier. “Was scared as any other child” using a simile by comparing the soldier with a child because a child, however grown up, remains a child to their parents.
Also the internal rhyme used in the poem in line 14 by repeating sounds and using assonance saying ‘throbbing and sobbing’ makes the poem more interesting to the reader.
The Hero is in contrast with ‘The Deserter’ from the very first line, because it introduces us with the name of the soldier Jack, while the poet in ‘The Deserter’ says “There was a man…….” Starting it off as a nursery rhyme and suggesting that this could be the fate of any other men in the army same as the mother were their names are not given by saying “The mothers” because she could have been any of thousands of mothers given the same news.
But irony is also used in “The deserter “….the brother officer writes so nicely” he is shown as being cold hearted to the woman he sees as a poor and old to tell lies about Jack that the officer saw as “cold footed useless swine”.
However in the last line this comes through the adjective “lonely” and the alliteration starting with “were wild” for the line adding the sadness.
By comparing these two I would also like to say that both poems use language to show the brutal image and reality of the war. Both the writers have strong views in thee way that they see war and what they think about it, they both express themselves using different language.
Winifred chose her words carefully to put the reader on the side of the deserter by using imagery and Siegfried uses imagery too.
Like the mother in “The Deserter”, Jack’s mother will never no the truth and pain (both physical and psychological) of her son’s death this is exactly what happens to “The Hero” were both the mother’s were lied.
The Deserter uses the rhetoric question “who can judge him, you or I?” by suggesting that there is no place for the other people to judge the guilt.
In both poems the language used is familiar and universal to the reader and innocent showing the innocence of the soldiers.
My personal response for the two poems is that they both talk about war; they both show natural response to the surroundings, in this case for the soldiers.
The poem that I have actually felt really into it is The Hero because is an incredible poem, is kind of ironically in the last lines, but perhaps the irony is intended as is, or perhaps not.
I also would like to ,mention Jack I believe that he was a symbol of representing so many other youths at this time and also the mother when she was left with the knowledge that her son died bravely and honourable.
He was probably very young for panicking and also frightened so is normal, but the fact that how people were told lies to keep them happy, I don’t think this was a great idea it doesn’t mean that they craved the truth, this makes me feel a bit dreadful but there was nothing else they could have done, lying was the only choice left in too many cases, that case was not the only one to deal with.