Conflict Poetry Comparisons (English Literature)


CONFLICT POETRY COMPARISONS Hello, welcome to another tutorial video.
So in light of the requests, I’ve actually made a comparison list of the Conflict poems,
which ones can be compared with other ones. Now before I look at this at all, and I did
just go over the poems, it’s probably the first time I’ve looked at them all like
that in one go, I reckon that you could compare anything with anything and still do very well,
still get an A. There’s only two that don’t fit in very well with everything else and
that’s ‘Flag’ and ‘Hawk Roosting’. I know ‘Flag’ isn’t going to be on there.
I can’t remember whether ‘Hawk Roosting’ will be but ‘Flag’ definitely isn’t
going to be on the Higher paper as the actual named question. There’s two others but forgive
me, they escape me right now. So we’ll just look at all of them and then see where we
get to. So every single poem is mentioned in here
and I’ve got the general theme or idea that might have been mentioned or actually comes
across very strong and then the link, or the way it’s actually linked. And then we’ve
got an alternative suggestion just so we kind of catch everything in. Now this is just one
way of looking at it. You could make 60 of these lists and they’d all still be deadly
accurate. So if the first thing you see that I’ve put here isn’t the first thing that
came to you, then don’t worry about it, whatever you know works for you, you’ve
got your SMILE points, you’ve got your teacher’s notes, you may have your revision guide; whatever
gives you an instruction and you feel comfortable with, that’s what you’ve got to do, you’ve
got to write about what you feel confident about but it was asked for so these are the
ones I think just kind of sync in with each other quite nicely. So we start with ‘At The Border’ and that’s
looking at peoples’ lives and I thought it was really good to compare it to ‘Out
of the Blue’ because they’re sustained events and there’s the positive idea that
these people are actually going to get out of the situation and there’s a negative
connotation that he’s not getting out of it. At the same time these people are quite
deluded about the situation they’re in, thinking that everything is going to be better,
whereas this person’s very accepting and realistic about his situation. So you can
actually mix and match and play around with that. And ‘Poppies’ is an interesting
addition to this because it’s also looking at peoples’ lives, looking at the life of
the mother and how she deals with it and obviously the perspectives are different and the language
and the tone are very different, so there’s a lot to compare and contrast. Moving on then to ‘Yellow Palm’. Well,
‘Yellow Palm’ really focuses on an anti-war message, that’s probably the strongest thing
we get throughout that and we get that from ‘Mametz Wood’ as well, and both of them
have really negative connotations and also they’ve got the visitor’s experience in
both. So again, there’s a lot of things to actually compare and there’s a lot of
imagery in both as well, so there’s a lot to actually analyse and compare and link.
And another comparison you can add to that is the ‘Come On, Come Back’ where we’ve
got this other person’s experience being commented on again but this one’s more absurd
and this one actually takes it to an extent that’s more similar to ‘Mametz Wood’
in that there’s death at the end of it, clearly mentioned, whereas in this one it’s
obviously alluded to but we don’t actually see the dead but we know there’s death but
it’s just not directly in front of us. They both obviously have the negative connotations
in there, the anti-war. We’ve got the ‘Bayonet Charge’ next,
and that’s focusing on a soldier’s experience primarily and that can straight away be compared
to ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’, both of the negative actions in what they
were actually doing, even though the outcome for one is slightly more positive than the
other. Again, that’s a comparison point and we can add that to ‘Mametz Wood’ if
we were looking at the soldier’s experience and imagined it after they die as well. It
gives us a very interesting other angle. So looking at ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’
we can look at patriots, patriotism, etc., and ‘Flag’ is the one that actually came
forward and the reason I picked that one was because you’ve got the following of orders
and then the ambiguity of ideas and I thought they contrasted – if you look through the
videos and every single one of those was very ambiguous, and the reason I think that these
actually will compare is because they are both focusing on the patriotism, although
one is doing it very ambiguously, making you wonder what it could mean, whereas the other
one was unquestioning. So you’ve got that similarity and contrast straight away to actually
delve into. Remember, you’re only going to talk about
two, maybe three, four points in the whole thing, in terms of your main ideas or your
feelings, themes, attitudes that you’re actually going to discuss and then you’re
going to really flesh it out with analysis of all the things that support and bring you
to that and if you haven’t already watched, please, please have a look at the A/A* example
material that’s already up. Moving on then to ‘The Falling Leaves’.
Well that’s really focusing on death as is ‘Poppies’ and the tone of those two
is very similar, both the writers’ backgrounds in that are similar and they’ve got the
look from the outside, compared to ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’, because that’s
also about death but it’s in a much more heroic sense than the soft, consideration
of death that we find in these two poems. ‘Belfast Confetti’. That, well again that’s
one of the harder one to actually link to anything else. We look at the way people are
treated so that allows us to compare it with ‘At the Border 1979’ and we’ve got this
immediate reaction to how they’re treated by police, you know, being held up against
the wall and asked questions and in these ones it’s very slow, but again it’s still
a degradation, they’ve both been degraded but the pacing is very different. And I compared
that also to ‘Right Word’ because even though the poet’s only talking about the
person that turns out to be a child outside, the main emphasis that we’re getting is
that she’s still judging that person, therefore she’s still treating them differently and
she’s still coming to her own conclusions about them. Moving on to ‘Come On, Come Back’ we can
look at the absurdity of war and we can compare that to ‘Futility’ because of the idea
of the sun recharging here and this is the whole poem in ‘Come On, Come Back’ that
really helps us focus on the absurdity of war, but the tone is very different in both.
One’s kind of more satirical and one’s just very sombre. And we can also add ‘The
Right Word’ to that connection because the absurdity of what’s going on there is that
she thinks through all these ideas before she actually knows the truth and obviously
the first one couldn’t have been further from the truth when we know the end result. Moving on then to ‘Flag’. Well ‘Flag’
is very ambiguous, has very philosophical ideas, thinking about the nature of things
and is a flag this or is a flag that or is a flag this or is a flag that? And that allows
us to think about the right word as well, thinking of others and how they are and how
we judge them, etc., and the power of words. So there we’re looking at the power of words
and how they’re linked and here we’re looking at the power again of something, but
something different, we’re looking at the power of the flag itself and what it represents,
and with that any ornament or any object, artefact should I say. We move on then to the last one, ‘Futility’.
So ‘Futility’ here is really focusing on death and to some extent absurdity and
we can link that to the ‘Hawk Roosting’ because the thoughts on power there are very
absurd as well and he brings death wherever he goes. And we can link that later on to
‘Come On, Come Back’ which again deals with the absurdity and death, so it’s very
fitting in that trilogy there. So all these things that I’ve picked out,
like I said before, they’re not the only ways of doing it but some people asked for
a video on it, so I was happy to oblige and I hope that’s useful and all the best of
luck with the exam.

6 thoughts on “Conflict Poetry Comparisons (English Literature)

  1. really helpful. thank you. do you have a video which gives an overview on the conflict poems, what they are about and things to talk about?

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