|Link to a Reading of the Poem|
The persona speaks to some-one that he cares for. He tells this person that this is the dark time, which is, in essence, a time of sadness. It is implied, by certain key terms; such as ‘dark metal’, that it is a time of war. The persona warns his ‘love’ that it is a dark, sad time.
Stanza 1, line 1 & stanza 2, line 7: The repetition of this phrase highlights that there is something seriously amiss. The persona is telling his ‘love’ that this is a sad and terrible time. 2. ALLITERATION
This device literally draws the readers’ visual attention to the sentence. The sentence implies that everything that is good and positive is hidden away, or gone. This alliteration sets a sad tone at the very beginning of this poem. 3. PERSONIFICATION
This device emphasizes the sad tone of the poem. This is the case because flowers are usually associated with feelings of happiness and cheerfulness. Therefore, if the flowers – embassadors of joy – are sad, then it highlights how really sad the times have become. 4. METAPHOR
The contrast in this device is startling. The terms ‘festival’ and ‘carnival’ not only describes fun and festivity, but also a large amount of each. Both words are associated with huge crowds. This emphasizes how terrible the times have become because guns and misery are plentiful. 5. RHETORICAL QUESTION
Stanza 3, line 13: This device informs the reader/ audience that a threat exists and that it comes in the dark of night. Stanza 3, lines 14 – 15: It is implied that the threat is a soldier through the term ‘boot of steel’. The ‘slender grass’ is the innocent youth who is cut down and trampled by these ‘boots of steel’. The fact that we are given this information through the use of rhetorical question adds mystery and intrigue to the poem.
IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES
6.‘All round the land brown beetles crawl about.’
Some variety of brown beetles are scavengers that feed on decaying or dead carcasses. Therefore, when the persona states that they crawl about, it implies that a lot of dead or decaying bodies exist in the land. 7.‘season of oppression, dark metal, and tears.’
A season is an extended period of time. Therefore, the persona is telling his ‘love’ that it is a period of extreme sadness. This sadness is brought about by the ‘dark metal’, which can be literally interpreted as vehicles of war. 8.‘man of death’
The man of death, in this context, is the soldier. 9.‘Watching you sleep’
Sleep is a state of extreme vulnerability. This is the case because when one falls asleep, they fall into unconsciousness, which equates to a state of defenselessness. The fact that the man of death, ie soldier, watches the persona’s ‘love’ while he/she sleeps, implies that this person is not only vulnerable, but in extreme danger. 10.‘aiming at your dream.’
The man of death’s purpose is to destroy the persona’s ‘love’s’ dreams, or desires. MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE
The mood of the poem is a sad one. The persona is giving his ‘love’ sad and depressing news. TONE–
The tone of the poem is also a sad one. THEMES–
Racism, War, Oppression, Dreams and Aspirations, places.