Sandburg And Heaney

Decent Essays
Poetry of War War causes human beings to experience many different emotions. Civilian bystanders and military members become uneasy, restless, and anxious. Also, like in every war, sacrifices are made and lives are lost. Carl Sandburg and Seamus Heaney do a great job interpreting the feelings and emotions felt during and between times of war in their two poems, “Grass” (Sandburg) and “From the Frontier of Writing” (Heaney). Though both poems are on similar topics, the authors use different literary techniques to get their point across to their audience. The poems may be very similar in the literal meaning because both poems use war as the topic, but they have different figurative ideas that are hidden behind the powerful text. Both Carl Sandburg…show more content…
To best understand the poems about war, “Grass” and “From the Frontier of Writing”, one must look back into the history of the poems. In the poem “From the Frontier of Writing”, Heaney is writing from a time where a civil war was ongoing between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. The speaker crosses a frontier from one of the countries to another. The process is fearful due to the interrogation felt by the soldiers at the frontier with weapons drawn upon them at ready conditions. This process during a time of war can be quite fearful for not only civilians but for military members as well as. The poem “Grass”, was published at the end of World War I, in a time where many could relate to loss and death by means of war. Sandburg mentions many different battles throughout history in the poem such as, “Austerlitz” (1), “Waterloo” (1), “Gettysburg” (4), “Ypres” (5), and “Verdun” (5). The battles were not picked randomly. All of the battles that Sandburg listed were outstanding in their time period and were known for being very bloody battles that had high percentages of casualties. Sandburg revives the following battles to retrieve the emotions and feelings of loss and death that are still very much felt throughout the different…show more content…
The title “From the Frontier of Writing” comes from the frontier from one country to another. In a time of war one can say that most writing and stories come from the frontier and beyond. Most people that are not directly involved want to know what is happening and want to see writings and stories of those directly experiencing the effects of war. All of the action is taking place at and beyond this “frontier”, thus it is the point Heaney chooses to discuss because it is the first point that those not affiliated with and directly threatened by war. In “From the Frontier of Writing”, a person is speaking from experience of the passing of an entry control point at the border of one country to another. In the statements through out the poem, “Towards your window” (4) and “suddenly you’re through” (19), he uses the second point of view as a way to tell readers his personal experience and instruct one on how the passing of that checkpoint might go. The speaker feels a sense of anxiety and nervousness while being stopped due to “the guns on tripods”. When going through any military checkpoint or entry control point, it can cause one to experience many different emotions and feelings of powerlessness, anxiety, violation, and fear, even when that person may have nothing to
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