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” The Field-Mouse”, “War Photographer” and “Thistles”

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1143
  • Category: Poems

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All three poems, which I chose, are on the subject of conflict. In “Thistles” for example conflict is between the plants and the man trying to kill the plants, but he is trying to control nature and this fight will continue forever. This poem describes man’s eternal battle with nature. In the “War Photographer” the conflict is between the majorities of people who do not care about the war, because it is somewhere in the opposite part of the world, but the war photographer was in Vietnam and Beirut and he saw all the horror of the war. The author of the poem is trying to explain to people that they cannot just stay apart and they should react in some ways. In the third poem “Field-Mouse” the conflict is between peaceful life and battles between ethnic groups and religions. In this poem the author the comparing her peaceful life in Welsh countryside and horrible war in Bosnia, which is not in the other side of the world, it is in Europe, not so far from developed European countries.


The mood of the poems is different. In “Thistles” the Mood is rather aggressive, but in the beginning of the poem the sounds were mostly soft. You can hear in the poem a lot strong sounds like “R” or “TH”. Words like “spike”, “revengeful burst”, “thrust” and “splintered weapons” have harsh violent sound, reminding us of cruelty and hand-to-hand fighting. In the “War Photographer” sounds are strong and painful. The Author is trying to explain for all people that if the war is not in your country, it does not mean that here is no war at all. The Author is suggesting that people are too insular.

In the last poem “Field-Mouse” the mood is different in every verse. In the first verse the mood is really peaceful and quite. Everything seems perfect and usual. But there is a hint in phrase “The air hums with jets”. This phrase shows to me that something disturbing the author and something is not OK. And then suddenly in the second verse pain and horror are coming. I can see it from these images, “Killed flowers”, Quivering mouse”, “Curls in agony” and “Field hurts”. The third verse continues the atmosphere from the second verse and shows how the war changes the people itself, in the first verse for example: “Over the hedge our neighbour travels his field in a cloud of lime, drifting our land with a chance gift of sweetness”, but in the third verse “my neighbour turned stranger, wounding my land with stones.”


In the poem “Thistles” the author uses a lot of imagery. Nearly every sentence contains metaphors or similes. An example of the simile is “they are like pale hair and the gutturals of dialects”. An example of the metaphor could be “their (thistles) sons appear, stiff with weapons, fighting back over the same ground”. In the poem “War Photographer” the poet uses difficult imagery. For instance this simile is from the first verse ” the only light is red and softly glows, as though this were a church and he a priest preparing to intone a Mass”. Also in this poem the author compares “Rural England” lifestyle and people lives in the wars all around the Earth. Some of poet’s metaphors are sarcastic and sad like for example “a hundred agonies in black and white from which his editor will pick out five or six for Sunday’s supplement”. The poem “Field-Mouse” contains a lot of imagery as well. An example of simile is “their bones brittle as mouse-ribs”. Most imagery in this poem is showing horror of the war. I can see it from metaphors like “the long grass is snare drum”, “through the killed flowers”, “the field lies bleeding” and “it curls in agony big as itself”.


In “Thistles” Ted Hughes shows this “feud” in language that echoes the ancient battles between the English and the Vikings. You can find words like “fistful”, “weapons”, “thrust”, “blood”, “feud”, “fighting” evoke images of real battles between men and nature. “Thistles” is written in a difficult language and this is not the kind of vocabulary we would normally associate with the pastoral work of the farmer. In “War Photographer” the author used simple and contemporary easy language. The poet uses a lot of alliteration and onomatopoeia. For example phrase “with spools of suffering set out in ordered rows” from the first verse contains alliteration. And the example of the onomatopoeia is from the second verse “solutions slop”. In “Field-Mouse” the author uses every day language and it is quite simple. The poet uses onomatopoeia in the first verse “the air hums with jets”.


The poem “Thistles” is written in three-line verses but there is no rhyme scheme. I think the poet chose this structure because it better shows conflict between thistles and men. This poem contains four verses and all lines are different length. In this poem are short verses and mostly long lines. The poem “War Photographer” describing the thoughts of the war photographer. Rhyme scheme of this is more regular. The poem contains four verses and each verse has a rhyme. In this poem I can see that every sentence is different length. Some of the sentences contain just one word and some like three lines. In the “Field-Mouse” the author uses three long verse structure but without any rhyme in the poem. Poet uses long lines as well. Both poems “Thistles” and “Field-Mouse” describe farmers working in the field.


In conclusion I want to say that all three poems, which I compared, in some cases are similar and in are different. For example poems “War Photographer” and “Field-Mouse” both describe the war and how horrible it is to live in the country where is the war. All three poems are describing conflict. In ‘Thistles” conflict is between men and thistles, In “War Photographer” conflict is between majority of people who don’t care about the war and some people who try to explain how important is this problem. In “Field-Mouse” conflict is between peaceful rural England and terrible war in Bosnia. And the author trying to say that the war is not in the other part of the world, it is here in Europe not so far from England. All the poems trying to prove something for readers and this is one more similarity between them. The poems “War Photographer” and “Field-Mouse” shows people attitudes for the war in general. And “Thistles” are actually describes war as well, but not war between two nations or countries, between plants and humans. Lastly all three poems protest against aggression from people and I think this is the main idea of authors who wrote them.

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