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This is the Dark Time, My Love - Literature Notes

Please note that the information given on this poem is not meant to replace any material given in the classroom setting. It is a very BASIC giude to enable a literal understanding of the poem. Metaphorical interpretations should be sought in the classroom.

The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the text. 1.This is the dark time, my love, 6.All round the land brown beetles crawl about. 2.The shining sun is hidden in the sky. 3.Red flowers bend their heads in awful sorrow. 1.This is the dark time, my love. It is the 7.season of oppression, dark metal, and tears. It is the 4.festival of guns, the carnival of misery. Everywhere the faces of men are strained and anxious. 5.Who comes walking in the dark night time? 5.Whose boot of steel tramps down the slender grass? It is the of death, my love, the strange invader 9.Watching you sleep and 10.aiming at your dream. 'Carter, M. 'This is the Dark Time, My Love' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005.

This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others. 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.

but in extreme danger. the persona is telling his 'love' that it is a period of extreme sadness. implies that this person is not only vulnerable. lines 14 . The 'slender grass' is the innocent youth who is cut down and trampled by these 'boots of steel'. TONE The tone of the poem is also a sad one. 8. The fact that we are given this information through the use of rhetorical question adds mystery and intrigue to the poem. ie soldier. it implies that a lot of dead or decaying bodies exist in the land. RHETORICAL QUESTION   Stanza 3.'Watching you sleep' Sleep is a state of extreme vulnerability. 9. . places. watches the persona's 'love' while he/she sleeps. Stanza 3. line 13: This device informs the reader/ audience that a threat exists and that it comes in the dark of night. 10. Therefore. they fall into unconsciousness. when the persona states that they crawl about. which equates to a state of defenselessness. The persona is giving his 'love' sad and depressing news. is the soldier. The fact that the man of death.'aiming at your dream.5.'All round the land brown beetles crawl about. dark metal. and tears.' Some variety of brown beetles are scavengers that feed on decaying or dead carcasses. MOOD/ ATMOSPHERE The mood of the poem is a sad one. 7. Therefore. in this context.'man of death' The man of death.'season of oppression.' A season is an extended period of time. IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES 6. or desires. This sadness is brought about by the 'dark metal'.15: It is implied that the threat is a soldier through the term 'boot of steel'. This is the case because when one falls asleep.' The man of death's purpose is to destroy the persona's 'love's' dreams. which can be literally interpreted as vehicles of war. THEMATIC CATEGORIZATION Racism.

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