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Difficulty Rating: * * *

We Slept With Our Boots On

They unloaded the dead and maimed right before our eyes
They washed out the blood, we loaded our ruck’s and then took to the
skies
Over the mountains, villages, and valleys we flew
Where we would land we had not a clue 5
Bullets are flying, the LZ is hot
We’re leaving this bird whether we like it or not
30 seconds they yelled, Lock N Load and grab your shit
Get ready to go and make it quick
My heart is pumping adrenalin through all of my veins 10
I run as fast as I can through the lead rain
The noise is tremendous, terror I can’t define
The only reason I survived that day was divine
I kept pulling the trigger and reloading and pulling some more
You do what you have to do, with that I will say no more 15
We fought from the valleys to the mountain peaks
From house to cave, to car to creek
Dirty and tired and hungry and scared
We slept with our boots on so we were always prepared
Those majestic mountains so steep, so high they kiss the skies 20
The Hindu Kush has changed so many lives
Up the mountains with heavy loads we trod
Who knew hell was so close to God
Beauty and terror are a strong mixed drink
So we drank it like drunkards and tried not to think 25
Good men and bad men, Mothers lost son’s
Everyone loses their innocence when they carry guns
Washed in the blood, and baptized by fire
I will never forget those who were called higher
They say blood is thicker than water, well lead is thicker than blood 30
Brothers aren’t born they’re earned. In the poppy fields, the tears, and
the mud
And when I get to heaven to Saint Peter I will tell
Another Paratrooper reporting for duty sir, I spent my time in hell

Steve Carlsen
Difficulty Rating: * *
Rainbow Death

America did not foresee


Green, pink, purple and other colors death potpourri!
Expecting others to pay a high price.
Now thinking twice?
Toll on the innocent and unborn. 5

Omnipotent and disregarding who will mourn.


Reflective about all the illness, birth defects and prematurely dead.
All the deceit continues to spread.
Nefariously America led astray -
Generations untold WILL pay - 10
Execrable effects of agent orange spray!
Hubert Wilson
Difficulty Rating: *
Children in the Darkness

There are children in the darkness


Who have not seen the light
There are children in the darkness
Who someone will teach to fight

Chalk and blackboards will not be 5


To this door there is no key
From this life they can not flee
And these children are not free

Could we simply light a candle


Could we give them half a chance 10
Could we teach them how to read
Could we teach them how to dance

Or will a war consume them


Their body and their soul
Will their life and blood be poured 15
Down some endless thirsty hole

Back into the darkness


From which there is no flight
Back into the darkness
Into which there shines no light
Henry M Bechtold
Annex A

Steps in Analysis

Point Evidence Elaboration

1. Point of View

2. Situation and Setting


3 Language/ Diction

4 Personal Response
Annex B

POETRY ANALYSIS

1. WHO IS THE SPEAKER?

Is the voice dramatised? How is the speaker related to what is happening in the poem? How involved is he? (Check the
tone) What is the point of view he offers – is it social, intellectual, political, cultural or religious etc.?

ANALYSIS: POINT OF VIEW & CHARACTERISATION

How does the background of the speaker affect his perspective of the situation? What do the speaker’s thoughts and
feelings towards the situation reveal about his character? Is he reliable as a speaker? (Does his personality, character
or intellect affect his ability to interpret the situation or others correctly?) What do you think is the speaker’s function in
this poem? How does the poet’s representation of the speaker colour your perspective of and feelings towards him?

2. WHAT IS THE SITUATION? 3. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE POEM?

What is the historical / social / psychological / emotional setting? What are the central ideas raised? What areas of human experience are
What is happening at this setting? Is there an external or/and seen as important? What aspects of the human condition are
internal conflict? What is the nature of the conflict (ethnic, social, foregrounded or suppressed? Can you see any ways in which the poem
cultural, psychological, emotional, spiritual etc.)? refers to, uses or relies on other texts, myths, symbols, famous figures,
historical events, quotations etc. to convey its meaning? (i.e. does he
use allusions?)
ANALYSIS: THE SITUATION & THE SETTING
ANALYSIS: THE THEME
How is tension created and how is the climax produced (through
the use of contrasts, through incremental repetition of diction, Is the meaning of the poem explicitly or implicitly conveyed? Are there
through the variation or development of imagery, through question different levels of meaning in the poem (literal and symbolic)? What is
and answer etc.)? Is there a resolution to the conflict? What is the value of the allusions used?
significant about the way the conflict is created and resolved? What
is the significance if there is no resolution of conflict? What are the What generalisations about life or human experience are made in this
fundamental causes of the conflict? poem? What elements of the poem contribute most heavily to the
formulation of the theme? What is the value or significance of the
What is the function of the setting: background for action/ poem’s theme? Is it topical or universal in its application?
antagonist/means of creating atmosphere/means of revealing
character/means of reinforcing theme? How are the functions of the
setting fulfilled in this poem?

HOW IS THE MEANING OF THE POEM CONVEYED?

4. FORM & STRUCTURE 5. LANGUAGE

Is the poem a sonnet, ode, ballad, villanelle, dramatic monologue, What kind of figurative language (imagery, metaphor, simile, symbol,
narrative, epic etc.? Is blank or free verse used? What is the layout personification, hyperbole, metonymy, motifs, conceits etc.) is used?
of the poem? What kind of metre is used? Is there a noticeable Is the diction used technical, flowery, colloquial, cerebral, obscure,
rhythm which falls into a pattern? Where are the pauses? ironic, childlike etc.? Is the language explicit or implicit (e.g. is there
the use of understatement / ambiguity / puns / paradoxes)? Is the
word order straightforward or unconventionally crafted? Is there
ANALYSIS OF FORM experimentation with language (i.e. is there any unusual word
collocation / innovative use of words / breaking of grammatical rules
etc.?) Is there repetition of or emphasis on certain words?
ANALYSIS OF LANGUAGE
How does the poet fulfil or subvert the conventions of the poetic
form to convey his meaning? How does the poetic form develop the
line of argument or enhance the meaning of the poem? How does How effective is the poet’s use of language in conveying the meaning of the
the structure emphasise significant features (e.g. is a particular line poem? Are there shifts in the use of language? What functions are
isolated for emphasis? Does repetition reinforce an idea or served by these shifts? Is language used to reveal, distort,
emotion? Is there an emerging argument which relies on the embellish, conceal, subvert the truth?
structure for its effect?) Does the rhythm emphasise a particular
idea or emotion? Does the use of pauses call attention to significant
words in the poem and isolate particular ideas?

STYLE & TONE


6. SOUNDS

Is the poetic style comic, lyrical, ironic, scholarly etc.? What kind of humour is
used? What kinds of irony are used? What is the tone of the
What kind of sounds are in the poem (e.g. end rhyme, internal speaker? Is there a discrepancy between the speaker’s tone and
rhyme, masculine rhyme, feminine rhyme, half rhyme, eye rhyme, the tone of the poem?
alliteration, consonance, assonance, onomatopoeia etc.)?

ANALYSIS OF STYLE AND TONE

ANALYSIS OF SOUNDS
Is the style adopted appropriate for the discussion of the concerns in the
poem? How does the style enhance the meaning of the poem? How does the
How does the use of sounds relate to the meaning of the poem? tone adopted affect the mood of the poem and reveal the attitude of the
speaker / poet? How is the meaning of the poem enriched with the use of
irony? What are the functions served by humour?
Personal Response to the Work

What qualities does the poem evoke in you as a reader?

What learning, experience, taste, interest, values have you acquired as a result of your reading of this
poem? What are the feelings and thoughts evoked in you after reading this text?

What is your historical and cultural distance from the poem?

What can you say about the difference between your culture’s views of the world, your own experiences,
on the one hand, and those of the voice, characters, and the world of the poem on the other? What is it that
you might have to understand better in order to experience the poem the way someone of the same time,
class, gender and race might have understood it? Is it possible that your reading might be different from
theirs because of your particular social / racial / gender / class and historical context? How does your world
govern the way you see the world of the text? What does the text tell us about the world of its making?

Reference used: ‘Critical Analysis of Poetry’ by John Lye