★ The Kiss:
○ Themes: gun use, praising the use of the power of firearms.
○ Tone: ironic, since it portrays a poem that talks about war in a romantic
○ Lyrical I: “To these I turn, in these I trust”, as we have no information
about the voice of the poem, we don’t know if it’s a he, a she or even a
it, so we called him/her “lyrical I”.
○ Alliteration: Full of alliterative “S”
■ “Sweet Sister” the alliterative S emphasizes the oxymoron
created as Sister symbolises the bullet, and bullets are not
sweet at all. It’s controversial, so it’s an oxymoron.
■ “He spins and burns and loves the air”, the alliterative S is used
to ironically portray the beauty of the brother, that he is able to
“love” the air. An oxymoron is presented as he actually is used
for aggressives events, in firearms, so he does not actually love
the air, he destroys it.
■ “splits a skull”: alliterative S to emphasis the emotion of admiring
the Sister power.
■ Brother: in the poem, this refers to the loyal lead, which is used
in firearms. The lead is personified and it is called “brother”.
■ Sister: in the poem, this refers to the gun used to fire the bullets.
The gun is personified and it is called “sister”.
■ “blind power”: in the poem it refers to the incredible power held
by the use of a gun.
■ “kiss”: in the poem this refers to the act of the bullet hitting the
■ “loves the air”: This is ironic since a weapon does not love, its
personification shows us that it rather destroy things than love
■ “from your downward darting kiss”: through this metaphor the
poet is able to describe the act of the bullet hitting the body of a
person. Through his ironic tone, he describes this act with love,
when it actually has nothing about it.
■ “I guard her beauty clean from rust”, here the poet portrays his
affection of firearms, he protects his steel from rusting.
■ “She glitters naked, cold and fair”, the voice presents the firearm
with such admiration that he describes the “darting kiss” with
something beautiful, shining, glittering.
■ “Sweet Sister”, a gun can not be sweet.
■ “good fury”, fury can not be good.
■ “He spins and burns and loves the air”, the personified lead
used for firearms doesn’t love the air, it destroys it.
■ “To his blind power I make appeal”, in this visual image we can
see how powerful the brother, the lead is, as the lyrical I trust the
weapon blindly. This means that the voice trust in his weapons
out of sight.
■ “up the nobly marching days”, visual image presenting war.
○ Message: In this poem, the poet conveys the idea of the power of
firearms during the war, and it praises its components and how it has to
be taken care of.
This was the gun used during the war. This represents the “Sister”. It is personified.
This was the “darting kiss”.
★ In Time of The Breaking of Nations:
○ Themes: war, death, battlefields, aftermath.
○ Tone: careful and alerting.
■ The first stanza is full of alliterative “S” to emphasise the empty
setting at war, the effects and the consequences of it as war
brings death and loneliness.
● “harrowing clods”
● “Slow silent walk”
● “old horse that stumbles and nods”
● “half asleep as they stalk”
■ “Slow silent walk”, the alliteration portrays the fact that the man
is alone, since everyone else is in “silence”, they are all dead.
■ “Half asleep as they stalk”, the poet uses the previous simile to
express the fact that war weakened the man and the horse in
such a way that they are described as being almost asleep.
“Sleep” represents death, so the poet emphasizes the fact that
they are dying, or at least that they are so ill that they soon will.
■ “only a man”, they are all dead.
■ “old horse”, referring to death as it’s near it.
■ “maid and her wright”, ghostly apparition.
■ “only a man”, visual powerful image emphasises the conditions
after war, the fact that everyone else is dead.
■ “Slow silent walk”, auditory and a visual image on how dark and
cautious the man was, he is so damage from war that he is not
able to walk properly.
■ “Thin smoke without flame”, this visual and tactile image
describes the postwar conditions of the fighting.
■ “from the heaps of couch-grass” this visual image illustrates the
setting after war, as it describes the damaged grass after it has
been in flames.
■ “come whispering by”, through an auditory image, the poet
successes calling the reader’s attention to express his message
as whispers contained value and secret information.
○ Hyperbaton: “yet this will go onward the same”, emphasizes the fact
that no matter who is fighting against, their will always be war. The
fighings are inherited to the following generations and so on “through
○ Message: The message of the story is that war will always happen no
matter who is in charge. “Yet this will go on wards the same though
Dynasties pass”, even though time passes on, war will always meet the
following generations. The poet is telling us that when there are people,
there is war. So by illustrating and showing the effects of our horrible
encounters, he is trying to warn us the consequences of our acts. He
does this with the desire that we can analyse whether the fights worth
the destruction they caused. The poem is trying to prevent new wars,
by presenting the damages past ones caused. The poet presents a
ghostly apparition, symbolising death, to reveal the truth of war: “War’s
annals will cloud into night Ere their story die” By presenting the
previous metaphor, the poet emphasises the fact that what happens at
war will disappear because everything that takes place at it, dies.
This is the aftermath after a battle which can happen during war. Here we can see
the “slow silent walk”, few men, an “old horse”, “thin smoke without flame” coming
“from the heaps of couch-grass”.
By Juana Pérez Muniz and Vignesh Manwani