Siegfried Sassoon Counter Attack Essay

In the essay below, he makes allusion to the scene in which Hamlet ponders mortality while studying the skull that is all that remains of a man he had known in life. Through the obscure depths of history we could make out the phantoms of great ships laden with riches and intellect; we could not count them. Peace is a time of creative rivalry and the battle of production; but I am not tired of producing?

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At dawn the ridge emerges massed and dun In the wild purple of the glow’ring sun, Smoldering through spouts of drifting smoke that shroud The menacing scarred slope; and, one by one, Tanks creep and topple forward to the wire. Then, clumsily bowed With bombs and guns and shovels and battle-gear, Men jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire.

Lines of gray, muttering faces, masked with fear, They leave their trenches, going over the top, While time ticks blank and busy on their wrists, And hope, with furtive eyes and grappling fists, Flounders in mud.

Petrarch's scheme in the first stanza of his sonnets is abba, abba.

In the second stanza, it is cde, cde (or cdc, cdc; or cde, dce).

By contrast, Sassoon's rhyme scheme in the first stanza is abab, cdcd. Sassoon's own experiences as an English soldier in France during the First World War inspired the poem.

An infantry officer, he fought in brutal trench warfare, performing heroically under heavy fire.

But, facing the reality of war, they dream of participating in ordinary events of little consequence historically.

All of the end rhymes in the poem except one are masculine.

Elam, Ninevah, Babylon were but beautiful vague names, and the total ruin of those worlds had as little significance for us as their very existence. And in the same disorder of mind, at the summons of the same anguish, all cultivated Europe underwent the rapid revival of her innumerable ways of thought: dogmas, philosophies, heterogeneous ideals; the three hundred ways of explaining the World, the thousand and one versions of Christianity, the two dozen kinds of positivism; the whole spectrum of intellectual light spread out its incompatible colors, illuminating with a strange and contradictory glow the death agony of the European soul. But he is an intellectual Hamlet, meditating on the life and death of truths; for ghosts, he has all the subjects of our controversies; for remorse, all the titles of our fame. "What about Me," he says, "what is to become of Me, the European intellect? Perhaps follow the trend and do like Polonius who is now director of a great newspaper; like Laertes, who is something in aviation; like Rosencrantz, who is doing God knows what under a Russian name? A certain confusion still reigns; but in a little while all will be made clear, and we shall witness at last the miracle of an animal society, the perfect and ultimate anthill." We'd gained our first objective hours before While dawn broke like a face with blinking eyes, Pallid, unshaved and thirsty, blind with smoke. We held their line, With bombers posted, Lewis guns well placed, And clink of shovels deepening the shallow trench.

But France, England, Russia...these too would be beautiful names. And we see now that the abyss of history is deep enough to hold us all. An extraordinary shudder ran through the marrow of Europe. While inventors were feverishly searching their imaginations and the annals of former wars for the means of doing away with barbed wire, of outwitting submarines or paralyzing the flight of airplanes, her soul was intoning at the same time all the incantations it ever knew, and giving serious consideration to the most bizarre prophecies; she sought refuge, guidance, consolation throughout the whole register of her memories, past acts, and ancestral attitudes. He is bowed under the weight of all the discoveries and varieties of knowledge, incapable of resuming the endless activity; he broods on the tedium of rehearsing the past and the folly of always trying to innovate. The place was rotten with dead; green clumsy legs High-booted, sprawled and grovelled along the saps And trunks, face downward, in the sucking mud, Wallowed like trodden sand-bags loosely filled; And naked sodden buttocks, mats of hair, Bulged, clotted heads slept in the plastering slime. A yawning soldier knelt against the bank, Staring across the morning blear with fog; He wondered when the Allemands would get busy; And then, of course, they started with five-nines Traversing, sure as fate, and never a dud.

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Comments Siegfried Sassoon Counter Attack Essay

  • Brief analysis of Siegfried Sassoon's 'Does it Matter?' - Learning and.
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    Click 'read more' for a brief analysis of Siegfried Sassoon's 'Does it Matter?', which is often studied by students as part of a unit on war of as Close Study of Text.…

  • Affect and Absence Irony in Siegfried Sassoon’s War Poetry
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    This piece, however, is not an essay on irony; neither is it an essay on the Great War and Modern Memory, the poetry of Siegfried Sassoon, or war poetry in general. To be frank, this essay deals only fleetingly with some of the poems that Sassoon wrote in the years between 1914-1918this paper attempts to indicate is how affect is conveyed.…

  • Siegfried Sassoon and Palestine - Los Angeles Review of Books
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    Siegfried Sassoon and Palestine. Sassoon wrote “Counter-Attack,” his most graphic war poem, one that Winston Churchill is supposed to have memorized. Los Angeles Review of Books, 6671.…

  • BBC - History - Historic Figures Siegfried Sassoon 1886 - 1967
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    Siegfried Sassoon was born on 8 September 1886 in Kent. and 'Counter-Attack' 1918. After the war Sassoon spent a brief period as literary editor of the Daily Herald before going to the.…

  • Siegfried Sassoon Modernist Commons
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    In his essay on Counter-Attack and Other Poems, Andrew Karas discusses Sassoon’s employment of “altered allusions” to reshape poetic tradition through “the torque of intense experience.” 2 According to another critic, Pericles Lewis, Sassoon’s war poetry contributed to a modernist rejection of conventional “poetic diction."…

  • Does it Matter? Analysis - Shmoop
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    Sassoon's poem has a pretty vague title, "Does it Matter?" Does what matter, Siegfried? He could be talking about, well, anything Does the color of your car matter? Does the pattern of clouds in t.…

  • Siegfried Sassoon - Siegfried Sassoon Poems - Poem Hunter
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    Siegfried Sassoon was perhaps the most innocent of the war poets. John Hildebidle has called Sassoon the "accidental hero." Born into a wealthy Jewish family in 1886, Sassoon lived the pastoral life of a young squire fox-hunting, playing cricket, golfing and writing romantic verses.…

  • Attack-Siegfried Sassoon by Kieron Lenton on Prezi
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    World War 1 poem. Blog. 19 July 2019. Summer content playlist 15 essential resources for business professionals…

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