Saturday has shone its face once again. Sadly, I am behind on posting and it has been a week since my last post, Sharing Saturday Forty. So, I am at last posting and today I will be sharing a short poem with you and my thoughts on the meter used throughout the poem.
I recently stumbled upon a verse that commemorates fallen soldiers on the Thermopylae battlefield at which the Persian’s attacked the fortified Spartans. It is heart-rendingly sad and thought inducing. The poem is below and beyond that is a paragraph articulating my personal opinion on the meter that infiltrates the work.
“Inscription for a War”
Linger not, stranger. Shed no tear.
Go back to those who sent us here.
We are the young they drafted out
To wars their folly brought about.
Go tell those old men, safe in bed,
We took their orders and are dead.
The poetic meter of an “ Inscription for a War” creates a beat that seems to count out the final moments of the dead in verse. The poem consists mostly of iambic pentameter which is slower and stresses the syllables in the manner of a heartbeat or the pounding of drums. This is an excellent meter for the poem, a commemoration of men who died in a battle planned and brought about by those who would never fight at the front line as mentioned in the third stanza, “Go tell those old men, safe in bed, We took their orders and are dead.” The meter does not break throughout the entire poem seeming to never end just like a memory forever passed on. It affects the mood of the poem by infusing it with hope through remembrance for the young drafted to fight a war in which they want no part or know not the true horrors of war. However, it also adds a finality and acceptance to the poem with the constant beat of the iambic pentameter. Overall, the poem seems to be a symbol for all the wars that have been waged throughout history and the meter seems to batter out the never-ending constancy of war. In the end, the author excellently uses iambic pentameter throughout the six line “Inscription of War” to complement the contents and ideas contained within it creating a poignant commemoration for those long forgotten.