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Identify and explain the figures of speech in the first to stanzas. What impression does each create? How is the mood established enforced by the rest of the poem ?

The Battle by Louis Simpson

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Helmet and rifle, pack and overcoat

Marched through a forest. Somewhere up ahead

Guns thudded. Like the circle of a throat

The night on every side was turning red.

**** Soldiers marching into battle surrounded by gunfire. The red night symbolizes blood and death.

****Immediate dehumanisation of the soldiers in the opening lines of the poem, use of synecdoche: ‘Helmet and rifle, pack and overcoat/Marched’

****Anti-heroic description of the soldiers, deglamorisation of war

****Onomatopoeia: ‘Guns thudded’

****Simile: ‘Like the circle of a throat’

They halted and they dug. They sank like moles

into the clammy earth between the trees.

And soon the sentries, standing in their holes,

Felt the first snow. Their feet began to freeze.

****Stark realities of war: ‘Their feet began to freeze’

****Moles/ simile