I will analyze the styles and techniques used in both poems. The two poems will be compared, and I will also include some samples of texts from each poem to help illustrate what I am saying. The two texts that I’ll be analysing are “The Drummer Hodge”, by Thomas Hardy, as well as “Remains”, by Simon Armitage.
Thomas Hardy’s poem titled ‘Drummer HODGE’ was first published in 1899. The First Boer War was over and the Second Boer War was about to begin. The Second Boer War saw over 20,000 British soldiers killed, while more than 900 went missing and were never found. ‘Drummer Hodge,’ was written for these soldiers. Simon Armitage’s ‘Remains,’ published in 2008 was part of The Not Dead. The series is based on testimonies from ex-soldiers. The poem is not rhymed, as opposed to ‘Drummer hodge’. This helps the flow of the poem and its theme. The fragmentation makes it seem as if the reader is a participant in the conversation. This is a great way to engage the reader, as it makes them feel like a participant in what’s happening.
The ABAB rhyming patterns is repeated throughout the poem. It is a good way to show the theme. The rhyme scheme and syllable counts help create the beat of the poem. This reinforces the drum idea. The first, third and second stanzas use the present tense while the second is written in the past. This helps to convey the natural tone and the story that the poet is telling. The title for this poem is The Drummer Hodge. The abbreviation Roger is Hodge. Roger was a nickname for an English agricultural labourer. Hodge represents Second Boer War victims, as Hardy uses a name which suggests an ordinary working man.
The next step is to analyze the language and tone used in the poem. The tone is hostile. This could mean that the poet is hostile towards the Boer War. Hodge may also feel resentful that he is buried somewhere ‘foreign,”strange,’ and not in his native country. This poem uses a lot imagery. Each line begins with an image of earth and ends up with stars, like a burial. The idea that the terrain is strange and the stars are repeated is also emphasized. The’strange-looking stars’ could refer to the alienness of the country that the young drummer will be buried in. Hodge becomes a part of the earth where he lies buried. The stars help to give the impression of an expansive space where you can easily lose yourself. This is to illustrate how Hodge’s passing is eclipsed by the significance of war. The young drummer, if the war hadn’t broken out, would have died on British soil in his native land where he belonged and not abroad.
The poem ‘Remains is split up into eight stanzas. Seven of them are in unrhymed format, while the last stanza only has two lines. This stanza stands out because it is shorter than the rest. This helps to emphasize the fact that he cannot forget what he has done in killing an innocent man. The first four verses of this piece focus on the shooting, killing, and effects that the murder has on the poet. This poem’s title is “Remains.” It could refer to the body parts of the victim or it could mean that guilt is still lingering in the speaker’s mind. The next part of the poem is written in a monologue. The poem is written as if it were spoken directly by the speaker, giving the impression of a natural and fast-paced speech. There is no obvious rhyme scheme and the enjambment in some stanzas shows that this is a story being told naturally.
The next step is to examine the language of the poem. The speaker tells us his story in this poem, which is a narrated anecdote. The speaker uses slang throughout the entire poem. The poem begins with two lines in past tense. It then switches to present tenses for the remaining lines. This gives the poem a more immediate tone. The imagery is graphic and brutal. The images used to show the killing are brutal and graphic.
Both poems have themes of conflict and death. Drummer Hodge is a poem that focuses on the Boer Wars during which young drummers played a role and died in an unwelcoming place. The story of ‘Remains” is about a soldier’s struggle with his wartime experiences and the way that the killing of a man haunted the rest in his life. Both poems use graphic imagery and descriptions of war and death. One other similarity is the fact that neither poet has been to war. As a result, their poems are based of the experiences of others. The tone of the poem allows for a story. One of the main differences is that ‘Drummer Hodge uses rhyming techniques to create drumming effects throughout the entire poem.’ ‘Remains” does not contain any rhymes at all, which helps to reinforce the story-telling idea. The structure of the poem ‘Remains’begins to crumble at the conclusion, whereas that of the poem ‘The Drummer Hodge’has a much more regular pattern. Last but not least, ‘Drummer hodge’ is a past war, the Second Boer War. ‘Remains,’ however, is a modern conflict.
Both poems are a mixture of different styles, tones and languages that entice and inform the reader about the real experiences of the people who lived through these wars. Both poems have many similarities, but also some differences.