Siegfried Sassoon Counter Attack Essay

Siegfried Sassoon Counter Attack Essay-3
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?- smv We had long heard tell of whole worlds that had vanished, of empires sunk without a trace, gone down with all their men and all their machines into the unexplorable depths of the centuries, with their gods and their laws, their academies and their sciences pure and applied, their grammars and their dictionaries, their Classics, their Romantics, and their Symbolists, their critics and the critics of their critics. But the disasters that had sent them down were, after all, none of our affair. Have I not exhausted my desire for radical experiment, indulged too much in cunning compounds? Should I not perhaps lay aside my hard duties and transcendent ambitions? By giving the names of progress to its own tendency to a fatal precision, the world is seeking to add to the benefits of life the advantages of death.

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?- smv We had long heard tell of whole worlds that had vanished, of empires sunk without a trace, gone down with all their men and all their machines into the unexplorable depths of the centuries, with their gods and their laws, their academies and their sciences pure and applied, their grammars and their dictionaries, their Classics, their Romantics, and their Symbolists, their critics and the critics of their critics. But the disasters that had sent them down were, after all, none of our affair. Have I not exhausted my desire for radical experiment, indulged too much in cunning compounds? Should I not perhaps lay aside my hard duties and transcendent ambitions? By giving the names of progress to its own tendency to a fatal precision, the world is seeking to add to the benefits of life the advantages of death.

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The author died in 1967, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less.

This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

Society frequently depicts war as an exciting adventure offering opportunities to prove one's mettle and win glory.

But, says Sassoon in presenting his theme, war is a brutal ordeal for soldiers in muddy, rat-ridden trenches facing bullets and artillery bombardment--and the sight of bloody uniforms, torn limbs, and twitching bodies.

Masculine rhyme occurs when only the final syllable of one line rhymes with only the final syllable of another line.

Feminine rhyme occurs when two syllables (or more) in one line rhyme rhyme with two syllables (or more) in another rhyme.At such times, what occupies their minds is not thoughts of heroic deeds but dreams of what really matters in life: "firelit homes, clean beds, and wives" (line 8) and other ordinary, mundane activities.Young men ordinarily dream of participating in extraordinary events and becoming part of history.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. 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.After several years of fighting, though, most soldiers saw the war as a hellish and pointless nightmare.Intellectuals like Paul Valery were also disillusioned by the war, and many feared that the West and its liberal values would not long survive. We were aware that the visible earth is made of ashes, and that ashes signify something.Siegfreid Sassoon illustrates the dramatic transformation most soldiers went through after experiencing World War I.Englishmen like Sasson initially thought of themselves as involved in a heroic effort to defend liberalism and the British way of life.

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Comments Siegfried Sassoon Counter Attack Essay

  • Does it Matter? Analysis - Shmoop
    Reply

    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
    Reply

    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.…

  • Brief analysis of Siegfried Sassoon's 'Does it Matter?' - Learning and.
    Reply

    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.…

  • BBC - History - Historic Figures Siegfried Sassoon 1886 - 1967
    Reply

    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.…

  • THE DEATH-BED - Siegfried Sassoon - Blogger
    Reply

    The poem “The Death-Bed” by Siegfried Sassoon stands out amidst the rest of the war poems because of its choice of focus. Rather than in-depth descriptions of war wounds and battles, the speaker describes the senses of the soldier. It describes the "crimson gloom" and the “opiate throb and ache that was his wound” 9-10.…

  • Suicide in the Trenches - UV
    Reply

    Siegfried Sassoon, Biography. At this point Sassoon’s poem “Suicide in the Trenches” evokes the image of a young man, a child, in despair. According to the title of the poem, we realize that it refers war. The title suggests the suicide of somebody in a trench.…

  • Affect and Absence Irony in Siegfried Sassoon’s War Poetry
    Reply

    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
    Reply

    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.…

  • Siegfried Sassoon Modernist Commons
    Reply

    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."…

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