Soldier, Rest! … And other poems

For this weeks Literature virtual period our teacher gave us the following assignment.

  1. Check out the following page:
  2. Absolution by Siegfried Sassoon 

The anguish of the earth absolves our eyes 

Till beauty shines in all that we can see. 

War is our scourge; yet war has made us wise, 

And, fighting for our freedom, we are free.


Horror of wounds and anger at the foe, 

And loss of things desired; all these must pass. 

We are the happy legion, for we know 

Time’s but a golden wind that shakes the grass.


There was an hour when we were loth to part 

From life we longed to share no less than others. 

Now, having claimed this heritage of heart, 

What need we more, my comrades and my brothers? 

The title of the poem is Absolution, which means “formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment”. I believe that the choice of word for the title makes reference to the fact that he was seeking a release from war, he didn’t want to fight anymore.
In this poem Sassoon, who fought in World War 1, is parting to the front line with his comrades. On the first stanza he gives name to all the things that have to happen before the war he is fighting ends. Which for him would be a long time as he believed that the war was being prolonged by the government. In this first stanza he also names the things he fights for, his freedom for example. On the second stanza he shows with simple vocabulary some of the few things that happen during war, the wounds, the anger, the loss of friends and time. Finally in the third stanza he asks his comrades, if there is anything else that they need, they will have everything waiting for them in their return, and when they are gone they will each other.
3. Compare it to “Soldier, Rest!” 
These two poems are very different. Mainly becuase Absolution is poem that takes place during the war, in which we can see soldiers parting to the front line, and where the author mentions what war involves, the feelings of the soldiers, and others. But “Soldier, Rest!” is a poem about death in war.  In which the author is telling the soldier that he does not have to worry about fighting, bullets, waking up in the middle of the night to hear the sound of weapons, because now he will “Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking”. The being the main difference in the poems, we also see that both authors come from different centuries, and have different vocabularies. Sassoon, uses more simple vocabulary, and Scott uses a more vulgar, but not in a bad way, kind of vocabulary. He uses words as if he were a soldier talking to another comrade, telling that he does not have to worry about war anylonger, he may sleep forever.
4. Illustrate it with pictures and explain which different parts of the poem they illustrate.

This picture shows the main events of war

Here we can see what parting for soldiers was like. In the back of the picture we read “new hope” that is what they seeked the most.

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