Bad Dreams-Poetry Analysis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By hollynmcginn
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http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/Afghanistan_War_Poetry.html

Bad Dreams
When you send a lad away
To a foreign hot land
To fight in a war he doesn’t understand
When he comes back
He brings more than just a tan

He’s probably not ok
He’s probably not all right
He’s probably in a dark place
Whether it’s day or night

Governments and Media
With their pack of lies
Will never tell the truth
But try to convince you otherwise

It feels like my eyes
Have been stretched wide open
Now and then
I have trouble coping

Images of memories
Imprinted on my mind
The boy they knew before
Is what they’ll never find
Alex Cockerill,
2010

The central meaning behind this poem is that a soldier is trying to describe that what he’s seen and experienced in war has changed him, battered him. It explains in the poem with the third and forth stanza; “Governments and Media, With their pack of lies. Will never tell the truth, But try to convince you otherwise. It feels like my eyes, Have been stretched wide open. Now and then, I have trouble coping.” about how he’s having trouble dealing with what he’s had to do. He feels that what his beliefs were when he first began, were misguided and not wholly truthful. Mr. Cockerill used forms of irony and metaphors to explain his thoughts. He described being in the dark, whether it was day or night, an ironic statement showing how alone he feels. He explains that he feels that his eyes have been stretched open wide open; an example of a metaphor, showing how much he’s had to take in. The most powerful line in this poem is in the last stanza, “Images of memories, Imprinted in my mind. The boy they knew before, Is what they’ll never find.” It shows how truly broken war can make a soldier and how hard it is to live with the decisions they’ve been told to make.

A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses…...

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