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Rock Street, San Francisco

The soldier who is telling his story is sitting in the war trench at sunrise or in his words, the “druid Time”. The Druids are an ancient civilization who at sunrise made sacrifices to their gods. This leads readers to believe that the soldier is sitting among what could be interpreted the human “sacrifices” that war had taken. Around him there are soldiers lying dead for seemingly no good reason. To be talking in the tone of curiosity rather than pain and horror in that situation, it shows that he has numbed himself to the feelings that would naturally come to him because he is so used to seeing the display of death. He then has a final break in his mind, using the death of a poppy to symbolize death of soldiers. He says, “Poppies whose roots are in man’s veins/ Drop and are ever dropping;/ But mine in my ear is safe-/ Just a little while white with the dust.” He had just picked the poppy from the parapet, taking it from its nutrients causing it to stop growing. This is ironic because the flower, though safe from being trampled, is already a dying cause, just like him. He gives up, even while knowing he is going to die, he chooses to numb his emotions again, and move on till his day comes. Personification is rarely used in this poem. The two areas personification is used is when he talks about the sleeping green and the queer, sardonic, and droll rat. The green grass is given the personification of sleeping to reflect the death of the soldiers who lay on it. As a whole, the soldier is referring to No Man’s Land. The second personification is used on the rat. The rat is given the human qualities of being sarcastic, odd, and amusing. In essence, the poem, uses tone and personification to show the theme that endless conflict makes it impossible for soldiers to completely suppress their emotions.

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