Out of the Blue

I feel that the main emotions in this Out of the Blue extract are hope, fear and despair. There are multiple main emotions in this poem because as the poem goes on, the emotions of the narrator vary. He starts out with hope that he’ll be rescued, goes on to fear the ferocity of the fire and in the end, falls into the despair that he will not survive.

The first emotion used in the extract is hope. This is shown in the repetition of the word “waving”. This word is repeated four times in the same stanza. The repetition shows and emphasises how desperate the narrator is to be noticed. There is little to no chance that anyone will see him but the narrator clings to the hope that he will be rescued by waving at the people below.

His hope is also shown in that he speaks directly to the reader hoping to get a reply, from anyone. Additionally, his wording also shows his hope such as when he asks, “So when will you come?” Instead of asking whether or not someone will come rescue him, he asks when will they come to rescue him. This shows that he has hope that someone will definitely come to rescue him. Furthermore, Alternatively, by not confirming whether or not anyone is coming and just assuming that he will definitely be rescued could be a way to convince himself that he won’t be left to die and he could be covering up his fear that perhaps no-one is coming to rescue him.

The narrator also tries to sustain his hope throughout through direct appeal as shown in “I am not at the point of leaving”. This shows that he is determined to stay alive; determined not to let his hope die. Also, stating this to the reader could be that he’s pointing out that he’s not ready to die; he still has a chance of being rescued. Another example of the narrator’s determined hope is shown in “the white of surrender is not yet flying”. This shows that despite the futility of his actions, the narrator continues to believe that he will be rescued; he is not yet ready to give up his life. As the poem goes on, the narrator points out “I am still breathing”. This shows that his hope has paid off – he has managed to survive this far, so why should he stop any sooner? He could also be speaking to the other victims trapped in the building, saying that if he has managed to survive for this long; then what’s stopping them from reaching the same point, if not for longer than him?

Poppies

Jane Weir’s “Poppies” is an ambiguous poem centring around the emotions of sorrow and loss — different kinds of sorrow and loss are presented throughout the poem.

The first form of sorrow is the universal feeling all mothers experience when they realise that their child has grown up and can handle themselves. This form of sorrow is represented through the use of imagery such as in “gelled blackthorns of your hair” — this metaphor shows the mother that her son is no longer the soft, small child he used to be. He is grown up; he has toughened up and can take care of himself. The thought that the son can now take care of himself is represented by his “blackthorns”. In nature, most plants (like cacti or roses) have spikes or thorns on them to stop other predators from approaching them — the plant protects itself. Just like this, the image of the son having spiked hair shows that he is protecting himself; he has grown up and no longer needs his mother like he used to when he was little. This is sad for the mother because it means that whilst she still wants to stay with her son and play with him like they did when he was little, she has to accept that her son doesn’t need her anymore, he has to go out and live his own life; without her.

This also creates a feeling of loss for the mother because now that her son can take care of himself, it means that the mother has lost responsibility over her son; she has lost the right to look after him. There is also the feeling of losing her son to the world; he is now old enough to look after himself out in the world by himself, without his mother. Her sorrow is deepened when not only is she losing her son to the world, but she is also losing him to war. This is sorrowful because the mother knows that she might not ever see her son again; this could very well be her last moments with him. And although the mother just wants to stay at home with her son and she knows that she can’t do this; she has to be brave and let him go.

Another form of sorrow is where the mother is sad because she doesn’t know how or where her son is. All she knows is that he’s off to battle. He may be injured; he may be dead; but she doesn’t know. This is presented through the use of imagery in “bandaged”. This could hint that her son has been wounded in battle and has been bandaged. Alternatively, it could also refer to the mother being emotionally wounded at the loss of her son to war. If her son has failed to survive the battle, then it would cause the mother emotional distress as she was the one who let him go to war and in result, she has lost her son. Additionally, this is again shown ambiguously in “traced the inscriptions on the memorial”. This is ambiguous as it isn’t stated who’s name she’s tracing; her son’s, or just another soldier’s. It could be that she is tracing her son’s name as he didn’t manage to survive the battle or it could be that she is tracing another soldier’s name with the hope that her son’s name never appears on any war memorial. This hope could be sad because she doesn’t know whether her son will come back alive or if his name will be engraved into a war memorial; she doesn’t know if he has already died or is still fighting. She also doesn’t have any power over the fate of her son and it saddens her because she wished that he would be back home with her where she isn’t worried about him so much.

Futility

In my opinion, the main emotions in Futility are anger and sadness. The first stanza focuses on sadness and the anger is the main emotion in the second stanza.

Wilfred Owen was an anti-war poet whom died saving one of his soldiers. His anti-war beliefs are shown in the use of the word “him”. Instead of using a specific name, Owen uses the pronoun which symbolises every soldier that has died in battle; thousands of lives lost and they are seen as insignificant. Owen is angry at this because so many young men die in battle when they shouldn’t have to and they are only remembered by those close to them. Everyone else just sees these soldiers as a number; not for what great men they were and could’ve been. He is also angry because this is such a waste of life and no-one seems to realise just how precious life is. He shows this in “dear achieved”. This shows that life is not something easy to get; it takes time and struggle. And yet, life is wasted through war, putting all that time and struggle to waste.

This is why Owen is angry; because life is achieved after a struggle but because of war, all of it goes to waste and people don’t even realise it. His anger is further shown in “Was it for this the clay grew tall?” Here, Owen is questioning the purpose of life. If life is cut short in battle, then why does anyone bother struggling for life? If someone struggles to give life and that life is destroyed in battle, then what is the point of struggling for it? He’s almost saying that if we humans try so hard to destroy life, we might as well just not bother with it because it is that much of a waste.

Moreover, Owen also feels sad about life being wasted. This is shown in “of fields half-sown”. This refers to the now-deceased soldier whom has only lived half his life — there was much more that he had to experience; but unfortunately, he didn’t get to. It also refers to back home; this soldier may have come from a farming family and he hadn’t yet finished his job. He may have left the job half-done because it would give him the motivation to survive so he could go back, finish his work and resume his life. However, this is sad because now that he is dead, he won’t be able to finish his work; he won’t be able to see his family; he won’t be able to do anything anymore. It is also sad because the young soldier did nothing to deserve such a short life; he was an innocent victim of the cruelty of humans. This is also shown in “If anything might rouse him now”. It shows that if there will be any power in the world to wake him again, it will be the life-giving sun. This deepens the sadness Owen is feeling because it means that he is unable to do anything to save the young man; he is powerless against the power of death.

Share this Post!