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Patriotism What is the speaker suggesting America stands for? . next to of course god america i. The poem is mocking an American patriotic pro-war speech.

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next to of course god america i
next to of course god americai

The poem is mocking an American patriotic pro-war speech.

  • List the patriotic images and texts the poem references to show how American citizen’s patriotic feelings can be manipulated by politicians.
next to of course god america i as a dramatic monologue
next to of course god americaias a dramatic monologue

The last line makes it clear that the rest of the poem is spoken by a character, rather than reflecting the poet’s own opinions.

  • What sort of character is he?
next to of course god america i structural techniques
next to of course god america i: structural techniques

Technique

Possible Meaning

The character speaking is giving a speech

The speech, however, is muddled and meaningless – the poem then is a parody of a political speech. The content is ironic.

  • First 13 lines are within speech marks – it is a first person dramatic monologue.
  • Last line is in 3rd person describing the person giving the speech.
  • No full sentences
  • Limited punctuation making phrases sound confused and meaningless
slide5
Flag

The poem is about the power of a national flag. It’s presented as a conversation between two characters.

One character asks questions about the flag and the other character responds, explaining that the flag has the power to make people fight wars and die.

flag structural techniques
Flag: structural techniques

Techniques

Possible Meanings

Creates a cynical mocking tone

  • Second line in each stanza is shortest & is a refrain
  • Rhyme scheme links the questions with the answers
  • Use of a 2nd refrain – in each stanza the questioner asks about a flag
  • Final question in last stanza is different – the question changes
  • Final two lines rhyme & final response is end-stopped
comparing flag and next to of course god america i
ComparingFlag and next to of course god americai
  • Compare the poems’ cynical attitudes to patriotism? Where is it apparent in each poem?
  • Why according to these two poems are soldiers willing to die for their country?
  • How do the two poems’ structures draw attention to their critique of patriotism?
  • Both poems use imagery of blind patriotism: ‘rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter’ and ‘blind your conscience to the end’. What iseach poet saying in these lines?