The Charge of the Light Brigade
How we cite our quotes:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke; (lines 32-3)
An exciting moment. It sort of sounds like the Light Brigade is winning right now, doesn't it? Can't you picture this moment in a movie, when the two armies collide? We imagine Russell Crowe out in front, swinging his sword and killing three enemy soldiers with every blow, riding through the smoke like it wasn't even there. OK, maybe that's just us, but you can still feel the clashing, noisy, smelly impact of this line, right?
Reeled from the sabre stroke
Shattered and sundered. (lines 35-6)
Even though this is a poem about war, it doesn't say much about real, brutal violence. Here's one spot where it definitely does, though. We feel the force and the agony of cutting swords splitting ("sundering") flesh and bone. Nice poetic style moment too – hear all those "s" sounds? "Sabre," "stroke," "shattered," "sundered." Cool, huh? That's why they paid Tennyson the big bucks.