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Does it Matter?

Does it Matter?


by Siegfried Sassoon

Stanza 2 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 6-7

Does it matter?—losing your sight?
There's such splendid work for the blind;

  • The speaker repeats the first words of the poem ("does it matter?"), only this time he asks if losing one's sight matters. Looks like we've got a refrain on our hands, Shmoopers. Stay sharp.
  • He again gives a semi-sarcastic response, saying that "there's such splendid work for the blind," so you know, it's NBD if you lose your sight because you can just get a job that doesn't require, um, seeing. And it will be splendid. Yeah, because work is the only thing someone who has lost their vision worries about.

Lines 8-10

And people will always be kind,
As you sit on the terrace remembering
And turning your face to the light.

  • The speaker again tells the soldier that "people will always be kind" while he sits on the "terrace" looking towards the "light" and reminiscing.
  • What do you think the soldier might be "remembering"? The war? What he used to be able to see?
  • Line 10 packs a major wallop. A blind person can of course turn to face the light—but he can't see it. He can only feel the warmth on his skin. The light will have gone out. 
  • So, just like in the first stanza, the soldier is missing out on something that other folks can share in—namely, a nice sunbath on the terrace. 
  • But it's cool, you know, because people are nice to him. So he shouldn't complain. (Or so says our speaker.

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