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For the Union Dead

For the Union Dead


by Robert Lowell

For the Union Dead Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why does Lowell write a commemorative poem for something that happened almost a century ago? 
  2. If the poem is about Union soldiers, what's the point of bringing in all the stuff about the aquarium? 
  3. What's up with Boston, according to the speaker? How do you think the speaker feels about the place? What evidence is there to support your opinion? 
  4. What's the overall tone of the poem? Disappointed? Triumphant? Critical? A mixture? Does it change? Why do you think so (or not)? 
  5. Do you think this poem does a good job of commemorating Shaw and his soldiers? Why or why not? 
  6. Do you think this poem addresses the Civil Rights movement? If so, in what way(s)?

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