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Analysis

The Soldier Setting

Where It All Goes Down

We can sum up the setting of this poem in one word for you, gang. Two syllables. Ready? Here they come: England. That's right: England from the speaker's past, England in a foreign field, heck—even England up in heaven! No matter where the speaker's mind roams (because the poem literally takes place in his mind, rather than, say, a London pub), it always finds England. Of course, for any good soldier and patriot, it's expected that home will be high up on the list of things to appreciate and think about. What's really telling about this poem, though, is the way that England so dominates our speaker's thoughts and takes over every possible setting—real or imagined. And what's not to like? We're told that it's got flowers, rivers, sun, air that's nice and breathable. Sounds like a good place to us. For the soldier, though, this setting is everything. It dominates his mind, and this poem.

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