War Is Kind
The Home Theme
If part of "War Is Kind" takes place on the battlefield, the other part takes place at home—away from the battlefield. But just because it's far away, doesn't mean it's not touched by war. The homes of the maiden, the babe, and the mother are broken places. There's something missing in all of them—a lover, a father, and a son. War doesn't just take lives; it destroys homes and families as well.
Questions About The Home
- What's the effect of war on the home front in this poem?
- Does the speaker seem at home on the battlefield? How can you tell?
- Does the speaker seem aware that his soldiers have homes apart from the battlefield? How might that change things?
- Do the soldiers in this poem, or in real life, feel at home when they are with their fellow soldiers?
Chew on This
The home front is supposed to be away from the war, but it's just as much a war zone as the battlefield itself: there is as much death and grief for the maiden, the babe, and the mother as for the soldiers fighting.
The speaker always talks about that darn battlefield, even when he's all snuggled up at home. Sure sounds like he feels more at home on the frontlines than in his actual house.