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Quotes

Quote #1

The unexplained glory flies above them. (9)

"Glory" here refers to a flag. It is unexplained in this poem because it makes no sense to fight for something as flimsy as a flapping piece of fabric. Rather, it makes no sense to kill people because they happen to be from a different country and fight under a different flag.

Quote #2

Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom
A field where a thousand corpses lie. (10-11)

The speaker seems patriotic, but only when it comes to the battle-god ("great […] great"). He speaks highly of this god of death, and seems only concerned with satisfying him, rather than worrying about all those dead bodies.

Quote #3

Swift blazing flag of the regiment,
Eagle with crest of red and gold (17-18)

Red and gold on a flag? The red makes us think of all the blood on the field of battle, and the gold reminds us of that yellow trench from earlier. A flag equals patriotism, red and gold equal death, therefore patriotism equals death. Okay, so that's maybe a bit of a stretch. But we think it's there in the poem. What do you think?

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