Spain 1809 is a truly gripping poem. It’s not just a poem but a story that teaches you many things and this will explain everything that this poem is trying to expose to the reader. Its will go into every detail and analyze each stanza. Different techniques will be used like personification, similes, metaphors and much more. To quickly explain this poem tells of a Spanish woman during when the French invaded the Spanish. It is set in a small village named San Pedro and the villagers have fled away into the forest in hiding as a few French soldiers came to burn the village down. Unfortunately the Spanish woman could not flee with the village as she was to weak and ill, she was with an elderly woman and her baby. This poem really inspires you, it tells you about how brave this woman is and how not brave the soldiers are.
The poet conveys the horror of war through a simile, which describes the wine look like there is a river of blood running down the street. Soon after the soldiers come to the village to take food for them they realize there is none and that the wine has been poured out onto the street and so the poet writes:
“The wine from goatskins, slashed and hacked, that sprawled like human dead.”
This comparison is effective because it shows that the villagers have been clever to pour out all the wine and burn all the food so they can’t take from the village. The villagers have thought that they do not want to help these French soldiers, so by giving them no food for when they come they are making things hard for the French soldiers. But it also explains about how it is like blood crawling down the street, so it shows that this is a very hurtful war and blood and bodies are everywhere.
The poet conveys the horror of war through suspense and it shows that this is the turning point, when the French soldiers realize they have been tricked. A while after the French soldiers thought the wine was safe enough to drink, FL Lucas writes about the soldiers realizing that the wine is poisoned:
“Laughing and eating, while the wine went round, carefree until…”
This comparison is effective because the two words “carefree, until” creates suspense and anticipation in the reader and we read quickly onto the next line to find out what has changed. Its shows just like the pause at “carefree, until” the soldiers also paused for a moment in total shock, they stopped eating and drinking and as “Our hearts stood still.” Came along, its shows they paused to consider the dreadful possibility of having drunk the poisoned wine.
In this stanza, FL Lucas conveys the horror of war with repetition and describes that the village is like a ghost town, absolutely silent. After the villagers flee, the French soldiers appear and the poet writes the village:
“Not a sound. Not a soul. Not a goat left behind.”
The repetition of the word ‘not’ shows that the place is barren, empty, deserted and that there’s an eerie silence. This really sets the mood and it shows that the soldiers are actually terrified from the creepy silence.
Just like these horrors there are heroism included, the heroism will show the bravery of the woman and the contrast between her and the cowardly soldiers.
The poet conveys the heroism of the Spanish woman through an oxymoron, which describes that the woman trying to act well and not give anything away.
The soldiers have a suspicion that the wine is poisoned and so the soldiers have told the woman what would happen, the woman has forced herself to drink the wine and this expression shows:
“Calmly she took and coldly smiled.”
This comparison is effective because the words ‘coldly smiled’ don’t usually go together. They tell us although the Senora is smiling with her mouth her eyes are dead and full of hate. A smile is usually warm and welcoming, but her smile is the opposite of that.
The poet conveys the heroism of the Spanish woman through word choice, which describes how hatefully she is cursing these men.
The soldiers have realized the wine is poisoned and they have got the Spanish woman, the baby and the old woman ready to kill and this woman curses them by saying:
“Now you are paid!”
This comparison is effective because it shows how she is courageous enough to stand up to these men, even though she knows she’s going to be killed brutally and she hisses at them through gritted teeth. The woman, with absolute venom, utters the words: ‘Now you are paid.’ She has been successful, and the French soldiers have been ‘paid’ back for their dreadful actions.
The poet conveys the heroism of the Spanish woman through word choice, which describes the courage of the woman and how brave she was to face these soldiers.
The soldier who hadn’t drunk the wine is still alive to tell the tale but that pale face of that Spanish woman still haunts him. These final lines sum up the main ideas of the poem: the huge sacrifice made by the young Spanish woman. This poem is a tribute to her bravery and determination against all the odds. Of all the ‘brave’ deeds he witnessed during his time as a soldier, hers was the most moving. She is far more worthy of our respect than any other of the soldiers in the poem. She fought with her heart, not a gun.
To conclude, the poet F.L Lucas who wrote this poem, Spain 1809, had written this with absolutely all the effort. He has passed a message that will make us think hard of how great this world would be like without all these men trying to be brave. F.L Lucas has used many different techniques that will make us become interested and it’ll give us a lasting impression. This story conveys the horrors of war and the heroism of the Spanish woman. This poem really contrasts, as it shows the horrible cruel actions of the soldiers and them violently mocking the Spanish woman yet the heroism shows the bravery and selflessness woman and how in the end she stands up for herself and how she fights with her heart.
The amount of suspense makes the reader persuaded to read more, it also leaves them confused and hopeless of what is happening next. This poem is very inspirational, it doesn’t just show bravery it shows how intelligent that woman is to think really quickly and plan ahead. I believe I have learned a lot in this poem, it has shown me the less important things can be the most ruling things but we have to fight it and stand against it. The quote that really left a lasting impression was: “Calmly she took and coldly smiled” It creates imagery that’s very haunting but upsetting.
Courtney from Study Moose
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