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The poet has a patriotic vision of the war

He wrote this poem at the beginning of the war. There are references to the countryside. The poet is not afraid of death. His dead body will enrich the soil with his dust. There is no emphasis on war in this poem. The poet speaks to English people. He sees England as a beautiful country: the traditional qualities he stresses are dreams, gentleness, politeness, joyfulness. The tone is soft, patriotic and idealistic. The themes are the exaltation of England and the idealization of the mother country and war

This poem has 2 stanzas and the rhyme scheme is AB AB CD CD – EFG EFG. It is a typical Petrarchan sonnet (an octave and a sestet)

There are images referred to death such as:
- dust (l.5)
- die (l.1)
- eternal mind (l.10)

These images suggest an idealistic vision of the world

Images connected to England

landscape:

- flowers (l.6)
- English air (l.7)
- ways to roam (l.6)

- rivers (l.8)

inner growth and private feelings:

- made aware (l.5)
- dreams happy (l.12)
- laughter (l.13)

Alliterations

die – this
foreign – field
body – breathing
by – blest
sight – sound
dreams - day


THE SOLDIER

TESTO
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day,
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

PARAFRASI

Se dovessi morire pensa solo questo di me:
Che c'è un angolo di una terra straniera
Che sarà per sempre Inghilterra Ci sarà
In quella ricca terra straniera una polvere nascosta ancora più ricca;
Una polvere che l'Inghilterra genera, che ha plasmato e reso consapevole,
Che diede, una volta, i fiori da amare, le sue vie da percorrere,
Un corpo inglese, respirante aria inglese,
Lavato dai fiumi, benedetto dal sole di casa.
E pensa che, questa cuore, liberatosi dal male,
Una pulsazione in uno spirito eterno, nondimeno,
Da qualche luogo restituisce i pensieri dall'Inghilterra ricevuti;

I suoi panorami e i suoni; i sogni felici come il suo giorno;
E la risata, imparata da amici; e la gentilezza,
In cuori in pace, sotto un cielo inglese.

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