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Losses

Rating: 3.6

It was not dying: everybody died.
It was not dying: we had died before
In the routine crashes-- and our fields
Called up the papers, wrote home to our folks,
And the rates rose, all because of us.
We died on the wrong page of the almanac,
Scattered on mountains fifty miles away;
Diving on haystacks, fighting with a friend,
We blazed up on the lines we never saw.
We died like aunts or pets or foreigners.

(When we left high school nothing else had died
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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Aftab Alam Khursheed 22 September 2014

Woes of war..Dying and not dying..If ruined cities they are witnessing the death due to human folly and rest Susan has described nicely

7 10 Reply

It is not dying that we fear but the violence in our minds That makes the bombs we drop And keep the war machines in their grind

9 9 Reply
Susan Webster 25 July 2006

One of the great poems about the alienation of war, expressing particularly well the narrator's lack of life experience. He has nothing but high school to compare to the huge, all-encompassing experiences of war. His lack of any life beyond high school before he is sacrificed in the war increases his loss - he has lost all the potential of his life - and he doesn't really understand why he is making this sacrifice. Jarrell is, to me, the great poet of WWII, and a better poet at conveying the existentialism of the warrior than any of the great English WWI poets.

22 8 Reply

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