Killing Shot to the Heart of the Rhetoric of the Pro-War Movement:

The Man He Killed" by Thomas Hardy

Often, 'poetry' is narrowly though popularly defined as the use of heightened or self-consciously poetic language to deal with a particular theme that exists outside of the realm of everyday life. Poetry is seen as impractical, as opposed to an essay, for instance, a written medium that directly engages on an intellectual level with issues of importance. However, Thomas Hardy's poem "The Man He Killed" powerfully punctures such notions of poetry being removed from the language and the issues of real life. The poem, through the use of colloquial rather than metaphorical language, captures the voice of a soldier who has just killed a member of the opposing army. The soldier expresses an inner humanity that exists beyond the empty rhetoric of national propaganda. However, Hardy also makes use of irony...
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