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Explication Essay On Henry Reeds Naming Ionic Compounds

Analysis And Interpretations Of Reed's Poem, Naming Of Parts

“Today we have naming of parts”. In the poem “Naming of parts” written by Henry Reed, the author uses subtle text to get his message across. The poem could be interpreted two ways; one way is that the poem depicts a group of military recruits receiving a lecture from their head officer on guns and how to use them. Another interpretation of this poem could be about love making, and what young men should be doing with their parts. In the spring they should be learning what to do; and enjoy them selves. Young men have a vital role in this poem, through learning about guns and the birds and the bees, this is helped by the many interruptions that help realize this idea.
The men are a vital role in the poem, as the general, uses his military background to help guide and train the “privates” he also distinguishes the role that the men will have to play later on with after the war is done and over with. To help realize this idea it is developed through the speaker, imagery and irony
The poem could be interpreted in two ways, there are two speakers, 1 persona speaking and the second person is who their speaking to. Throughout the poem the speakers change from verse to verse. In the second stanza: “This is the lower sling swivel. And this/ Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see, /When you are given your slings”. This could be a direct comparison of a general talking to his troops and discussing the parts of the rifle. The general could have two motifs for discussing the rifle; one could be that he must train his troops or “privates” for battle. The next could be, after the war is done and over, many of the troops would’ve been killed in battle and the population would be significantly lower. As this poem was written in 1946 I thought of the baby boomer generation and how those young privates that were in the war would return home; and as they would be returning home they would think about what the general had said and find a woman and start a family.
As the author continues on in his other verses, we see that imagery plays a vital role in this poem. “We can slide it/ Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this/ Easing the spring. / And rapidly backwards and forwards/ The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers: / They call it easing the spring”. Noticeably the author Henry Reed uses nature...

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The theme of "Naming of Parts" by English poet Henry Reed is “War”. In this poem, the poet explores war’s effects on young men who desire in their hearts to enjoy life for the beauty it offers. However, these men are inducted into warfare by their respective governments and these governments’ geopolitical agendas.

The focus of this poem is contrasting the mechanical, boring, ‘naming of parts’ of a weapon of warfare, with the aesthetically pleasing elements of life. These pleasing aspects of life include the natural beauty of the physical environment around them, the flora and fauna of the earth. This is expressed in the line “Japonica/Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens”.

The contrast here, as the theme of War is explored, is that the soldiers are under duty to learn and understand the parts of a rifle (and how they work). They will become proficient at killing, while the earth and its beauty and bounty are witnesses against them of their destructive behaviour.

In essence, the world around us, in its splendour, silently accuses humankind of its penchant for chaos and destruction. The world around us does not take sides. It laments for all opposing parties who engage in war and its destructive results.

This abomination of the ruination of the creation is also referred to in a line in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament, which says, “… and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth. (Portion of Revelation 11:18; American King James Version).

The theme of War is also discussed in that Henry Reed considers that men of war, - in fact all who engage in war, whether voluntarily or involuntarily - are not of eloquent gestures when they perform warlike acts. Humankind in general is not eloquent at all when it inflicts pain on one another. Nonetheless, simple branches of trees “Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures”. People can destroy the eloquence of the environment around them.

Other pleasing aspects of life are also conveyed in the discourse in the poem, especially about the beauty of lovemaking. As noted above, this isn’t obviously pointed out. Upon studious reading, this is recognized; it is an indictment against human beings for considering War not Love, within the Family of Man. It evokes a 1960s nostalgic “Make Love not War” feeling, however hackneyed and antiquated that seems today. The poem includes a reference to bees – the birds and the bees if you like.

The poem speaks of horrific War against the backdrop of spring, love, almond-blossoms, flowers, and such. War is man-made. It is mechanical in its cold precision. It often relegates feelings to the basement of our psyche, so that on the upper floors we concentrate on the objectives of War.


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