Wednesday, 14 January 2015

ANALYSIS OF SMALL PAIN IN MY CHEST ICSE – CLASS – IX – X – ENGLISH

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ABOUT THE POET


·        Michael Mack
·        Born – 1946 Missouri, USA
·        He is poet who prefers writing ballads, villanelles and sonnets.
·        Notable works –
I )“Balladeer – The poetry of Michael Mack”
                              ii. He is the moderator of the website entitled as “Passions of Poetry”


ABOUT THE POEM

            ‘ Small Pain in My Chest” is another addition to the ‘Anti war’ poem group. This poem joins the crusade against the uselessness and negativity of war. Two soldiers met and the conversation of the two soldiers is the poem. One of the soldiers is having a small pain in his chest. The other offers him help if any he could. The soldier said that he desired for a sip of water. We witness how the boy slowly died at last leaving a feeling against the cruelty of war.

AN ANTI WAR POEM

            Like Southey and Owen, we find ‘Small Pain in My Chest’ to reflect strong condemnation against war. This poem through the conversation between the two soldiers reflects that war brings pain, separation, agony, hatred and above all loss of all innocent lives. The death of the young soldier hints that war mongers do go in the battle field and fight rather guileless young soldiers are sent to kill and to be killed. War does not bring any solution war kills human and humanity.


AN EMBODIMENT OF BALLAD

“Small Pain in My Chest” is written in the ballad form. The total poem tells us a story in the form of poem. The poem comprises stanzas and can be sung to musical instruments. It has a refrain, particular rhyme scheme and filled with many poetic devices.

USE OF REFRAIN

            A Refrain is a repeated line or number of lines in a poem or in a song that comes typically at the end of each verse. We find “Small Pain in My Chest” to be repeated throughout the poem with slight variations. The refrain generally carries the main message of the poem. Here the refrain hints at the horrors of war, pain and suffering of a soldier in war.

HORRORS OF WAR

            “Small pain in my chest” gives us a vivid account about the brutal side of war. Nothing influences a soldier in the battlefield than the fear of being killed and the task of killing the enemy. They have no space for emotion, feelings, sympathy or leisure. To live and to kill are what they follow. Food, rest, recreation etc. become baffling to them. We find a dying soldier asking for aid from the narrator. He is injured and about to meet the horn of death. He finds himself lucky as his injury is not severe as he is alive in comparison to those who met their death already. He goes on describing the last night’s horrible battle. How two hundred of them climbed hill and on reaching at the top he got a small pain in his chest for an explosion. We find at last how the young soldier because of heavy loss of blood died and gives us a feeling of pang.


STRUCTURE OF THE POEM

            “Small pain in my chest” is ballad with a refrain. The poem has the musical tenet. The whole poem is of 36 lines and divided into nine four line stanza. It maintains the rhyme scheme of aa bb. We find the use of alliteration , inversion , enjambment , imagery , refrain in the poem .


STANZA WISE EXPLANATIONS

STANZA – 1

            Seeing a soldier boy sitting calmly, the narrator approached him. He was calling for the narrator. Throughout the night the young soldier fought hard and long battle. In the morning’s light many dead bodies can be seen here and there.

Poetic Devices in use

1)    Alliteration – ‘that tree’, ‘through the’.

STANZA – 2

            The young injured soldier asked for aid to the narrator. He craved for a sip of water that every dying soldier desires. They fought for all day and night and now what they need is a sip of water as he is having a small pain in his chest.


Poetic devices in use.

1)    Antithesis – “we fought all day and fought all night........”

STANZA – 3

            The narrator could see reddish brown stain on his shirt symbolising the blood from the injury. The stain was of blood mixed with local dirt. The young soldier said that he is lucky to have a small pain in his chest because all his companions are already dead.

STANZA – 4

            The young soldier said that he must have gone old or must be fatigued because in spite of the sun shining he was feeling cold. Actually he was being engulfed slowly by death. Then he said how yesterday two hundred of them climbed the hill and on reaching the chest there was a big explosion which created the pain in his chest.

STANZA – 5

            Injured, the soldier tried to get some help but he found only dead bodies and big and deep craters in the earth. He kept on fighting but at last sat down with a small pain in his chest.

1)    Enjambment only thing I found .../were big deep ...


STANZA – 6

            When the narrator handed him the water bottle he thanked him with a smile which seemed to be the brightest one to the narrator. The young soldier says that he is a bit ashamed that a man of his stature and size could be defeated by a small pain in his chest.

1)    Alliteration – ‘think the’, ‘seems silly’, ‘man my’.

STANZA – 7

            He remembers what his wife and mother would think seeing him in this way. He thinks what his wife would think when she would see her husband so weak and lonely ; what would his mother think that held him to her breast when she would see him here with a small pain in his chest.

Alliteration – ‘what would’, ‘my mother’

STANZA – 8

            He asks the question whether the sun will set very soon because he finds the sun to be dim. He thought the day just began. Actually he was about to die so he lost his visibility. He said that he wanted to rest before going and then the soldier died.

STANZA – 9

            The narrator says that he does not remember what he did. He might have cried. The narrator held him and pulled to his side tight and he could feel their wounds pressed with each other. The wound of the narrator was the large one than the small pain in the chest of the young soldiers.


The author is a passionate blogger, writer and educationalist. This blog is created to ease troubles of the Cbse students. The author holds multiple blogs and the writer of the Novel KALCHAKRA, OOM AND THE CHOSEN FIVE..

7 comments :

  1. Sir,
    thanks for everything about the poem but the poet or at least the the picture of him is incorrect ,there are two Michael mack's living in the USA both are poets and have served in the US air force but the writer of this poem is the other michael mack as this was confirmed by the michael mack who's picture is given in this article

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  2. Too many grammar errors. Needs editing. Interpretation is also wide off the mark. The author has glorified the extremely brave and determined young soldier. The poem is sung during army cremations to inspire other soldiers to inculcate similar values in them, to fight valiantly, and defy tragedy. Where is the mention of anti-war sentiment?

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    Replies
    1. If you can point out the grammatical errors, I would be happy to see them.

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  3. Thank you, Sanskar Sahu. The picture of the author (me) is not correct. I am hoping that this was an innocent error on the part of the poster and not intentional.

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  4. thank u because of u i was able to finish my project

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  5. A little more poetic devices were there on each stanza .... U missed those

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  6. Ok publish the picture of michael ma cm3 who wrote small pain in my chest

    ReplyDelete