Comment 10 of 450, added on May 30th, 2005 at 9:13 PM.
Unfortunately, it seems most people have comletely misinterpreted this
poem, or more tragically, completely misunderstood Crane's message. Stephen
Crane was vehement in his opposition to the idea of war and any of its
implementations. The poem is intended to be ironic; ironic in the very
words: "war is kind" for war is anything BUT kind, ironic in the scenes it
depicts and ironic in its message, which is just a reiteration of what we
are all told by society: that the courageousness, the romanticism, and the
valor excuses the brutality, the destruction, and the murder of war. Crane
felt that war was infantile, barbaic and useless. In this poem, society is
revealed in its hypocracy, the human slaughter known as war revealed in all
its tragic irony, and the mystery of heroism, the mystery of war, is
revealed in all its...well, mystery.
Comment 1 of 450, added on December 1st, 2004 at 4:40 AM.
It seems that war does not and never will have an admirable reputation.
Many tragic outcomes come to realize when war is acted upon humanity.
Survivors of war are the only individuals that endure the terrible pain and
hold the truth of the cruel tactics of killing one another. So many
survivors of war can write on paper their experiences and their deep
thoughts of war, but to create an impact that will widespread to every
reader can be possibly accomplished by creating a new form of writing
manner, such an example was accomplished by Stephen Crane created in the
1890’s. It is declared that Crane wrote one of America’s first anti-war
poems, “War is Kind.” The unusual style that Crane decided to express his
feelings on how brutal and gruesome war is created a variety of clichés in
his poem that are deliberate-have a point, a devastating point (Seldmen
Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind.
Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
Do not weep.
War is kind.
The narrator begins to recount the death of the maiden’s lover. He depicts
that the soldier on top of the horse fighting for what they were brought
upon was shot to death and the horse, startled by the gunshot, ran on
alone. The illustration produces an image of viciousness toward the men in
war, but still the narrator requests to the maiden not to weep because war
is kind. This shows that, the cynicism in this stanza strongly informs the
reader what sane person might say these cruel words to a devastated maiden
who had just lost her lover in war. However, this creates an impact, it
enlightens the reader to think beyond what the poet wrote. The cruel death
of the soldier describes tragic incidents that take place during war.
During times of war in the past centuries horses have been powerful
instruments to soldiers. These instruments led the way to victory without
even knowing it. The narrator also declares that they thirst for fight:
Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,
Little souls who thirst for fight,
These men were born to drill and die,
These animals are forced to undergo the cruelty of war, but nonetheless the
narrator implies that they crave for fight. He continues with the men
affirming that they were destined to use killing instruments and kill.
Surely the sarcasm is duly noted; by no means a human is born to cause such
acts such as war. Along with the unexplained glory, the men are glorified
at the battlefield. The mockery clearly states that there is no glory in
Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom-
A field where a thousand corpses lie.
The battle-god and his kingdom illustrate the malice of battle, although
disguising the battle-god as a great god and mentioning his kingdom serves
as a cliché for “War is Kind”.
The third stanza depicts another tragic incident of a soldier’s death in
warfare, nevertheless this occurs to a daughter’s father. Her father raged
at his breast, gulped and died (“War is kind”, Crane).
Do not weep, babe, for war is kind
Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
The scene is situated in a trench where it seems there was an attack of in
all probability a poisonous gas, which gives the impression that the father
suffocated. The narrator the reader visualizes the brutal death of the
soldier trying to grasp on to his life, but he can no longer resist the
pain and unintentionally endows his life to death. The narrator repeats the
same previous words he advised to the maiden:
Do not weep
War is kind.
There is no virtue from slaughter and the excellence of killing, which is
a request that the narrator solicits to the soldiers. The derision has an
upsetting line of reasoning towards war. How can someone pursue a soldier
that war is noble and with the intention of brilliance in killing?
Mother whose heart hung humble as a button
On the bright splendid shroud of your son,
Do not weep.
War is kind.
This scene was written to create impassive feelings toward the deceased
son. The bright splendid shroud portrays as a joyful object, although the
death of a loved one is terrible incident to take place. In company with
the final words, “Do not weep”, forms the style that Crane had begun with
Stephen Crane sought to express his thoughts concerning the cruelty and
wrong doings of war. The result was an incredibly ironic poem. The poem
depicts a series of explanations given to the relatives or lovers who had
just passed away in war. The narrator, the army, describes the scene and
the harsh conditions the soldier endured during combat, thus creating irony
that war was not gentle toward the soldier. Through the use of refrain
lines and alliteration, Crane is capable to put across the satirical
message that war is kind.
from United States