“Tell brave deeds of war.”

Then they recounted tales, —
“There were stern stands
And bitter runs for glory.”

Ah, I think there were braver deeds.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Stephen Crane's poem “Tell brave deeds of war.”

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie H says:

    The quotation marks seem to indicate either two or three speakers or parties. If three, the first is asking a second — a group of people — a question, then a third recalls the event and comments on it. If two, one speaker recalls asking a group of people a question to which the original later supplies a different answer.

    “Tell brave deeds of war,” the one asks. “There were stern stands / And bitter runs for glory,” another responds. But a third, or the first at a later time, disagrees, offering another opinion. This speaker suggests there were more “brave deeds of war” than “stern stands” and “bitter runs for glory.” But what are those “braver deeds?” In disqualifying “stern stands” and “bitter runs for glory” as the bravest, the speaker could be suggesting that events and actions taking place off of the battlefield are bolder still. Mothers and wives allowing sons and husbands to leave their homes? Army doctors and nurses caring for injured soldiers in field hospitals? Frightened soldiers playing cards in the trenches and cheering up their brothers? Soldiers with confederate relatives choosing to fight for the union? In a sense, these are all “deeds of war.” The commentator in the poem may be saying that these sorts of actions are braver than what might happen on any battlefield.

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