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Five Ways To Kill A Man Analysis



Author: Poetry of Edwin Brock Type: Poetry Views: 4628

There are many cumbersome ways to kill a man.

You can make him carry a plank of wood

to the top of a hill and nail him to it. To do this

properly you require a crowd of people

wearing sandals, a cock that crows, a cloak

to dissect, a sponge, some vinegar and one

man to hammer the nails home.Or you can take a length of steel,

shaped and chased in a traditional way,

and attempt to pierce the metal cage he wears.

But for this you need white horses,

English trees, men with bows and arrows,

at least two flags, a prince, and a

castle to hold your banquet in.Dispensing with nobility, you may, if the wind

allows, blow gas at him. But then you need

a mile of mud sliced through with ditches,

not to mention black boots, bomb craters,

more mud, a plague of rats, a dozen songs

and some round hats made of steel.In an age of aeroplanes, you may fly

miles above your victim and dispose of him by

pressing one small switch. All you then

require is an ocean to separate you, two

systems of government, a nation's scientists,

several factories, a psychopath and

land that no-one needs for several years.These are, as I began, cumbersome ways

to kill a man. Simpler, direct, and much more neat

is to see that he is living somewhere in the middle

of the twentieth century, and leave him there.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

indeed, a very impacting poem, but i dont get the point of the 20th century. is it bc the prev wars or todays cruel humankind?

| Posted on 2014-08-07 | by a guest


.: :.

What surprises me on this page is that there are a good many (poor) affirmations and few good questions. Here are a few:
If we consider the first death to be one of a saint, even a non-death because Jesus was resurrected, and the second to be an heroic death, what types of death are the others?
Is a chronological explanation the only one possible? What evolution can we find?
Last elemental question: is physical death the only type of death? Clearly the poet is speaking of himself and he wasn’t in a coffin while writing this. Why does he consider himself to be dead?
Happy thinking
Khiasmos

| Posted on 2012-06-16 | by a guest


.: :.

I think the last stanza is about the environmental and economical crisis that we were and are now living through.

| Posted on 2012-05-03 | by a guest


.: :.

It seems to have gotten lost in the conversation that the poem was published in 1963, not 1950, and certainly not in the 21st century. Each stanza pretty clearly refers to fairly specific historical times: the crucifixion (probably of Jesus, since the \"cock that crows\" wasn\'t a requisite part of crucifixions in general); armoured knights at war in medieval England; World War I in the early 20th century in Europe (men in muddy trenches beleagured by rats, bombs, and deadly mustard gas); the use of the hatom bomb on Hiroshiima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II; and finally, Brock\'s commentary on his \"modern\" times, that the \"simpler, direct\" way to kill a man is just place him in contemporary society and let him be.

| Posted on 2012-03-04 | by a guest


.: :.

Basicly the fifth stanza is actually quite confusing but it says that the 1950s was the time of hell at the end of the war and people lost there family. People also were afraid of someone pressing the leaver to set off a nuke. If you need help with this becuase you are doing it for an esay check out my you tube channel. It has lots of videos about poems and english texts. My you tube: huggy678brad. Hope this helped you!

| Posted on 2012-01-08 | by a guest


.: :.

the fifth stanza! many are confused in it as it is really CONFUSING!
in the fifth stanza the aspect of human life is mentioned
it is the time AFTER THE COLD WARS. The heavy expenditures of the wars,the shattered families,the massive destruction of the infrastructure,the great economical loss to the countries were all compensated by charging heavy taxes on the people of the suffering countries.heavy taxation
causes depressions among the poor and already their is pain in their hearts of their dear one\'s who have died.
people were so much tangled up with their problems that due to extra-ordinary tensions they best option that suited them was to commit suicides.
now,comes the guilt of the ones due to whom the wars begin.they were also embarrassed on their works as because of them the conditions of the people have come to that extent that the have started to commit suicide.
the major point discussed in the last stanza is that people are so much depressed of their life that their is no need left for an other external power to come or kill them, their own ruling power or tensed life enough
is enough to kill them!
it is my opinion and if you still have any confusion then you must confirm it from your teacher!

| Posted on 2011-11-01 | by a guest


.: :.

the fifth stanza! many are confused in it as it is really CONFUSING!
in the fifth stanza the aspect of human life is mentioned
it is the time AFTER THE COLD WARS. The heavy expenditures of the wars,the shattered families,the massive destruction of the infrastructure,the great economical loss to the countries were all compensated by charging heavy taxes on the people of the suffering countries.heavy taxation
causes depressions among the poor and already their is pain in their hearts of their dear one\'s who have died.
people were so much tangled up with their problems that due to extra-ordinary tensions they best option that suited them was to commit suicides.
now,comes the guilt of the ones due to whom the wars begin.they were also embarrassed on their works as because of them the conditions of the people have come to that extent that the have started to commit suicide.
the major point discussed in the last stanza is that people are so much depressed of their life that their is no need left for an other external power to come or kill them, their own ruling power or tensed life enough
is enough to kill them!
it is my opinion and if you still have any confusion then you must confirm it from your teacher!

| Posted on 2011-11-01 | by a guest


.: :.

the fifth stanza! many are confused in it as it is really CONFUSING!
in the fifth stanza the aspect of human life is mentioned
it is the time AFTER THE COLD WARS. The heavy expenditures of the wars,the shattered families,the massive destruction of the infrastructure,the great economical loss to the countries were all compensated by charging heavy taxes on the people of the suffering countries.heavy taxation
causes depressions among the poor and already their is pain in their hearts of their dear one\'s who have died.
people were so much tangled up with their problems that due to extra-ordinary tensions they best option that suited them was to commit suicides.
now,comes the guilt of the ones due to whom the wars begin.they were also embarrassed on their works as because of them the conditions of the people have come to that extent that the have started to commit suicide.
the major point discussed in the last stanza is that people are so much depressed of their life that their is no need left for an other external power to come or kill them, their own ruling power or tensed life enough
is enough to kill them!
it is my opinion and if you still have any confusion then you must confirm it from your teacher!

| Posted on 2011-11-01 | by a guest


.: :.

the fifth stanza! many are confused in it as it is really CONFUSING!
in the fifth stanza the aspect of human life is mentioned
it is the time AFTER THE COLD WARS. The heavy expenditures of the wars,the shattered families,the massive destruction of the infrastructure,the great economical loss to the countries were all compensated by charging heavy taxes on the people of the suffering countries.heavy taxation
causes depressions among the poor and already their is pain in their hearts of their dear one\'s who have died.
people were so much tangled up with their problems that due to extra-ordinary tensions they best option that suited them was to commit suicides.
now,comes the guilt of the ones due to whom the wars begin.they were also embarrassed on their works as because of them the conditions of the people have come to that extent that the have started to commit suicide.
the major point discussed in the last stanza is that people are so much depressed of their life that their is no need left for an other external power to come or kill them, their own ruling power or tensed life enough
is enough to kill them!
it is my opinion and if you still have any confusion then you must confirm it from your teacher!

| Posted on 2011-11-01 | by a guest


.: :.

i like stanza 3 line 1 nobility meaning archduke franz ferdinand and this poem is not talking about osama or 9/11 but like in lord of the flies we al have it in us to be savages and he dosent even want to imagine whats going to happen in 20th century

| Posted on 2011-10-11 | by a guest


.: :.

Stanza 4 has to represent WW2 about Nagasaki and Hiroshima as the poem was written in 1963 which basically means the 4th and 5th stanza are about the same time period if you think it is about the Cold war which wouldnt make sense so it has to be about the Second world War.

| Posted on 2011-09-13 | by a guest


.: :.

whoever said that the fourth stanza was on the cold war was wrong! how does the phychopath have any thing to do with the cold war. the phychopath is obviously hilter thus being WW2

| Posted on 2011-08-21 | by a guest


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i really enjoy the poem and i would like 2 thanx all people whom commented to this poem because it all have been looking for thanx 2morow i will use it in my english

| Posted on 2011-05-30 | by a guest


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From what I\'ve read in the comments, most people on this forum can\'t spell and have terrible punctuation. You guys must be interested in english and poetry and yet you still have crap spelling?

| Posted on 2011-05-25 | by a guest


.: :.

Five ways to kill a man is like a recipe of ingredients to kill a man in each era.

| Posted on 2011-03-12 | by a guest


.: :.

this is tragic, so many people don\'t much much about anything
1st stanza: Jesus
2nd stanza: Medieval European warfare
3rd stanza: WWI (the reference to the helmets they wore and of course the gas, the gas doesn\'t refer to Hitler because cyclone-B was used in death camps not trenches and thus the wind wouldn\'t affect it;s use)
4th stanza: Hiroshima and Nagasaki (the end of WWII for anyone who doesnt know)
5th stanza: Cold War anxiety (it refers to the overall feeling of impending doom or the state of \"mutually assured destruction\" during the cold war)

| Posted on 2011-03-01 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this is a very analytically structured poem.It consists of constituent elements and each stanza tells of a time period of how human beings brutally killed each other.As I\'ve read through the poem, line by line, I\'ve notice that, in truth and in fact mankind have become more cruel and have indeed tried to move farther away from their victims in committing the barbaric acts.From closely nailing Jesus to the cross to today where you could get a bullet to the head in a split second without anyone knowing who did it.If only it were not so.I hope God will change our era.but then again it\'s only the signs of the time.Man will only become more desperately wicked.

| Posted on 2011-02-27 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this is a very analytically structured poem.It consists of constituent elements and each stanza tells of a time period of how human beings brutally killed each other.As I\'ve read through the poem, line by line, I\'ve notice that, in truth and in fact mankind have become more cruel and have indeed tried to move farther away from their victims in committing the barbaric acts.From closely nailing Jesus to the cross to today where you could get a bullet to the head in a split second without anyone knowing who did it.If only it were not so.I hope God will change our era.but then again it\'s only the signs of the time.Man will only become more desperately wicked.

| Posted on 2011-02-27 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this is a very analytically structured poem.It consists of constituent elements and each stanza tells of a time period of how human beings brutally killed each other.As I\'ve read through the poem, line by line, I\'ve notice that, in truth and in fact mankind have become more cruel and have indeed tried to move farther away from their victims in committing the barbaric acts.From closely nailing Jesus to the cross to today where you could get a bullet to the head in a split second without anyone knowing who did it.If only it were not so.I hope God will change our era.but then again it\'s only the signs of the time.Man will only become more desperately wicked.

| Posted on 2011-02-27 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem shows the early times to times where they use atomic bombs and nuclear!

| Posted on 2011-02-10 | by a guest


.: :.

yeah this is a poem abt the loass of humanity...!! how people are chaging with the oassage of time how everything is ocming to an end..people are getting eveil ambitions!! but is it worth it?
what do we get beta?

| Posted on 2010-12-10 | by a guest


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This poem is not SARCASTIC it is IRONIC due to the fact that it is emotionless whereas sarcasm portrays the opposite emotion.

| Posted on 2010-12-05 | by a guest


.: :.

The poet is using an indifferent and emotionless attitude towards the violence of different eras (sarcastic)
Stanza 1:
there are many complicated and weird ways of killing a man. lets take an exmple of crucifixion that took place circa 2000 years back. Jesus was nailed to a plank of wood in form of cross and forced to walk up the hill like that. That\'s not it. a crowd was required to humiliate the victim and witness the scenario to learn a lesson for any future mistake\'s repetition. The people witnessing the scene have no humanity or feelings as they see the entire scenario as if its part of their daily routine. a cloak to dissect: the victim was asked to remove his cloak before the execution so that instead of a proper grave, his corpse would be left on top of the hill for birds and animals to feed on him.
As his last wish, Jesus asked for a drink of water. But as an insult, a spongeful of vinegar was poured in his mouth, making his life prolong even before his death.

| Posted on 2010-11-03 | by a guest


.: :.

so is the fourth stanza about WWII or the cold war?

| Posted on 2010-10-02 | by a guest


.: :.

if the poem was writen in 1963 shouldn\'t we find out what it was like to live in that time period? seriously it was writen in the 20th century not the 21.

| Posted on 2010-09-27 | by a guest


.: :.

Having read the poem, responses, opinions and analysis thereof--here is what I think: A.M.A.Z.I.N.G P.O.E.M!

| Posted on 2010-08-15 | by a guest


.: :.

The fourth stanza is NOT ABOUT 9/11 - duh!
it was written before the 1980's and last time I checked the 9/11 incident happened AFTERWARDS.
Unless, of course, Edwin Brock is poet/psychic, which I highly doubt.
1st stanza - jesus
2nd stanza - medieval times
3rd stanza - hitler
4th stanza - WW2
5th stanza - now (or really, then considering it was written pre 2000)

| Posted on 2010-06-21 | by a guest


.: :.

The last stanza is showing that in the 20th century, we can just plonk a man here and he'll kill himself. Because there is so much going on and the 20th century is so cruel that his bound to be killed alone and his doing a good job of it to!
Theres so many aspects of this century that he can die from such as pollution, terroism, global warming, neuclear threat, AIDs and weapons that are so much more deadly and can be used anywhere at any time. The thing is the people in this day and age know how to use the weapons, so ofcourse they will use them!
The poem begins with the most personal killing and as it goes through time larger numbers of people are being killed and this is were the least personal killing occurs.

| Posted on 2010-05-26 | by a guest


.: :.

first stanza - jesus times
second stanza - medi - eval, english fighting times
third - ww1
fourth - ww2
not that hard..
when was this written?

| Posted on 2010-05-25 | by a guest


.: :.

the fifth stanza is the fact that war will occur eventually anyway in the 20th century, so no one has to try anymore.
the poem was written in the 1950s and Brock is referring to the Cold War.
not osama.

| Posted on 2010-05-24 | by a guest


.: :.

you're not even close... pretty sure the fact that the poem was written before 9/11 rules that out

| Posted on 2010-05-08 | by a guest


.: :.

I thought the fist stanza was about jesus, the second one i really dont know, the third one is about hitler, and the last one about 9-11. was i right about the 1st, 3rd, and 4th?

| Posted on 2010-03-17 | by a guest


.: :.

very good, the mild bleak tone really hits home, wonderful way of critiquing the clichés of war and how it has evolved

| Posted on 2010-02-23 | by a guest


.: :.

It's not really HOW to kill a man, it's more of what humanity is becoming, how it was and how it is still the same.All those allusions have symbolic meanings. the last stanza requires the reader to seriously think. To kill a man, leave him in the middle of the 20th century.
this poem DOES NOT talk about ways to kill a man, it's about HUMANITY. You have to seriously read what is in the poem. If people think this poem is boring, it's because they A. either don't understand or B. It just seems easier to dislike it.

| Posted on 2010-02-03 | by a guest


.: :.

this poem shows how many f**ked up ways to kill people or a person...

| Posted on 2009-11-20 | by a guest


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Stanza five he is simply saying that the easiest way to kill a man is to put him right in the middle of the 20th century, where no man cared about his fellow man. all the other ways discribed need to many people and equiptment, dus just kill him by putting him inn the 20th century where men lie in the streets and begged for food, they were woonded and noone helped. dead bodies lay there just to rot away without a bariel

| Posted on 2009-11-05 | by a guest


.: :.

I NEED EXPLANATION PER STANZA IN DETAIL
I HAVE AN EXAM TOMORROW

| Posted on 2009-11-03 | by a guest


.: :.

i liked this poem its really good im doing an oral on it and its pretty interesting but we thought the last 4 lines was about Osama Bin Laden though.it wasant me it was the persopon i was reading it with that thought that.
I got all the but the last stanza what is it? I know its probably not Osama...

| Posted on 2009-10-21 | by a guest


.: :.

in the first stanza, jesus' cruxification is referred to. the poet suggests that all that is needed to do this gruesome deed is a plank of wood, some nails and a hammer 'to drive them home' the plank of wood, nails and hammer are all the things that were used to cruxify jesus.
in the second stanza, the poet uses the war of the roses as a way to illustrate how wars were fought for the sake of crown and honour. in the brutal hand-to-hand warfare, the 'length of steel, shaped and chased in a traditional way' was referring to bill hooks, axes and hammers. these weapons pierced armor('metal cage') with ease.
the gas warfare in world war 1 was referred to in stanze 3. in 1915, the british used gas cylinders to send chlorine gas towards the German frontlines. the wind diretion changed, and the chlorine gas poisoned the british soldiers instead. trench warfare was also introduced. trenches are like canals that soldiers hid in from attacks of enemies.
The forth way of killing a man is to use bombing. this is an obvious reference to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki of japan during world war 2. at the end of the bombing, what would be left would be 'land that no one needs for several years' as all would be destroyed.
CCHMS 2EP 2009 Love you.

| Posted on 2009-10-13 | by a guest


.: :.

Pretty much everyone on this page are retarded in some way
the poem underlines the broad theme of humanity with the more specific focus that humanity is moving into a self-destructive age.

| Posted on 2009-09-10 | by a guest




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