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Losses Analysis

Author: poem of Randall Jarrell Type: poem Views: 17

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It was not dying: everybody died.

It was not dying: we had died before

In the routine crashes-- and our fields

Called up the papers, wrote home to our folks,

And the rates rose, all because of us.

We died on the wrong page of the almanac,

Scattered on mountains fifty miles away;

Diving on haystacks, fighting with a friend,

We blazed up on the lines we never saw.

We died like aunts or pets or foreigners.

(When we left high school nothing else had died

For us to figure we had died like.)


In our new planes, with our new crews, we bombed

The ranges by the desert or the shore,

Fired at towed targets, waited for our scores--

And turned into replacements and worke up

One morning, over England, operational.


It wasn't different: but if we died

It was not an accident but a mistake

(But an easy one for anyone to make.)

We read our mail and counted up our missions--

In bombers named for girls, we burned

The cities we had learned about in school--

Till our lives wore out; our bodies lay among

The people we had killed and never seen.

When we lasted long enough they gave us medals;

When we died they said, "Our casualties were low."


The said, "Here are the maps"; we burned the cities.


It was not dying --no, not ever dying;

But the night I died I dreamed that I was dead,

And the cities said to me: "Why are you dying?

We are satisfied, if you are; but why did I die?"


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

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one thing have to say is that i really dont understand what idea he is trying to establish about death???? Maybe it just doesent speak to me like it does to the others. I just don\'t get it. ~_~

| Posted on 2012-09-03 | by a guest

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\"It was not dying --no, not ever dying;\" It wasn\'t the actual dying that bothered him, but the purposeless cause of the deaths.

| Posted on 2011-10-18 | by a guest

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I see this poem as a picture of what war can do to an innocent soldier, but it is also a picture of what war does to a city
"And the cities said to me: "Why are you dying?
We are satisfied, if you are; but why did I die?"

| Posted on 2010-05-13 | by a guest

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This poem by Randall Jarrell is an analysis of why the soldiers in this war died. Was there any real purpose? Did they have to die? They didn't know who they were killing, or who was killing them. They were innocent soldiers, who now have all of their innocence taken away. Men are dying, and they really don't know why. "When we lasted long enough they gave us medals / When we died they said, 'Our casualties were low.'" In other words, they were rewarded for the awful things they had been through, but their deaths weren't acknowledged.

| Posted on 2009-05-06 | by a guest

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F1RST! haha ok ya but There have been no submitted criqiques, be the first to add one below. LERRN TWOO SPEl GORSH DAHN ET.

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

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