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Analysis of Lament of the Frontier Guard by Ezra Pound

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The Outline

Title: Lament of the Frontier Guard
Genre: Poetry
Poet: Rihaku 
Translator: Ezra Pound
Form: Free Verse
Category: War
Structure: A single verse
Lines: 24 lines
Point of View: First person
Tone: Lamentation
Mood: Empathy
Theme: Aftermath of war
Devices: Imagery, Rhetorical Questions, Repetition.

About the Poet

"Lament of the Frontier Guard" is a poem translated to English language by Ezra Pound who lived between October 30, 1885 and November 1, 1972 as a very controversial American expatriate poet. 

About the Poem

This is a poem that recalled how war turned a certain kingdom into a deserted land. From the words of the poet, it doesn't even take long for the kingdom to be destroyed_ it only took a span of season "A gracious spring, turned to blood-ravenous autumn" (line 14).
It was started by certain barbarous kings.
Line 15-21 exposed further outcome:
"A turmoil of wars-men, spread over the middle kingdom,
Three hundred and sixty thousand,
And sorrow, sorrow like rain.
Sorrow to go and sorrow, sorrow returning.
Desolate, desolate fields,
And no children of warfare upon them,
No longer the men for offence and defence."

About Rihaku

The only reason readers won't know of such horror of war is if Rihaku's name is forgotten the "guardsmen fed to the tigers". Rihaku was the name used for Li Po in Japan during the tang era. In a nutshell, he was an eight-century Chinese writer.

About the Devices

Through the 24 lines of the poem, there are imagery "full of sand" in line 1, "the grass goes yellow with autumn" in line 3, "flaming imperial anger" in line 11, "Three hundred and sixty thousand" in line 16. To emphasize the setting of the poem, the poem speaker mentioned "North Gate" in line 1 and 22, and there was also repetition of "autumn", "sorrow", "towers", "grass", "gracious", "desolate", etc. Alliterations are "grass goes yellow", "High heaps", "Bones white with a thousand frosts", etc. Rhetorical questions between line 10-12:
"Who brought this to pass?
Who has brought the flaming imperial anger?
Who has brought the army with drums and with kettle-drums?"
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Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)
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