What is your opinion of the poem ‘After Blenheim’ by Robert Southey? Do you like it? Why or why not?
Robert Southey’s poem ‘After Blenheim’ is an anti-war poem. And of course, I like this poem. This is, indeed, one of those poems that deliver a sharp message in an indirect way, through a simple tale but a delicate irony. The way the poet uses a ballad form to deliver an anti-war message is unique.
In the story-line, the poet has used the theme of innocence versus experience to depict how innocent children can raise questions against set standards and how incorporation of propaganda can make us believe in false ideals. This has been a very convincing portrayal of the futility of war felt best by the children to give a strike at the root of warmongering. Moreover, the poem reminds us of the vulnerability of human life — one of the greatest wisdoms of this earthly life.
In stylistic aspects, the consistent rhythm with a regular rhyme scheme and the use of various figures of speech and other poetic devices make the poem really appreciable.