War Poems: Totoy’s War, State of Siege, and War is Kind

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“Totoy’s War” by Luz Maranan, “State of Siege” by Eric Gumalinda, and “War is Kind” by Stephen Crane

Throughout our history, both recorded and unrecorded, there have been countless violent battles fought. From small skirmishes to full on declarations of war, humans have been involved with battling on another for all the reasons that they have. The only thing alarming is that, as time and technology progresses, the number of casualties and collateral damage have been increasing as well. In addition, the implications to the human mind, brought upon by the excessive violence, can be equally damaging. With that being said, the psychological implications brought upon by war can be reflected in several art forms, such as poetry.

War poems usually deals with how the persona of a particular poem, reacts to life altering events such as war. “Totoy’s War” by Luz Maranan, “State of Siege” by Eric Gumalinda, and “War is Kind” by Stephen Crane are just three examples of the many war poems that exist. Each of the poems conveys different messages, as well as utilizing different methods to convey the said message, despite having one common theme.

The Fear of the Children

“Totoy’s War” by Luz Maranan is easier to read poem, as compared to the other two poems mentioned. The poem is about the fear that people have during war times and how it affects various people, of all ages. The poem itself has no subliminal message that it wants to portray to its readers and is very direct with the matter of war – no use of metaphors, ironies, or difficult figurative language, whatsoever. The dramatic situation in the poem is that a child, Totoy, came to the persona asking “Is there a war?” (Maranan 2) with fear in his eyes. The persona then goes into c...

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..., as well as the readers. Stephen Crane’s poem in contrast, uses irony to try and convey the message about the ugliness war brings. Eric Gumalinda’ poem on the other hand, is the one that is sort of off-tangent to the two. This poem in particular, shows the readers a glimpse of what is happening on a damaged person’s mind. It shows the readers a first-hand view on what people during war times could do, and all their intentions.

Works Cited

Crane, Stephen. "War Is Kind by Stephen Crane." About.com Poetry. About.com, n.d. Web. 7 Feb. 2015. .

Gumalinda, Eric. Lyrics from a Dead Language poems 1977-1991. Manila: Anvil Publishing Inc., 1991. Print.

Santiago, Lillia. In the Name of the Mother: 100 Years of Philippine Feminist Poetry (1898-1989). Manila: University of the Philippines Press , 2002. Print.

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