Drummer Hodge’ by Thomas Hardy is about a young solider fighting in the Boer war in South Africa between the years 1899- 1902. The poem shows us how war treats those who have fought and died for their countries. It is a sad story of local Dorset lad who is buried without a ceremony in a foreign country far away from his home. Hardy wrote the poem after he had read about the death of a drummer boy in the local Dorset newspaper. He thought that it was very sad that it was a boy, too young to understand the war, shouldn’t have been be buried on a foreign landscape so far from his home in Dorset.Order now
In the first verse of the poem ‘ Drummer Hodge’ it describes how the dead young soldier is thrown into a pit without having a ceremony and was buried the way that he was found dead. To emphasise this Hardy uses the line “uncoffined – just found” to emphasise this. It carries on to tell us that the soldier’s burial place was a ‘kopje-crest’ this is a small hill that was a ‘veldt’ this is an open grassland. The poem also tells us about “Foreign Constellations”, these are the stars in the sky, at night. As he is buried in a foreign place these ‘ foreign constellations< would not have been seen in his hometown but where he was buried. In the last two lines of the first verse it emphasises the place that the drummer hodge is laided to rest. Hardy tells us that it is a peaceful place that is above the stars at night and that it is a place of rest for the young solider.
At the beginning of the second verse Hardy uses two words ” young” and “fresh shows that he was a young solider fighting for his country, who is yet to experience life. In the third line of the poem tells us of how the young solider “never knew the meaning of Brooddry Karoo, Karoo is the bush, the dusty loan” and ” why uprose to nightly view”. All of these phrases show that Drummer Hodge ever knew simple means and that he didn’t get the chance to experience new things in the second half of the verse Thomas Hardy is explaining to us that drummer Hodge died young and had the future ahead of him but never had the chance to experience his future.
Also that he was buried in a foreign country where he was miles from home where no one knows him. In the last verse it tell us that Drummer Hodge would remain at the ” portion of that unknown plain” as he was killed in the war and also buried there. The poems points out that the drummer hodge would always be a part of the landscape. We, as readers are given a picture from the words ” Homely Northern breast” that he was a home person and enjoyed his life with his family and that he was home sick. Thomas Hardy describes that he will be able to see ” eternally” the stars at night in the sky. The words” strange-eyed” and “Southern” emphasises that drummer Hodge is buried in the Southern hemisphere very far from his home.
I think that this poem shows us the tragic and sadness of war. That young soldiers like drummer hodge have had there lives ended so soon by war for their country and that in return he is buried in a foreign place miles away form his loved ones and without a proper burial. He was yet to experience life before he was killed.