Two Armies By Stephen Spender

“Deep in the winter plain, two armies

Dig their machinery, to destroy each other.

Men freeze and hunger.  No one is given leave

On either side, except the dead and wounded.

These have their leave; while new battalions wait

On time at last to bring them violent peace”

The poem Two Armies by Stephen Spendor is quite different from other poems we have read.  Whereas most of the poems we have read so far in class have all been about just one side of the battle and not both, this poem talks about both armies that are at a stand still and are both experiencing the same feelings.  The excerpt I have chosen from the poem expresses how both sides are stuck in their trenches and the war is going absolutely nowhere whatsoever.  The author talks about how the only people that are getting out of this standstill are the people that have lost their lives in the battle.  There are also quite a few people that are losing their lives because of the cold.  I find this sad due to the fact that the soldiers go to protect their country but they are actually dying because of the cold, which is more degrading.


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