This is the Dark Time, My Love - Literature Notes
Please note that the information given on this poem is not meant to replace any material given in the classroom setting. It is a very BASIC giude to enable a literal understanding of the poem. Metaphorical interpretations should be sought in the classroom.
The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the text.
1.This is the dark time, my love,
6.All round the land brown beetles crawl about.
2.The shining sun is hidden in the sky.
3.Red flowers bend their heads in awful sorrow.
1.This is the dark time, my love.
It is the 7.season of oppression, dark metal, and tears.
It is the 4.festival of guns, the carnival of misery.
Everywhere the faces of men are strained and anxious.
5.Who comes walking in the dark night time?
5.Whose boot of steel tramps down the slender grass?
It is the 8.man of death, my love, the strange invader
9.Watching you sleep and 10.aiming at your dream.
'Carter, M. 'This is the Dark Time, My Love' in A World of Poetry. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005.
This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others.
The persona speaks to some-one that he cares for. He tells this (www.bulbsoup.com)person that this is the dark time, which is, in essence, a time of sadness. It is implied, by certain key terms; such as 'dark metal', that it is a time of war. The persona warns his 'love' that it is a dark, sad time.
- Stanza 1, line 1 & stanza 2, line 7: The repetition of this phrase highlights that there is something seriously amiss. The persona is telling his 'love' that this is a sad and terrible time.
This device literally draws the readers' visual attention to the sentence. The sentence implies that everything that is good and positive is hidden away, or gone. This alliteration sets a sad tone at the very beginning of this poem.
This device emphasizes the sad tone of the poem. This is the case because flowers are usually associated with feelings of happiness and cheerfulness. Therefore, if the flowers - embassadors of joy - are sad, then it highlights how really sad the times have become.
The contrast in this device is startling. The terms 'festival' and 'carnival' not only describes fun and festivity, but also a large amount of each. Both words are associated with huge crowds. This emphasizes how terrible the times have become because guns and misery are plentiful.
5. RHETORICAL QUESTION
- Stanza 3, line 13: This device informs the reader/ audience that a threat exists and that it comes in the dark of night.
- Stanza 3, lines 14 - 15: It is implied that the threat is a soldier through the term 'boot of steel'. The 'slender grass' is the innocent youth who is cut down (www.bulbsoup.com) and trampled by these 'boots of steel'. The fact that we are given this information through the use of rhetorical question adds mystery and intrigue to the poem.
IMPORTANT WORDS/ PHRASES
6.'All round the land brown beetles crawl about.'
Some variety of brown beetles are scavengers that feed on decaying or dead carcasses. Therefore, when the persona states that they crawl about, it implies that a lot of dead or decaying bodies exist in the land.
7.'season of oppression, dark metal, and tears.'
A season is an extended period of time. Therefore, the persona is telling his 'love' that it is a period of extreme sadness. This sadness is brought about by the 'dark metal', which can be literally interpreted as vehicles of war.
8.'man of death'
The man of death, in this context, is the soldier.
9.'Watching you sleep'
Sleep is a state of extreme vulnerability. This is the case because when one falls asleep, they fall into unconsciousness, which equates to a state of defenselessness. The fact (www.bulbsoup.com) that the man of death, ie soldier, watches the persona's 'love' while he/she sleeps, implies that this person is not only vulnerable, but in extreme danger.
10.'aiming at your dream.'
The man of death's purpose is to destroy the persona's 'love's' dreams, or desires.
The mood of the poem is fearful and tense. The persona is giving his 'love' sad and depressing news.
The tone of the poem is cautious.
Contributor: Leisa Samuels-Thomas