NO MEN ARE FOREIGN
By– James Kirkup
Alliteration is the close repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of successive words (initial alliteration) and within words (internal alliteration).
- a single body breathes
(‘ b’ sound is repeated at the beginning of each word)
- Or sleep, and strength
(‘ s’ sound is repeated)
A figure of speech in which a word or phrase (which is not linked directly) is used to describe an object or action through comparison.
- Beneath all uniforms, a single body breathes
‘Uniforms’ here basically stand for militaries that different countries in the world have. These uniforms may be different in colour, design, shape and culture, but people donning them are the same anywhere in the world.
- war’s long winter starv’ d
Here the starvation experienced during unproductive and harsh winters describes the want and hunger faced during war-time. Both these conditions lead to ultimate destruction.
Poets often repeat single words or phrases, lines, and sometimes, even whole stanzas at intervals to create a musical effect; to emphasize a point; to draw the readers’ attention or to lend unity to a piece. In “No Men are Foreign” James Kirkup repeats the word ‘Remember’ five times in the poem to emphasize the serious message the poem has to convey. Similarly, the last line of the last stanza (“Remember, no men are foreign, and no countries strange”) though reversed, is the same as the first line of the first stanza (“Remember, no men are strange, no countries foreign”). This repetition emphasizes the core message of the oneness of mankind.
The poem doesn’t have any specific rhyme scheme. It is written in free verse.
This rhetorical device is used when a covert comparison is made between two different things or ideas. In this poem, the poet uses the device of metaphor in the 3rd line as he compares his fellow human beings with his own brothers. He again uses it in the 6th line when he compares war with winter since reduced resources are available at both those sides. He uses it for the last time in the 18th line when he compares wars with hells.
- Transferred Epithet
This rhetorical device is used when emotion is attributed to a non-living thing after being displaced from a person, most often the poet himself or herself. In this poem, the poet uses the device of the transferred epithet in the 6th line when he writes the phrase “peaceful harvests”. It is not the harvests themselves that are peaceful, but peaceful social and political conditions that prevent a shortage of crops or famine and make harvests possible.