Horror of War

Weeping woman
Since the beginning of the war, women had volunteered to join the military, however they had been neglected as the media mainly focused on the male soldiers. The impacts of the Vietnam War on many wives of Australian and South Vietnamese veterans are profound and permanent. During that cadaverous time, Denise Levertov, a nurse, had witnessed numerous horrifying sights. The poem “weeping woman”, which she had written about a Vietcong woman who had lost her right arm, illustrates the horror of war through the lens and perspective of a woman. Hence, the message of the painful physical and emotional traumas that war can bring on not only to the soldiers but also to women and children.

Firstly, the perception of “physical and psychological wounds that war can have on people” was symbolically portrayed in the first stanza of the weeping woman poem. ‘The lost right arm’ that belongs to the Vietcong woman was repeatedly appeared in the first line of each stanza throughout the whole poem: “she is weeping for her lost right arm”. The right arm does not only represent her physical loss but also the emotional effect that the woman has to go through. For a human being, it is hard to live when a component is damaged or is lost. As for this woman, she is weeping not only for herself for that she can not write or hold her baby anymore, but for the whole country and the people that have to suffer of the consequences of the Vietnam war. Due to this, Denise Levertov ultalised grotesque imagery ‘the stump aches…’ to convey her injuries more succinctly. This makes the image seems to be outrageous and by this, the poem highlights the physical pain she must has. The audience then is made to feel the woman’s sorrow in order to show sympathy towards the other victims. Therefore, the ‘weeping woman’ has successfully explained the perception of physical and emotional traumas that war can bring onto people.

The horror of war was also been explored in the second stanza...