Exposure, merciless iced east winds that knife us, silence, mad gusts, rain soaks, clouds sag stormy, shivering, less deadly than the air that shudders black with snow, sidelong flowing flakes that flock, pale flakes with fingering stealth reach before our faces, snow-dazed, Tonight, this frost will fasten on this mud and us, Shrivelling many hands, and puckering foreheads crisp, shovels in shaking grasp, All their eyes are ice, But nothing happens.
The idea of ‘exposure’ – exposed to extreme weather conditions, is a reoccuring theme in this poem. This is shown through the use of weather related words to show how the weather affected the soldiers during in war and how it might have even been the biggest enemy they faced. Weather conditions in WW1 in europe were extremely violent and unremorseful. It was the middle of winter and the men were expected to camp in the shadows of trenches waiting for battle or camp out in thin tents across muddy lands
Simile: “like twitching agonies of men among its brambles”. This simile has used on purpose to compare the wind to something he sees every day. The wind moves the barbed wire like when soldiers are stuck in it and the wind reminds him of this awful site that no man should see. He used this simile to give insight on how the barbed wire looked in the wind and how it reminds him of the common sight of men trapped in the barbed wire trying to escape.
personification: “merciless iced east winds that knive us.” The use of personification here gives us the idea of wind