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Analysis Of Sharon Olds, “Leningrad Cemetery, Winter Of 1941”

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Analysis of Sharon Olds, “Leningrad Cemetery, Winter of 1941”

In the poem, “Leningrad Cemetery, Winter of 1941,” Sharon Olds describes a cemetery during World War II. The 900-day siege on Leningrad began in September of 1941 and there were countless casualties to be buried during that winter. During the winter the ground freezes and makes it next to impossible to dig the graves.
The winter of 1941 is described as, “that winter the dead could not be buried.” The ground is too hard to dig and the gravediggers are over tired and over worked. The war has killed so many people that the gravediggers are too weak to dig and they are also very hungry because food is scarce during war.
The poem is vividly describing how horrible war can be. The language used in the poem is strong and descriptive. The corpses are

described as being transported by children’s sleds. This description shows how all innocence during wartime is lost. The sadness that this inflicts on the children will never go away, their innocence is lost forever.

The poem describes corpses wanting to be brought back alive. “A hand reaching out with no sign of peace.” That line purely shows how these soldiers were not ready to die; they still had their lives to live. Our sadness as witnesses to the war is nothing compared to the sadness of the dead who cannot witness anything.

This poem symbolizes an important time in history. At the same time this poem can be used to describe the horror of all war. The war in Leningrad was a horr
ible time and many lives were lost. Sharon Olds is trying to show us just how horrible war can be....

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