Siegfried Sassoon Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

Can you please give me a summary/analysis of Siegfried Sassoon's poem, "The Death Bed?"

Expert Answers info

Abbey Hayes eNotes educator| Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write102 answers

starTop subjects are History, Law and Politics, and Literature

Sassoon's "The Death Bed," like many of his poems written during his service in World War Two, is an account of an unnamed young soldier who has been mortally wounded, presumably on the Western Front, where Sassoon and his contemporary, Wilfred Owen, served and died. The poem begins by describing the young, semi-conscious soldier on his hospital bed, slipping in and out of consciousness, alternating between a partial awareness of his surroundings, evidenced by the first line of stanza two, "Someone was holding water to his mouth." The soldier has been seriously wounded, and the opioids, most likely morphine or heroin, which the doctors have given him, are only partly effective in palliating the "throb and ache that was his wound."

Likely as a result of both the injuries he has sustained, and what seems to be a heavy dose of opioids, the soldier's reaction to drinking the water carries him into a dream or hallucination, possibly a mix, or green water in a skylit alley, on which his boat...

(The entire section contains 594 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial