What are the figurative meanings in the poem "How to Kill" by Keith Douglas?

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The overall figurative meaning in this poem is that killer or sniper "dies" when he kills for the first time. It could also be supported that he becomes a "grim reaper," bringing death upon all those he touches. The third stanza is key to understanding this meaning:

And look, has...

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The overall figurative meaning in this poem is that killer or sniper "dies" when he kills for the first time. It could also be supported that he becomes a "grim reaper," bringing death upon all those he touches. The third stanza is key to understanding this meaning:

And look, has made a man of dust
of a man of flesh. This sorcery
I do. Being damned, I am amused
to see the centre of love diffused
and the wave of love travel into vacancy.
How easy it is to make a ghost.

The once "man of flesh" is the sniper, who is now a man of dust. When the speaker admits to the "sorcery" he does, he explains that his is amused by the killings and "how easy it is to make a ghost." He's lost his humanity in a sense here and will never be able to go back to the way he used to be.

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