What words in "This is the dark time my love" suggest a time of military take over?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The premise of the "dark time" in the poem is one of external suppression of voice.  It is for this reason that the voice of the speaker, presumably Carter's, is one of dissent that seeks to form solidarity with the notion of "my love."  In this, one sees how the poem is one of resistance against the forces of repression.  Consider the images employed in lines 6-9 of the poem:

It is the season of oppression, dark metal, and tears.
It is the festival of guns, the carnival of misery
Everywhere the faces of men are strained and anxious
Who comes walking in the dark night time?

The direct call of oppression and sadness is evoked with "the festival of guns" and "the carnival of misery."  These seem to be open calls to a military take over and a type of condition in which the military has been empowered to do what it must in order to silence voices.  Such a call to military take over and control is seen in the end of the poem when Carter references the "boot of steel tramps down the slender grass."  This image brings out how the military repression in Carter's mind silences that which is beautiful, something enhanced in the closing of the poem when the military is seen as "aiming at your dream. " It is in these elements that Carter makes clear that his voice of resistance is one against the military presence that strives to silence voices.

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