Why has T.S. Eliot used "foreign" thrice in the 9th line of the poem "To the Indians Who Died in Africa"?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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T.S. Eliot's poem "To the Indians Who Died in Africa" is one about men who reminisce in their old age about fighting a war in a foreign country--much like today as the western nations fight in Afghanistan. In poetry, the repetition of words is a way for the poet to drive home a point for emphasis and meaning. In this case, the use of "foreign" drives home the point that not being home means being in a different and unfamiliar state of mind and being. It must be difficult to be fighting a war far from one's home. Eliot makes mention that home can be anywhere, but without one's family surrounding that home, it never really is home. Again, the repetition of "foreign" can emphasize the theme of loneliness, discomfort, or anything else associated with not being at home among loved ones.

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