My Grandfather’s War Story
When I first heard the assignment that we had to do, I thought of
what I would write it about. The first thing that popped into my head was
the story that my father had told me about my grandfather. I approached
him and asked if he could tell me the story about him, even though I had
heard it numerous times before that. So, he proceeded to tell me the
story. My grandfather was young when he was drafted for the war. He was
around nineteen years of age when he went.
He was to be a medic for the army. He was one of those heroes that
stormed the beach at Normandy on June 6, 1944. While hearing the story, I
could almost feel how worried my grandfather was heading towards the
shores in those boats; how scared he was to know that he might not see his
family again. I know that he lost many friends that sad yet glorious day
in the history of the world. But they were victorious nonetheless.
My grandfather’s job in the army was to heal any that were wounded
and to make sure they didn’t die. I know, from stories that this was not a
pleasant thing to do. The first thing I thought of was the movie “Saving
Private Ryan.” How horribly gruesome that was. I always think of my
grandfather as a hero for that experience he went through.
Today, my grandfather has passed away and I am left with only
pictures and my memory. I do believe that America owes a lot to my
grandfather, and those who fought along side him, for what he has kept for
this country and world. He gave the best years of his life to the army and
his nation. He has ensured peace in the world for now. For that I thank
In my yard, there is a path around my house, and there
you will see the place where I have gone everyday for two weeks. This
place has memories for me of my childhood and how much fun I had on that
simple little rock and the tree beside it. But I was not there to ponder
memories of my childhood; rather, I note all of the physical changes that
occur over that brief two-week period. I watched the changes that nature
had done to this place, and the changes were numerous.
One day, while noting the changes that were rapidly occurring all
around me, a question came to my mind. I was noting how there was a cool,
brisk breeze whipping by me. All of the leaves were falling off of the
tree. While the wind blew harshly on the leaves, it looked at if they
were hanging on for there dear life. I thought, does the leaf fear
falling from that tree? Is it at home when it is there? Or do they look
forward to falling to the ground with there “friends.” Is it looked upon
as a defeat by the wind, or is it a victory and an honor to have ended its
life on the ground with the others. Is it like a race to see who can fall
to the ground first, or who can stay on the longest? Why I was thinking
these thoughts, I don’t know, but it was very interesting to not look at
life from the perspective of a human and to look upon life from the point
of view of a simple leaf in the tree.
I also noted the rock that lies next to the tree in my yard. How
must it feel to be a rock? People look upon it as a stupid rock that
doesn’t do anything except lay there, as an emotionless piece of matter,
and that may be true. Maybe that rock does has feelings. That is
something that a lot of people do not think about. Does the rock curse
God or whatever created him for making him a rock? Or does he like where
he is in the great scheme of life. He might like sitting there taking
everything in. He definitely had a lot to take in about me alone; I spent
countless hours in my backyard and on that rock as a little kid. Does it
make it feel good that I used to play on it or around it? I will never
know. For a brief moment, I envied that rock. To just sit there for
thousands of years and not have a care in the world and to take everything
in. I can only imagine the knowledge that rock has, can you?
I know by what I noted and thought about this place that it is an
American one. I know this because that rock and that tree were here long
before I lived in that area. Maybe it was even there before people were
in this wonderful country of ours. It is places like this that are the
most American, purely American. Not some building or something that man
has built and called America. Buildings do not make up what America is;
it is places like this that make up America. I know this because if all
of the buildings, and dams, and baseball stadiums, and all the other
man-made structures were destroyed, America would still be alive in places
like the rock in my backyard.
Walking down Landsdown Street that Friday night,
coming from a great Red Sox game; or as many people had put it,"a wicked
pissa Sox game dude!" I had my brother and my friends as my company that
night. They were discussing the game that we had witnessed. I dont know
what made me first notice it, but I started to listen to a conversation a
group of guys were having ten feet away. "That game was pissa!"
"wickid dude, wickid."
"That homerun Nomaa (Nomar) hit was wickid fa, it cleared the Paak!"
"one-a the best games I've eva seen! But Anyways, where'd you paak the
"I dont know man, do you rememba Caal?" (carl)
"Nah dude, its youa caa, not mine!"
I toned out of the conversation at that point. Listening to them made
me think. There are three types of people who live in Boston. The first,
the group who moved here from another place. They are the ones that stand
out the most. You can pick them out of a crowd with no problem at all.
When they say the word "CaR" with that R, in front of a group of
Bostonians, you know there not from Boston. The second group, is the
group who doesnt include the R, but it seems natural, like they're not
trying to do it. And lastly, the group who when listening to them, make
it seem like they go out of their wat to say "AAAA" instead of the R.
They say it with that annoying tone of voice too, its obnoxious. I toned
"hey, wataya doin tomorra?"
"goin to work, and i gotta visit me motha too, she's wickid sick."
A man walked over to them, one of their new friends i assumed.
"hey, how are you?"
BINGO! an out-of-towner, from ten feet away!
"hey, do you know where we paaked the caa?"
"yaa, the caa!"
"the car you mean?"
"no, the caa!"
I could only laugh, and watch them depart, still confused with
Edgar Allen Poe is one of
the most famous poets of all time. He grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. He
spent most of his life surrounded by death. All of the young women that
he came to know and love were taken from him in some way. With a
childhood such as that, it is no wonder why his works came out the way
they did. His works are mysterious, and yet in a way, very much scary
when thought about. Especially, his most famous work, The Raven. Because
of today’s movies and other scary things we encounter, when reading this
poem, it does not seem scary in the least. We expect the scariness to
jump out at us, not for us to go looking for it. When this is done in a
poem, it is like a classic scary movie, or in this case, story. In this
poem, the writer uses many techniques to intensify the terror
One element that accomplishes this is the rhyme scheme. In this
poem, there is no distinct rhyme scheme. It appears like when anything
that happens in the poem occurs; he was thinking what he put on the paper,
as if he never meant to rhyme at all. An example of this is:
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
and each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow…
As you can see, it is as if he is telling us a story, and he is also
writing a poem at the same time. While he makes it seem as if he is
talking about the present, I believe that there is another meaning to that
quote as well. I believe that the line is giving us a flashback of his
wife’s death. About that first night when he came home to an empty house
and just sat in front of the fire, alone. This asset to the poem made is
more enjoyable to read.
While doing this, the poem also makes it scarier by using interior
monologue. Interior monologue is when what you are reading is what the
poet/writer is thinking. When you know what the reader is thinking, then
you know the writer’s fears as well as yours, making the poem scarier.
One example of this in the poem is:
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never- nevermore'."
As you can tell from reading the quote from the poem, the narrator is
startled or even scared at this point. He has said something to the raven
and the raven actually responded with “nevermore.” Now if you are the
reader, you know that he is nervous, making the story he tells a little
bit scarier itself. In this quote he is trying to make an excuse for
something, like the raven didn’t say that on purpose, it was taught to him
by a former master and he says it every now and then. I think that he
blames himself for the death of his wife and in this part of the poem; he
is trying to think of excuses.
The poem is scarier because of all the great detail that the author
goes into of his surroundings. Not just the surroundings, but the noises
that he hears while experiencing the “tapping,” and the “rapping,” of the
raven. One line that describes this well is: “Once upon a midnight
dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,” the poems opening line. The
details he goes into are very deep. The traditional story starts out with
once upon a time, this poem starts out in midnight. He draws great
attention to that because it is the first line of the poem. I think that
this poem is describing his life. How he is so alone and how since he is
alone he is “weak and weary.”
The Raven is my favorite poem in all of poetry. I believe that it is
a scary poem for all of these reasons and more. I also believe that the
poem is timeless because of its terrifying aspect to it. It may not be
considered a scary poem to some people, but sometimes you have to go
looking for the scariness in a poem, instead of waiting for it to jump out