Skip to main content

[T]he poet recognizes that the two men did share a reciprocal love that, just possibly, kept them going . . . and thus enabled them to find something of value in the war. The war made the relationship possible, and it gave the friendship, perhaps, a depth and immediacy it might not have had in other circumstances. Therefore, the surviving comrade will remember the personal I-Thou relationship that did exist, as well as recall the death that deprived him of his friend. The old soldier maintains a vigil that is at once a lament and a celebration. It is a vigil he can never forget because it reminds him of both love and death.