What Are The Themes In "No Men Are Foreign"?


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Victoria Picking Profile

I have made a list of the main themes of the poem 'No men are foreign' by James Kirkup.

Although it's important to remember that, as with most poems, the meaning of each line is open to interpretation. 

  • The main theme of the whole poem is that all people are brothers because really they are all the same, and all do the same thing.
  • For example in the first stanza the poet talks about how everyone walks on the the same Earth, and eventually everyone will be buried under the same earth.
  • Another theme is "anti-war", as in the forth stanza he claims that "when humans fight, they are ruining our land and even the air we breathe". He also claims that everyone gets ruined by war, so again... we are all the same.
  • The poem is against any form of prejudice and has a solid focus on equality.
  • The poet feels that although everyone may look different, we are all dependant on the same things to keep us alive, and emotions such as love can dominate us all.
  • A running theme is that war not only kills those in uniform, but also many innocent people in the country where the war is taking place. He touches on the idea that many different types of food production have to be stopped when war is being fought, and it has an impact on farming. 
  • Essentially it states that in order to make all of our lives better, everyone must unite as one.

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