1. Nationalism: Nationalism was a major long-term cause of WWI. It involved all those who shared a common language, history and culture and was a strong feeling of support for one’s own nation. Nationalism could also be classified as the doctrine that your national culture and interests are superior to any other. It often came along with imperialism as well. Nationalists believed that the needs of their nation were more important than the needs of other nations. Plus, nationalists were so proud of their nation that they wanted it to be the richest and most important – and recognized as such.
Though I have had friends
And a beautiful love
There is one lover I await above all.
She will not come to me
In the time of soft plum-blossoms
When the air is gay with birds singing
And the sky is a delicate caress;
She will come
From the midst of a vast clamour
With a mist of stars about her
And great beckoning plumes of smoke
Upon her leaping horses.
And she will bend suddenly and clasp me;
She will clutch me with fierce arms
And stab me with a kiss like a wound
Thad bleeds slowly.
But though she will hurt me at first
In her strong gladness
She will soon soothe me gently
And cast upon me an unbreakable sleep
Softly for ever.
You can find the poem here.
3. The poem by Richard Aldington, The Lover, which was written to synthesize fears and desires he felt during combat, relates to nationalism, meaning the aspiration for national independence felt by people under foreign domination, because he writes, “She will clutch me with fierce arms / And stab me with a kiss like a wound / Thad bleeds slowly,” and it describes how he wants something, his lover. This is connected to nationalism because the people under foreign domination could feel like they are under a fierce clutch, because they want national independence. So, since nationalism is a strong feeling of support for one’s own nation, when Aldington writes, “But though she will hurt me at first / In her strong gladness / She will soon soothe me gently,” it shows how he had to get hurt first, then he could be calm, due to the fact he finally had his lover. In the nationalism term, the road of nationalism is a hard one because it is usually paired with imperialism, when a country extends it rules to foreign countries. However, when they won their “battle,” they could feel content. Also, another way The Lover relates to nationalism is through nationalists. Nationalists were proud of their nation and they wanted it to be, as well as recognized as, the richest and most important. On that note, the lines “She will not come to me / In the time of soft plum-blossoms / When the air is gay with birds singing / And the sky is a delicate caress; / She will come / From the midst of a vast clamour / With a mist of stars about her / And great beckoning plumes of smoke / Upon her leaping horses” show that nationalists might not be able to prove that their nation is the best in good times (In the time of soft plum-blossoms / When the air is gay with birds singing / And the sky is a delicate caress), yet, a mix-up of commotions (From the midst of a vast clamour / With a mist of stars about her / And great beckoning plumes of smoke), such as wars, will prove how great their nation really is.