Title: Naming of Parts
 Author: Henry Reed; as a British poet
translator. He was born Birmingham and
educated at King Edward School. One
of his most famous poems is Lessons of
the War. He studied for an MA and
worked as a teacher and a journalists.
He was called into the war in 1941.
After the war he worked for the BBC as a radio broadcaster and playwright, where his
most memorable set of productions was the Hilda Tablet series in the 1950s. The series
started with A Very Great Man Indeed, which purported to be a documentary about
the research for a biography of a dead poet and novelist called Richard Shewin. This
drew in part on Reed's own experience of researching a biography of the novelist
Thomas Hardy. However, the 'twelve-tone composers' Hilda Tablet, a friend of the late
Richard Shewin, became the most interesting character in the play; and in the next
play, she persuades the biographer to change the subject of the biography to her telling him "not more than twelve volumes". Dame Hilda, as she later became, was
based partly on Ethel Smyth and partly on Elisabeth Lutyens (who was not pleased, and
considered legal action).
Reed's most famous poem is Lessons of the War, a witty parody of British army basic
training during World War II, which suffered from a lack of equipment at that time.
Originally published in New Statesman and Nation (August 1942), the series was later
published in A Map of Verona in 1946, and was his only collection to be published within
his lifetime. Another anthologized poem is Chard Whitlow, a clever satire of T.S Elliot Burnt
Norton. Eliot himself was amused by Chard Whitlow's mournful imitations of himself ("As
we get older we do not get any younger ...").
Unfortunately for Reed he was forever being confused with the much better known Sir
Herbert Read; the two men were unrelated. Reed responded to this confusion by
naming his alter ego biographer in the Hilda Tablet plays "Herbert Reeve" and then by
having everyone else get the name slightly wrong.
The Papers of Henry Reed are kept safe at the University of Birmingham Special
The plot is basically about a Drill
Sergeant instructing a class of soldiers on
how to assemble their rifle's. The speaker
of the poem is kind of daydreaming,
staring at nature. Basically He's upset
that Today we have naming of parts,
when he is in Japan surrounded by
nature's beauty.
In his poem Naming of Parts, Henry Reed
uses the literary devices of repetition,
alliteration, and mood to create a
teaching, defending, vivid but interesting
picture in the mind of his readers.
The theme is a satire of martial order. Each stanza is four lines
of droning military nomenclature followed by two lines of
metaphorical poetry. He is showing us how silly and mundane
the drills are. How unnatural the military (war) is.
The language is very modern to create a enthusiastic tone.
Specific examples from the poem that analyze words that
allude to the theme is;
“The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.”
“The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.”
The figurative language of the poem are
simile, metaphor, alliteration, and
imagery to enhance the meaning of the
 Example: “To-day we have naming of
parts.” “Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring
The poem says that today they will have naming of
parts. It says that yesterday they had daily cleaning
and tomorrow will be what to do after firing but
today we have naming of parts.
The poem means that an inductee soldier is being
shown how to care for and use his rifle by a
professional arms instructor. the main message of the
whole sequence is that war takes people away from
the things that they really care about.
Example: “This is the safety-catch, which is always
released with an easy flick of the thumb and please
do not let me see anyone using his finger. You can
do it quite easy If you have any strength in your
thumb. “
Naming of parts is basically a war based
poem written by someone who use to be in
the war and have had experience in the
war force. It was talking about lessons that
will be learned about shooting.
 The mood, theme, figurative language, and
poetic devices all contribute to the
meaning of the poem because they all tell
a specific part of the poem in a different
Helium.com Poetry Analysis Naming of
 Poemhunter.com
 En.wikipedia.org/wik/Henry reed
 Adb.anu.edu.au/biography/Henry reed
 Solearabiantree.net

File - Jasmine Thornton E