Form in the service of content 239741
I loved this poem. It spoke volumes to me, as my work revolves around military organizations, and the formation was brilliant.

Someon (Yuval I think) said, perhaps in jest, that any text becomes a poem when the lines are broken; but in this case, the regulatory format of poem lines and the regulatory content of the ordinances in the text are a perfect match. Like the haircuts and physical appearance of the soldiers, the lines are somehow hesitant to break free and be longer, less formulated, more diverse. The extent of regulation pours out of the original content of the ordinance onto the reader, so the regulative content is coldly "recited" in the readers' ears at a more or less even, exact pace.

The dramatic effect is achieved by the juxtaposition of two very different sorts of ordinances. As the poet assumes, the readers, who are familiar with the discourse of military ordinances, know that every aspect and phase of military life and conduct is regulated by ordinances; it is no wonder, therefore, that the aesthetics and formation of death are regulated in much the same way as the aesthetics and formation of the living.

The juxtaposition brings about another thought: in the universe of regulated military life, the miniscule attention to detail draws attention away from the purpose of the organization: a military body, in which young people fight and die. This is the assumption underlying the army, which is ironically easy to forget if one is swamped by the plethora of small detail. It is precisely the organized, cold, aesthetically-oriented presentation of military death that brings us to our senses and makes us understand the hard, incomprehenisble reality behind the regulative mask - and the unbearable difficulty of accepting and predicting human loss that creates the need for the regulative mask to sublimate and make sense of the realities of the military.

It is this realization that somehow "frees" the thinking reader from the format, and that allows for the last line - again an aesthetic regulation - to appear uncut, once its purpose and necessity is clear to the reader.

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