“Drummer Hodge,” an iambic pentameter, with eighteen lines divided into three stanzas. The poem is very distinct because of the rhyming scheme applied in the structure represented by the ABABAB pattern. The prevailing theme of the poem is about war, which is a reference to the Boer War. While the speaker uses metaphors that symbolize deeper meanings in relation to his experiences, the prevailing element that will be explored in this analysis of the poem is the setting, specifically the time and the sequence of the events. The setting is an important element in the poem because it shows the progression of events, from the present, the past, to the future, simultaneously. Moreover, the setting, which highlights the progression of the events in the poem creates the narrative element. The poem is not simply about the speaker’s thoughts or observations but a recounting of what happened, what is happening, and what is about to happen in the future.


The first stanza of the poem refers to the present – what is happening now. In this part of the poem, Drummer Hodge is being thrown in a grave marked by a kopje-crest. The foreign constellations could be seen in the west from where Drummer Hodge’s is marked. The words used in this stanza denotes the time setting – present – because of the use of present tense, such as “throw” and “breaks.” The change in tense in the second stanza denotes the time setting that refers to the past – what happened before to Drummer Hodge. In the past, the innocent Young Hodge was unaware of the impending war. Past tense was used in this stanza with the words “knew” and “uprose.” While the first and the second stanzas refer to the present and the past respectively, the third stanza, on the other hand, refers to the future. Drummer Hodge died during the war but by being laid to rest, he will become part of the land since his remains shares the plain where trees grow, and the stars will mark his grave. The third stanza proves that even after death, Drummer Hodge is still part of the future because he will be remembered. The words “be,” “grow”, and “eternally” refer to the time setting of the third stanza, which is the future.

Overall, the analysis of “Drummer Hodge” was narrowed down to a significant element in the poem – the setting, specifically the time. The poem, which has three stanzas denote different times – the present, the past, and the future – and illustrates the progression of events in the narrative. The tense of the verbs was applied appropriately to denote different times.