Ermant asked in Arts & HumanitiesPoetry · 4 weeks ago

Confusing words in a poem?

I've stumbled upon a poem, but I don't understand some parts of it. In particular:

1) What does the expression "red miles" mean in the lines "We must fight now, not for more red miles on the schoolroom map..."?

2) What does the phrase "No more than you" even refer to?

English is not my native language, and I don't hail from the English-speaking world, so excuse me if the questions seem dumb or uneducated.

Update:

In case the image is too small to read off of, here is the link to the poem:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/br...

Attachment image

3 Answers

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  • Tina
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    The territories ruled by the British Empire were actually coloured pink (because otherwise the names wouldn't show up) but the poet is thinking of them as red - partly because red was the colour associated with Empire, and possibly because he sees them as metaphorically blood-stained.

  • 4 weeks ago

    War used to be fought for land and bigger boundaries and drawn as red lines on maps. I think "no more than you" means "no more for you," as in no more land for you.

  • 4 weeks ago

    I'm guessing that it means

    "not to increase the territory that our nation possesses"

    (i.e. increasing the boundaries, which are colored red on the maps that he remembers)

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