“No Gifts from War” is a very insightful piece of literature. It tells the story of a farmer who loves his plantation and spent hours and hours taking care of it, until one day, he is called away to war. His plantation, family, and self all share one desire: his return.
He faithfully fulfills his duty as a soldier, despite his homesickness. The war greatly affects not only him, but his family and other citizens. They all want the war to end, and the farmer hopes to return home, but ends up getting killed in battle. His family is horrified by this truth, and many others are greatly affected by the results of the war.
I’d say this poem’s message is to convince the reader that war isn’t the answer to society’s problems. It follows the farmer’s story, and ends with him losing his life, which deeply affects his family. It also describes the fear, heartache, and sadness that war brings, all in all, convincing the reader against war.
As far as cultural items go, I noticed the names “Bannang Sata” and “Nongbalamphu”, which are obviously from Thai orgin. I decided to research each of these names. “Bannang Sata” was derived from an original Malay name, “Benang Setar”: “Benang” meaning sewing thread, and “Setar” meaning tree with small, sour fruit. Nongbalamphu’s first name meant, “the town with beautiful water with blooming lotus flowers.” These descriptions helped indicate why the farmer wanted to return to his land; it must’ve been very beautiful.