"Bayonet Charge" was written by British poet Ted Hughes and published in Hughes's first collection, The Hawk in the Rain (1957). Set in the heat of battle, the poem focuses on the thoughts and behavior of a soldier in World War I. This soldier is depicted mid-charge, his bayonet (that is, the blade attached to this end of his gun) primed to attack the enemy. However, he has an epiphany during his charge and suddenly questions why he's there in the first place. Old notions like patriotism and honor seem to fade away as the soldier confronts the absurd reality of war—and of the likelihood of his own death.