Peter Roberts "Target Area" is an influential poem that exposes the reality of war. The poem depicts a bombing mission targeting an enemy village, beginning with the entry of the bomber into the target area and ending with its escape. Peter Roberts gives a vivid description of the bombing raid from the perspective of the bombardier. Roberts describes what the bombardier endures, observes, hears, and encounters during the raid.
The theme of the poem is the sights and sounds of war throughout the eyes of the bombardier. Peter Roberts expresses this by writing how the bombardier feels during the raid, "they have us! First a couple then a third, then dozens of them like a giant bird" This simile generates the effect that he feels scared and hesitant. Peter Roberts focuses on certain words to create an image in our minds "beyond the tireless searchlights bound for home, along the cloud-strewn way that we have come."
The structure of the poem consists of three different components; the first section describes the anxiety of a bombing mission. The second describes targeting the area and the third, describes flying home. This type of poem is a ballad. The poem is unique because it explains in detail, what would have happened over a series of minutes. Each stanza has its own effect, the third and forth stanzas are longer to produce the effect that when your about to die time slows down. The poem flows with rhythm all the way through it. It is a very anxiety filled piece and shows how people are affected by war.
Peter Roberts uses a various amount of different techniques to create an effect for the outcome of the poem. Each technique generates a mood for the poem. "Left-left! Left-left again! A little ri-i-ight .