What does this poem mean?

It's from the Doctor Who episode "A good man goes to war"

Demons run when a good man goes to war.

Night will fall and drown the sun,

When a good man goes to war.

Friendship dies and true love lies,

Night will fall and the dark will rise,

When a good man goes to war.

Demons run, but count the cost.

The battle's won but the child is lost.

I am puzzled as to what it's talking about.

6 Answers

  • Both Amy Pond and Melody Pond / River Song figure largely as little girls in Steven Moffat's first full season as writer / supervisor on the Doctor Who scripts. Both Amy and Melody are 'lost' to the Doctor in different ways (remember that River Song's timeline runs in the opposite direction to the Doctor's: as River ages, the Doctor gets younger).

    The entire theme of this series of episodes is the paradoxes of a timeless Doctor falling in love with (and to some extent, breeding with) a timebound human woman. Because of the Doctor's position outside standard time, he has a physical intimacy both with Amy and with River - without this beingïnċⓔstuous (or is it)?

    In order to understand the lyric, you need to think carefully about all the timelines; and how both mother and daughter are lost children.

    There isn't a single decipherment of the poem. If a poem could be said in easier words, the poet would have done that.

  • This was written for the Doctor Who series, and can only be properly explained if you have all the information from the story-line.

    Demons Run is the name of the asteroid base where Amy is being held prisoner

    Read it like this.

    Demons run.

    When a good man goes to war, night will fall and drown the sun.

    When a good man goes to war, friendship dies and true love lies.

    Night will fall and the dark will rise, when a good man goes to war.

    Demons run, but count the cost.

    The battle's won, but the child is lost.

    River Song is explaining what the meaning of the name, Demons Run, is.

    ...remember the base was created to hold Amy and to steal her child, it has already been forecast that the Dr. must go to war against the headless monks and a massed army to save Melody....and on, and on ...and backwards in time, and forwards in time and It's the Doctor, Jack.... we need pages and pages

    Think of each line...remember the story....

  • I think that this poem could have to do with anger. The good man is angry at the world and the night rises and his friends are gone.

    The demons come out when he's mad.

    As for the demons run but count the cost I'm not so sure

  • The Man is fighting with his inner self. The "sun" is the happiness and brightness. The "night" is the darkness and hate. The night is the man's bad side. The deamons are his bad ideas and thoughts. His bad ideas start when he fights himself. Even though he's a good person, even good people fight with themselves. He did something to bother his friends and the people he loved. Even when the daemons are gone, the cost of his actions were too high. He lost his innocence and his kindness in this poem.

  • This poem, the simplest of terms, means that you should fear what a good man will do when he is forced to do bad things. He will do what is best for everyone as a whole, which means that both demons (his enemies) and the innocent (the child) will suffer at the hands of his ruthlessness. It means that the good man is the man that can be the most evil, for he knows what it takes to ensure permanent victory.

  • I interpreted "Demons Run thusly, as a standalone poem, unrelated to the Dr. Who episodes. I believe it relates to war, but also personal demons (such as anger, weakness, lying, cheating, etc) and confrontations, and also very possibly addiction:

    - a good man is virtuous, he tries to do good things, this oncludes not wanting to kill people or go to war.

    - WHEN a good man is forced to go to war, his belief that the war is jus makes him so dangerous that even demons run from fear of what he will do.

    - when his morality allows him to kill, a good man is righteously justified and his very dangerous (think religious crusaders).

    Night will fall and drown the sun: he will live in darkness while he fights this war as a metaphor for the way his morality has been darkened by his need to go to war.

    Friendship dies and true love lies: these positive things the good man had going on in his life will become bad things because he is not there to nurture them and/or his hardened (day to night) soul no longer requires them.

    Night will fall and dark will rise: the dark of his soul will become greater thhan the goodness that is in his heart. He will become a war hardened man, dark in his soul.

    The demons run but count the cost: the evil/bad things he defeated brought his zealous fighting leave, but they haven t given up on the war, and count their lossss waiting for a time to return, when they have more numbers or strength.

    The battles one but the child is lost: although the good man won he battle of war, the inner child (child used to denote innocence and goodness) has been lost because he has been bough such horrible things and had to do horrible things to confront the demons.

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