- Slides: 20
Poetry in the First World War
Poetry from all over the world…
The Gift of India by Sarojini Naidu Is there ought you need that my hands withhold, Rich gifts of raiment or grain or gold? Lo! I have flung to the East and the West Priceless treasures torn from my breast, And yielded the sons of my stricken womb To the drum-beats of the duty, the sabers of doom. Gathered like pearls in their alien graves Silent they sleep by the Persian waves, Scattered like shells on Egyptian sands, They lie with pale brows and brave, broken hands, they are strewn like blossoms mown down by chance On the blood-brown meadows of Flanders and France
The Gift of India by Sarojini Naidu Can ye measure the grief of the tears I weep Or compass the woe of the watch I keep? Or the pride that thrills thro' my heart's despair And the hope that comforts the anguish of prayer? And the far sad glorious vision I see Of the torn red banners of victory? when the terror and the tumult of hate shall cease And life be refashioned on anvils of peace, And your love shall offer memorial thanks To the comrades who fought on the dauntless ranks, And you honour the deeds of the dauntless ones, Remember the blood of my martyred sons!
Poetry from the armed forces…
Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs, And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots, But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time, But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime. — Dim through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, — My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
Poetry from the Home Front…
Which poem do like most? Which words in your favourite poem are interesting or surprising?
What words could you use to convey a topic?
Never Such Innocence Poetry, Art and Song Competition Why not use poems from the First World War to inspire your own poetry! The competition is open to all children and young people aged 9 -16. The 2017/18 Competition is now open for entries – see our website for more details www. neversuchinnocence. com