Mametz Wood - Owen Sheers

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  • Mametz Wood
    • Context
      • title - Mametz Wood was the name of the area of woodland where the Battle of the Somme took place, which is the war written about in the poem
      • the Battle of the Somme was one of the most deadly battle of WW1
      • the welsh were successful in their part of the battle, but the victory was never really celebrated or noticed
    • Passing of Time
      • "the wasted young"
        • shows how once these young men were seen as great saviours to their country, and as time has passed they are seen as wasted and are felt sorry for, when they were once vicious soldiers
      • "boots that outlasted them"
        • the boots of the soldiers did not rot and degrade as the soldiers had overtime and are quite well preserved, as opposed to the buried soldiers, who are now just skeletons
      • "reaching back into itself for reminders"
        • it had been so long since the terrible events that memoried had to be uncovered to remember why the soldiers would have been buried there
      • structure and form
        • the poem is in a regular structure of stanzas with three lines each, showing the regularity of the passing of time, no matter what happens in that time, time always moves on, with or without people
    • Pain and Suffering
      • "notes they had sung"
        • welsh soldiers were well known for singing, possibly showing how they tried to stay positive through times of pain
      • structure and form
        • the repetitive and regular three line stanzas could show the repetitive and unrelatenint nature of pain and suffering and how it is a cycle of trauma for people, especially those involved in war
      • "skeletons paused mid dance-macabre"
        • the soldiers are now seen to be dark and evil seeming, when they were once young men, naively joining a battle that they knew little about the traumas of
      • "absent tongues"
        • the men are both unable to sing, something which once brought them joy, and unable to tell their story to the world and explain themselves, adding to their pain and torture
    • Death and Loss
      • title
        • Mametz Wood was the place where the Welsh fought during the Battle of the Somme - one of the bloodiest battles of WW1, showing the tragic numbers of deaths
          • "twenty men buried in one long grave"
      • structure and form
        • regular stanzas of three lines each, showing the regular and repetitive killing during war and how it continued no matter what happened, unremorsefully
          • "reaching back into itself for reminders of what happened"
      • "absent tongues"
        • the soldiers, unmouned and uncared for are unable to tell their story as they are absent from the present day and have lost communication
      • "the wasted young"
        • the young men who fought and were killed could have gone on to great things, but the loss of their young lives in such tragic and unnecessary events means we are now unable to know what they could have done, their lives were wasted
    • Effects of War
      • "a broken mosaic of bone"
        • the soldiers were broken and destroyed, probably painfully during the war
      • "and their jaws, those that had them"
        • the men had been so badly injured and killed during the war that many of them were lacking in jaws, showing the extent of the pain and trauma
      • "in boots that outlasted them"
        • the boots lasted longer than the lives of the soldiers did, boots more equipped and prepared than the soldiers, showing their young naivety, the soldiers had been there so long their bodies had rotted, but their boots hadn't
      • structure and form
        • the poem is in regular stanzas of three lines each, showing the repetitive killing and evil of war and how regular and normal it was seen to be at the time and therefore why the men who buried them were so uncaring
          • "twenty men buried in one long grave"
    • Nature
      • "broken birds egg of a skull"
        • shows how fragile life is and showing how mature is uncaring towards the suffering, as it did not create birds eggs, or skulls, to be durable and indestructible
      • structure and form
        • the structure of the poem is made up of many stanzas of three lines each, showing the repetitive and unrelenting cycle of nature
      • "unearthing"
        • nature had been hiding and preserving the soldiers bodies underground, waiting for them to be found, showing the lack of care and how nature continues no matter what
      • "even now the earth stands sentinel"
        • the earth is not impacted by the bodies hidden beneath it, showing natures lack of care for the goings on around it, nature continues no matter what

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