Notes on 'Mametz Wood'- Owen Sheers

Notes on the poem 'Mametz Wood'- Owen Sheers, from 'Moon on the tides'

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Mametz Wood- Owen Sheers
Author born 1974- contemporary, welsh
About a grave found with welsh guard found inside
Men died 1916, July- first battle of the Somme
Shows the reality of battle- like charge, bayonet, falling leaves
`relic' something, religious, from the past
`danse macabre'- `dance of death' medieval dance and poetry theme, it depicts a
skeleton (death) leading all ranks of people (i.e. rich and poor) to their graves. It
symbolises the inevitability of death
Mametz Wood- the place where the men were found
`like a wound' very effective simile. We can't forget the men that died; the land
won't let us forget them. The land is moving the bodies up because they shouldn't
be there- they should be in a proper grave
`nest' is meant to be safe
The pieces of bone represent the whole body that used to be there
o Quite critical of war
o War/army language- jargon
o "unearthed"- secret revealed
o "Absent tongue"- they have not got a tongue anymore- they will never get
a chance to complain about the way they were treated
o The men should have worn their boots out from use- not the other way
o It's sad that they weren't found earlier as they could have been given a
proper burial


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