English Poetry Revision : CONFLICT

Notes on all the poems needed for the Poetry for the Literature Exam in the Conflict section.

Mametz Wood

The earth 'stands senital' - this suggests that the earth is calm and just observing everything around it, or making you remember the men who had to literally stand senital in the battle at Mametz Wood.

'The farmers found them - the wasted young' - it is juxtapositional, we can picture farmers now plowing fields, and we can imagine them coming across bones from men that died many years ago in the battle. The calmess now contrasts with the bones from a macabre battle.

The "china plate of a shoulder blade" is "mimicked now in flint breaking blue and white" - using links between bones and china, china used to always be coloured blue and white. It is also an example of how the poet juxtaposes the peace of now with the battle of the past. The dead soldiers will not be forgotten, because their bones are copied now in flint.

The field, "where they were told to walk, not run" towards the wood and its "nestling machine guns" - we feel sorry for the soldiers who were forced to be scared. They had to walk as they were pelted with bullets. The guns are hiding in the woods, unseen and ready. 

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Mametz Wood (2)

"Wasted young" - we feel sorry for the soldiers because their lives have been lost before they should have.

"Broken bird's egg of a skull" - Sheers is suggesting the fragility of human life. It is a metaphor and makes you realise how easliy a skull can break. It shows that humans stand little chance against machine guns and shells.

Human skeletons wore "boots that outlasted them" - the boots were made by humans and need to be replaced reasonably often, yet they still outlive humans when they fight in wars. This shows the fragility of human life.

It could be argued that this poem is a memorial to the dead - that their sacrifice will not be forgotten. This is because, in the poem, Sheers highlights that even now there are things in the field that remind us of the battle like the bones of the soldiers. There is also the blue and white coloured flint that is mimicking the colour of the bones. This shows that even things that are not from the battle will make us remember those who died in it.

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The Falling Leaves

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Megan (moderator)






yeh ur notes hardly tell me somthing so can u plz just put more understanderble notes!!!!!!!!!



I'm selected for higher, therefore some poems are excluded - which poems are they? I'm certain its "Flag"..what else?

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