Source A: by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

(this poem is called “In Flanders Field.” This tells us that the war killed so many people, that it fills up an entire field of poppy.)

 

                                                                      Source B: Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) “How to Die”

Dark clouds are smouldering into red   While down the craters morning burns. The dying soldier shifts his head   To watch the glory that returns; He lifts his fingers toward the skies   Where holy brightness breaks in flame; Radiance reflected in his eyes,   And on his lips a whispered name. You’d think, to hear some people talk,   That lads go West with sobs and curses, And sullen faces white as chalk,   Hankering for wreaths and tombs and hearses. But they’ve been taught the way to do it   Like Christian soldiers; not with haste And shuddering groans; but passing through it   With due regard for decent taste.

(This poem tells us that there was nothing but violence and chaos.)

 

 

                                              Source C: Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) “Anthem for a Doomed Youth”

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? –Only the monstrous anger of the guns.  Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. No mockeries for them from prayers or bells,  Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,- The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;  And bugles calling for them from sad shires. What candles may be held to speed them all?  Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.  The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall; Their flowers the tenderness of silent minds, And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

(The reason why they call this an ‘anthem’ is because children were forced to go to war.)

 

                                         Source D: Herbert Read (1893-1968) “The Happy Warrior”

His wild heart beats with painful sobs, His strin’d hands clench an ice-cold rifle, His aching jaws grip a hot parch’d tongue, His wide eyes search unconsciously. He cannot shriek. Bloody saliva Dribbles down his shapeless jacket

(according to the script, when the warrior was killed in battle, he died happily. This tells us that even though many died, they are in a better place.)

 

By: Sean and Jack

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