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Cat 2 – War Poetry Oral Presentation.

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CAT 2 – War Poetry Oral Presentation

Poem: The Leveller, 1916 – Robert Graves

Near Martinpuisch that night of hell

Two men were struck by the same shell,

Together tumbling in one heap

Senseless and limp like slaughtered sheep.

One was a pale eighteen-year-old,

Blue-eyed and thin and not too bold,

Pressed for the war not ten years too soon,

The shame and pity of his platoon.

The other came from far-off lands

With bristling chin and whiskered hands,

He had known death and hell before

In Mexico and Ecuador.

Yet in his death this cut-throat wild

Groaned 'Mother! Mother!' like a child,

While that poor innocent in man's clothes

Died cursing God with brutal oaths.

Old Sergeant Smith, kindest of men,

Wrote out two copies there and then

Of his accustomed funeral speech

To cheer the womenfolk of each:---

*'He died a hero's death: and we

His comrades of "A" Company

Deeply regret his death; we shall

All deeply miss so true a pal.'*

Background Story:

Robert Graves, born in London, 1895 was a successful poet, novelist, critic, and classical scholar.

Graves grew up in a large and chaotic family with Irish, English, Scottish and German roots. At age 12 Graves went to a well-known public school called the Charterhouse School. Although Graves had begun writing poetry at the school he hated the school because he found it hard to fit in and got bullied.

When England had declared war on Germany Graves took this opportunity to get out of school as well as do something for his country.

During the war Graves was involved in a lot of trench warfare over the three years he was serving. Although many of Graves’ friends were killed he managed to survive the war. Whilst Graves was in the trenches he wrote many poems about the war and his experiences.

When Graves returned from the war he became a popular writer. Graves



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