Homework Project

Prepare one of these poems to recite aloud showing your understanding through intonation, tone and volume: you should make the meaning clear to the audience.  You can work on your own or in a pair.  Your recital must be ready for 7th November.

“Invictus,” was written by the 19th-century English poet William Ernest Henley. “Invictus” gave Mandela strength during his 27-year jail sentence.

 Invictus

 Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

 

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

 

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

 

In Flanders Fields was written by John McCrae, a medical officer killed at the front in 1918.

 In Flanders Fields

 

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.

 

Siegfried Sassoon, was an officer who became increasingly angry about the way that the war was conducted.

 Does it Matter?

 

DOES it matter?—losing your legs?…

For people will always be kind,

And you need not show that you mind

When the others come in after hunting

To gobble their muffins and eggs.

 

Does it matter?—losing your sight?…

There’s such splendid work for the blind;

And people will always be kind,

As you sit on the terrace remembering

And turning your face to the light.

 

Do they matter?—those dreams from the pit?…

You can drink and forget and be glad,

And people won’t say that you’re mad;

For they’ll know you’ve fought for your country

And no one will worry a bit.

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