This helpful resource supports students studying English war poetry to explore the creative ideas, form and structure behind classic World War One poetry, and then use these concepts to create their own war poem.
Using poetry from Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brooke as inspiration, students can investigate key ideas, themes and motivations of the war poets and interrogate why they produced war poems about World War One in this fashion.
A carefully scaffolded poetry writing resource which explores two key World War One poems, 'The Sentry' and 'The Soldier', enables students to think deeply about pertinent contextual issues.
Students are encouraged to dive into the constructs of war poetry and consider how war poets, like Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon, presented the realities of the front line and the horrors of war.
In addition, students are also encouraged to experiment with their own poetry writing, using activities designed to support imaginative and creating writing in the development of a new personal poem about war.
Browse additional war poem resources in the poetry section.
Example poetry writing prompts from the resource:
1. Try to use visual and aural poetic features
Alliteration – repetition of a consonant sound (for the sound of the bombs / guns).
Onomatopoeia – words that sound like the sound they make such as ‘buzz’ or ‘sizzle’(to reflect the sound of the battle or the soldiers).
Personification – giving objects or things human qualities (to make the weapons / war seem more frightening).
Rhyme – sound patterning and rhythm (to reflect the sound of the war).
Simile – describing something as like or as something else (to describe how the soldiers looked / felt / were injured).
2. Write emotively about the horrors of war
Start off with a dramatic opening line, like:
The soldiers marched, trudging like burdened men,
Bombs crashed and …
Have a go at changing the words in bold to see if you can give it a different feel – you may want to try a number of versions to see which is most effective.
3. Try zooming in:
Try to remember an image from a war film, photograph or programme you may have seen which particularly affected you. Think about all the details you can remember and zoom in on them – remembering the smallest real detail can help to add authenticity to your poem.
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