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Mentone Girls' Grammar School | Kerferd Library

War Poetry: Seamus Heaney

Year 10 English | Language [VCELA] Literature [VCELT]

Source: Four Canadian soldiers, sleeping and writing letters in the trenches near Willerval. (IWM, 2019). Insert image: Seamus Heaney. (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2019).

Level 1 resource"The ‘war poet’ and ‘war poetry’, observed Robert Graves in 1942, were ‘terms first used in World War I and perhaps peculiar to it’. From Anglo-Saxon times to the Boer War, war poetry in English was written largely by civilians and did not have a clearly defined identity; with the extraordinary outpouring between 1914 and 1918, it established itself as a genre and the soldier-poet became a species." (Das, 2014)

Referencing Notice Don't forget to cite and reference your sources. For help see the Junior School or Senior School referencing guides, and / or CiteMaker.
Resource Key

When accessing content use the numbers below to guide you:

LEVEL

Brief, basic information laid out in an easy-to-read format. May use informal language. (Includes most news articles)

LEVEL

Provides additional background information and further reading. Introduces some subject-specific language.

Level 3 resourceLEVEL

Lengthy, detailed information. Frequently uses technical/subject-specific language. (Includes most analytical articles)

General Capabilities
Enduring Understandings
  • Students will understand that poetry is a deliberate form of language where structural and linguistic features combine to create meaning.
  • Students will understand that the poetry of war has a long tradition in literature.
  • Students will understand that meaning may change depending on the context, culture and linguistic understanding of the reader.
Essential Questions
  • How is poetry different to prose?
  • How can we create meaning with language?

Jump toJump to: Quick facts | Articles | eBooks | Poems

War Poetry | Seamus Heaney: Quick facts

Level 1Seamus Heaney (13 April 1939 – 30 August 2013)

War Poetry | Seamus Heaney: Articles

Level 2Articles

War Poetry | Seamus Heaney: Poems

Using YouTube on campus help and instructions
In this section you will find the poem as well as online content that provides additional background information and literary criticism. Scroll down to see all the content.

Testimony

by Seamus Heaney

‘We were killing pigs when the
Yanks arrived.
A Tuesday morning, sunlight
And gutter-blood
Outside the slaughter house.
From the main road
They would have heard the screaming,
Then heard it stop and had a view of us
In our gloves and aprons coming
Down the hill.
Two lines of them, guns on their
Shoulders, marching.
Armoured cars and tanks and open jeeps.
Sunburnt hands and arms.
Unarmed, in step,
Hosting for Normandy.
Not that we knew then
Where they were headed, standing
There like youngsters
As they tossed us gum and tubes of
Coloured sweets’

 

Source: Heaney, S. (XXXX) Testimony. Retrieved from https://engpoetry.com/seamus-heaney/testimony/


Level 1 resourceFilm and videoTo view this video on campus remember to first login to your school Google account using your mConnect username and password. Click here for more help on using YouTube on campus.

Source

When using this video don't forget to cite and reference your sources. For more information and help see the Kerferd Library referencing guide and / or CiteMaker.

In text citation: (Ecclestone, 2013) or Ecclestone (2013)
Bibliography / Reference list:Ecclestone, C. (2013). Testimony by Seamus Heaney: Read by Christopher Ecclestone. Channel 4. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/KEBHvdeEJqA

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