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World War I Poetry Workshop

  • CREA Nieuwe Achtergracht 170 Amsterdam, NH, 1018 Netherlands (map)

“If any question why we died
Tell them because our fathers lied”

First World War poetry has the power to move in a way that possibly nothing else does.

In this workshop. we will read and discuss our favourite poems. We will then develop and try out ideas for an evening’s performance. 
 
All are welcome. Bring your favourite poems. We do hope you come.
 
Registration – There is no limit to the number who can attend but it would be nice to have an idea of how many are interested. It would help if you registered even at the last minute. There is no charge for this workshop. nick.ohear@gmail.com

Rudyard Kipling sent his son to join the army in 1915. He went to the front in France, and was almost immediately killed by a shell, in the Battle of Loos. Kipling expressed his grief in the Epitaphs of the War. This is a long poem that lends itself to a theatrical performance, with many voices such as the Coward:

“I could not look on death, which being
known
Men led me to him blindfold and alone”

Or the Sleepy Sentinel:

“Faithless the watch that I kept: now I
have none to keep.
I was slain because I slept: now I am slain I
sleep.
Let no man reproach me again; whatever
watch is unkept
I sleep because I am slain. They slew me
because I slept.”

World War l abounds with achingly beautiful
poems.

“Perhaps some day the sun will shine
again,
And I shall see that still the skies are blue,
And feel once more I do not live in vain,
Although bereft of You.”
Vera Britain
“If I should die think only this of me….”
Rupert Brooke

As well as the visceral

“Of vile, incurable sores on innocent
tongues,-
My friend, you would not tell with such
high zest
To children ardent for some desperate
glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est pro
patria mori.”
Wilfred Owen