A Dead Boche

Robert von Ranke Graves 1895 (Wimbledon, Surrey) – 1985 (Deià, Majorca)




To you who'd read my songs of War
And only hear of blood and fame,
I'll say (you've heard it said before)
"War's Hell!" and if you doubt the same,
Today I found in Mametz Wood
A certain cure for lust of blood:
  
Where, propped against a shattered trunk,
In a great mess of things unclean,
Sat a dead Boche; he scowled and stunk
With clothes and face a sodden green,
Big-bellied, spectacled, crop-haired,
Dribbling black blood from nose and beard.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

Modified on May 03, 2023

26 sec read
39

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABABXX CDCDXX
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 437
Words 84
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 6, 6

Robert von Ranke Graves

Robert von Ranke Graves (24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985) was a British poet, historical novelist, critic, and classicist. His father was Alfred Perceval Graves, a celebrated Irish poet and figure in the Gaelic revival; they were both Celticists and students of Irish mythology. Graves produced more than 140 works in his lifetime. His poems, his translations and innovative analysis of the Greek myths, his memoir of his early life—including his role in World War I—Good-Bye to All That, and his speculative study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess, have never been out of print. He earned his living from writing, particularly popular historical novels such as I, Claudius; King Jesus; The Golden Fleece; and Count Belisarius. He also was a prominent translator of Classical Latin and Ancient Greek texts; his versions of The Twelve Caesars and The Golden Ass remain popular for their clarity and entertaining style. Graves was awarded the 1934 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for both I, Claudius and Claudius the God.  more…

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