On the 1st of July 1916 The Battle of the Somme began. This text is a companion to my recent narrative poem about the same it examines the true cost. An examination of the horrors of war with no flag waving.

A history lesson in verse at an English publ

The Cost by M.A.Meddings

Jones my boy!
Tell the class
What you can
About the Battle of the Somme

Come come boy!
You have heard of the Somme
Have you not?

Oh indeed sir!
I have!
My uncle was killed
On the first day
As were many sir!
On that first day

Who spoke?
Stand up boy
tell the class what you know

Not too much sir
Except I heard
that 20000 men
died on that first day

And boy?
Please continue
Well sir!
At the end of the battle
on November the 13th
420000 of our soldiers
Had lost their lives

And the Germans boy?
What of the Germans?
Not too sure sir!
But my Mother told me
That battle alone
Cost the lives of
Nearly 1,200,000 men

And who thinks
it matters about our enemies?

Yes boy?
You with your hand up
Speak up!

It matters that
Any life is lost sir
And it depends!

On what boy?
On who the enemy is sir
Your point boy is what?
Tell the class

My point is
Related to reports
That British Military Policemen
Were ordered to shoot anyone
Who refused to advance
When the whistles blew

What for boy?
Because they
Were considered

They boy!
Were considered cowards!!!
Yes sir cowards!!!
Had you uttered those words
During the war!
You too would have been shot!!

Can any one tell me
What for ?
Yes sir I can!
Sedition sir! You are
Exactly correct!

And who can tell me
Were there any benefits
From the batlle?

Yes there were Sir!!
It was the battle
After which
The British army
Learned how

To defeat the German army

Poetry by lastromantichero The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2006-07-01 at 14:36

Tags War 

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A good reflection and well expressed as always, hero.
I think of the Roman poet Horace's famous verse "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" - it is sweet and honorable to die for one's country. From the Roman empire to World war I and even to the empires of today, mankind doesn't seem to have learned so much. And evil still reaps thousands of innocent victims.

Makes you wonder why History lessons are so biased.
Great read.

Zoya Zaidi
A very Good take on how history lessons are 'taught'!
War is a war and always wrong!
No matter which side the loss;
It is mankind who always loses...
Love,xxx, Zoya

Kathy Lockhart The PoetBay support member heart!
What a lesson that was taught here in this poem, there in that pub, and forever on that battleground! Wars' horrors are sometimes vivid and upfront and then sometimes they are vivid and yet go unnoticed. Mike, you brought me to that pub and then in turn took me by the hand and showed me all of the horrors on that one battlefield at least the ones told in history. Absoluetly rivieting.