Literary Madness | Scottish War Poetry

“Sweet be their sleep now wherever they’re lying

Far though they be from the hills of their home…”

Click here to listen to Munro’s Poem ‘Lament for the Lads’.

Click here to listen to more about the World War One Poets Memorial.

Poetry is defined by Oxford languages as “literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature.” This idea of striking emotions within work and within those who, in some way, are influenced by the work is something that resonated with me and led to the decision to create a happening that was directly involved in the process of conveying emotions. Therefore, today, what I want you to do is to click on the link above and listen to the audio of a poem published 12 years after World War One by popular writer Neil Munro and draw what emotions this resurrected within you. You can use any colour you can want, you can draw one image, you can draw a whole variety of images, you can draw a mix and match of images and lines/symbols but just try to draw/ visualise what emotions the words of Munro generates within you.

Key Information about the War Memorial:

· Poetry acted as a form of escapism for many Scottish soldiers throughout and after the first world war.

· The quote written across the memorial was chosen by the public thanks to the help of an online poll. The quotes on the right-hand side (by other Scottish poets) were also contenders to be placed on the memorial.

· The memorial was created to give credit and recognition to Scottish war poets who are often forgotten/ overshadowed in comparison to more famous writers such as English writer.

· MACKIE: “Will you forget?/Like those in other wars,/The soldier and the scars –/Will you forget?” taken from Will You Forget?

· Salmond: “… still we hear the music across the poppied corn/Across a world of sorrow the ghostly pipers blow” from Twenty Years Ago.

· Stewart: “… make our story shine/In the fierce light it craves” from Revisiting the Somme.

· Neil Munro’s poem ‘Lament for the Lads’ was the eventual winner.

This site specific activity was created by Queen Margaret University students as part of the BA (Hons) Drama and Performance/BA (Hons) Theatre & Film Site Specific module. Please do not remove any resources or artwork as this has been set out for assessment purposes and will later be removed by students.

Any issues or questions in regards to this performance, please contact Lewis Baird:

Thank you and we hope you enjoyed participating in this activity.