Death is mine by Margaret Bradshaw

4th July 1997 at 01:00
Death is Mine by Margaret Bradshaw

Don't they ever stop?

Eventually they have to stop.

After all, they are human.

They are human, aren't they?

Homesick humans.

I want to go home, So I can be with my loved ones.

Mother will be missing me, I know she will.

Never again do I want to see another war.

England will be victorious.

Der Tod is mein.

Obacht! Das war nahe, die verdammten EnglAnder.

Ich mochte heim gehen.

Suesses heim. Ich vermisse meine Familie.

Tag fur Tag warte ich.

Mutter ich werde dich vermissen.

Ehrbarer junger Sohn.

Ich bin jung, jung and ich habe Angst.

Niemals wieder!

Next term's guest poet will be Kate Clanchy (pictured right). Her first collection, Slattern, was published last year and has been garlanded with prizes, including the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Somerset Maugham Award.

Educated in Edinburgh and Oxford, Kate trained as a teacher and has worked in comprehensive schools for eight years. Nowadays she teaches part-time in an Essex sixth-form college and leads poetry workshops with people of all ages.

Please send poems as soon as possible to The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY, clearly stating the poet's age and giving the name of the teacher and the name and address of the school.

Poems should not be longer than about 20 lines and should be the pupil's own unaided work. They cannot be returned.

Margaret Bradshaw has woven two languages together in her poem to underline the paradoxical similarities between people on different sides in war. This is a bold gesture for a poet to make and works best, as here, when you don't really need a detailed translation to get the message. The German words reflect the English, and vice versa, which serves to make the point and to aid understanding for readers from either country. Are we, I ask myself, witnessing here the birth of the Europoem among young writers?

* Margaret Bradshaw, aged 17, receives The School Bag, edited by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes (Faber). Submitted by Greg Bedford of Beanfield School, Corby, Northamptonshire, who receives a set of Poetry Society posters with teachers' notes. For Poetry Society events, ring 0171 240 2133.

Jo Shapcott is the Poetry Society's poet on the Internet:


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