Return to the Somme poem in the English text: The Song of the Mud
- This is the song of the mud,
- The pale yellow glistening mud that covers the hills like satin;
- The grey gleaming silvery mud that is spread like enamel over the valleys;
- The frothing, squirting, spurting, liquid mud that gurgles along the road beds;
- The thick elastic mud that is kneaded and pounded and squeezed under the hoofs of the horses;
- The invincible, inexhaustible mud of the war zone.
- This is the song of the mud, the uniform of the poilu.
- His coat is of mud, his great dragging flapping coat, that is too big for him and too heavy;
- His coat that once was blue and now is grey and stiff with the mud that cakes to it.
- This is the mud that clothes him. His trousers and boots are of mud,
- And his skin is of mud;
- And there is mud in his beard.
- His head is crowned with a helmet of mud.
- He wears it well.
- He wears it as a king wears the ermine that bores him.
- He has set a newstyle in clothing;
- He has introduced the chic of mud.
- This is the song of the mud that wriggles its way into battle.
- The impertinent, the intrusive, the ubiquitous, the unwelcome,
- The slimy inveterate nuisance,
- That fills the trenches,
- That mixes in with the food of the soldiers,
- That spoils the working of motors and crawls into their secret parts,
- That spreads itself over the guns,
- That sucks the guns down and holds them fast in its slimy voluminous lips,
- That has no respect for destruction and muzzles the bursting shells;
- And slowly, softly, easily,
- Soaks up the fire, the noise; soaks up the energy and the courage;
- Soaks up the power of armies;
- Soaks up the battle.
- Just soaks it up and thus stops it.
- This is the hymn of mud-the obscene, the filthy, the putrid,
- The vast liquid grave of our armies. It has drowned our men.
- Its monstrous distended belly reeks with the undigested dead.
- Our men have gone into it, sinking slowly, and struggling and slowly disappearing.
- Our fine men, our brave, strong, young men;
- Our glowing red, shouting, brawny men.
- Slowly, inch by inch, they have gone down into it,
- Into its darkness, its thickness, its silence.
- Slowly, irresistibly, it drew them down, sucked them down,
- And they were drowned in thick, bitter, heaving mud.
- Now it hides them, Oh, so many of them!
- Under its smooth glistening surface it is hiding them blandly.
- There is not a trace of them.
- There is no mark where they went down.
- The mute enormous mouth of the mud has closed over them.
- This is the song of the mud,
- The beautiful glistening golden mud that covers the hills like satin;
- The mysterious gleaming silverymud that is spread like enamel over the valleys.
- Mud, the disguise of the war zone;
- Mud, the mantle of battles;
- Mud, the smooth fluid grave of our soldiers:
- This is the song of the mud.
Return to the Somme: Questions and Answers
The Battle of the Somme fought between July and November 1916 during World War I, was one of the bloodiest conflicts in history. With an estimated one million casualties, it left an indelible mark on those who took part. In an effort to better understand this significant event, we have compiled a set of ten descriptive questions and answers about the return of the Somme.
Question 1: What was the purpose of the Battle of the Somme?
Answer: The battle was intended to relieve pressure on French forces at Verdun and break the German front lines. It was originally planned as a decisive offensive for the Allies.
Question 2: How long did the Battle of the Somme last?
Answer: The battle lasted for 141 days, from July 1 to November 18, 1916.
Question 3: Who were the main participants in the battle?
Answer: The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and the French Army, collectively known as the Allies, fought against the German Empire.
Question 4: How significant were the casualties during the battle?
Answer: The Battle of the Somme resulted in astonishing casualties. The British alone suffered over 400,000 dead, wounded, or missing, while the Germans had around half a million casualties.
Question 5: What were the main challenges faced by soldiers returning from the Somme?
Answer: Soldiers returning from the Somme faced severe physical and psychological challenges. The traumatic experience of trench warfare, witnessing comrades’ death and suffering, and the constant fear of attacks took a toll on their well-being.
Question 6: Were there any positive outcomes from the battle?
Answer: Despite its staggering casualties, the Battle of the Somme brought some positive changes. It forced a strategic diversion of German forces and played a part in the eventual victory for the Allies in World War I.
Question 7: How were veterans treated upon returning from the Somme?
Answer: Returning soldiers faced various challenges in readjusting to civilian life, including physical disabilities and mental trauma. Unfortunately, many veterans were not adequately supported by society and struggled with finding employment and coping with their wartime experiences.
Question 8: Did the Battle of the Somme have lasting cultural and historical significance?
Answer: Yes, the Battle of the Somme remains a pivotal event in history, symbolizing the futility and horror of trench warfare during World War I. It has left an enduring impact on cultural and historical narratives surrounding the war.
Question 9: What lessons were learned from the Battle of the Somme?
Answer: The Battle of the Somme taught military strategists significant lessons regarding modern warfare. These lessons include the need for better artillery support, combined arms operations, and improved coordination between infantry and artillery.
Question 10: How has the battle been commemorated today?
Answer: The Battle of the Somme is commemorated annually on July 1st and remains an essential part of the collective memory and national consciousness of the countries involved. Memorials, ceremonies, and educational initiatives aim to honor the fallen and educate future generations about war horrors.
The Battle of the Somme left an indelible mark on history, shaping our view of war and its consequences. By delving into these descriptive questions and answers, we gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and significance surrounding the return to the Somme. This ensures that those who fought sacrifices are never forgotten.
Return from the Somme: Summary of Individual and Society
The Battle of the Somme, fought between July and November 1916, stands as one of the bloodiest and most devastating battles in human history. In this battle, countless lives were lost and a wounded generation returned home. This essay aims to provide a descriptive summary of the impact the Battle of the Somme had on both individuals and society. It sheds light on the profound consequences it had on the collective psyche and its resonance in the immediate aftermath.
The individual experience of soldiers who survived the brutalities of the battle was marked by physical and psychological scars that haunted them for the rest of their lives. Those who returned grappled with vivid and distressing memories of the horrors they witnessed on the Somme fields. The war trauma left a lasting imprint, manifesting as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological ailments. These individuals often struggled to reintegrate into society, burdened by their experiences, which altered their perception of the world.
Moreover, the impact of the Battle of the Somme extended beyond the individuals directly involved in the conflict. The devastating loss of life had a profound effect on society as a whole. Families mourned the loss of loved ones, grappling with immense grief and rebuilding challenges. Communities were left depleted, with entire generations destroyed. The somber atmosphere that permeated society following the battle reflected collective trauma and mourning for the fallen soldiers.
In the aftermath of the Somme, the impact on society was not limited to the emotional scars left by the death. Society’s economic and social fabric was also profoundly disrupted. The war effort demanded vast resources, redirecting manpower and materials away from the civilian sectors. When soldiers returned, many found themselves unemployed or struggling to find purpose in a society struggling to recover from war turmoil. The social dislocation caused by the battle created disillusionment and frustration among the survivors. This was because they sought to find their place in a society irrevocably altered by the conflict.
Despite the somber aftermath of the Battle of the Somme, it is essential to acknowledge the resilience and strength exhibited by individuals and society. This was as they sought to rebuild their lives. Communities came together to support one another, forming a collective bond that healed war wounds. The Somme scars would forever be etched in individual and collective memory. They served as a reminder of war horrors and the imperative to strive for peace.
In conclusion, the Battle of the Somme had a profound and lasting impact on both individuals and society. The battlefield survivors were burdened with physical and psychological scars that would forever shape their outlook on life. Meanwhile, society grappled with the immense loss of life, triggering collective trauma and altering communities. Nevertheless, individuals and society alike demonstrated the capacity for rebuilding and healing in the face of devastation. The Somme memory serves as a poignant reminder of the deep connection between individuals and society. It also reminds us of the indelible impact of war and the importance of cherishing peace.
In the extract “Return from the Somme,” the Somme refers to a region in
France, specifically the Somme department in the Hauts-de-France region. It is known for its historical significance as the site of one of the deadliest battles in World War I, the Battle of the Somme. This battle took place from July to November 1916.