£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 14 November 2022 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more
‘War’, by Mary Gilmore
Skip main navigation

‘War’, by Mary Gilmore

Hannah Gordon reads the Mary Gilmore poem, ‘War’.
SPEAKER: “War,” by Mary Gilmore. “Out in the dust he lies; flies in his mouth, ants in his eyes, I stood at the door where he went out; full-grown man, ruddy and stout; I heard the march of the trampling feet, slow and steady come down the street; this beat of the drum was clods on the heart, for all the regiment looked so smart! I heard the crackle of hasty cheers run like the breaking of unshed tears, and just for a moment, as he went by, I had sight of his face, and the flash of his eye.
He died a hero’s death, they said, when they came to tell me my boy was dead; but out in the street a dead dog lies; flies in his mouth, ants in his eyes.”

Watch a reading of Mary Gilmore’s poem, ‘War’, read by Monash University student Hannah Gordon.

Talking point

In the Comments, share with other learners your thoughts on the Mary Gilmore poem. You may wish to talk about the way Gilmore expresses the conflict between the appeal of propaganda and the moral arguments that appealed to women as mothers and moral guardians of the nation.

Don’t forget to contribute to the discussion by working your way through the comments by other learners, making sure you provide constructive feedback and commentary.

This article is from the free online

World War 1: A History in 100 Stories

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education