1. Who is speaking in the poem who is the speaking addressing?
2. What is the poem about?
3. Write down three things we learn about the SPEAKER from the language he
uses. Support this with evidence from the text.
4. Write down three things that we learn about the WAR from the language used by
the speaker. Support this with evidence from the text.
5. Why is the language clipped, the tone condescending?
6. What is the purpose of omitting most of the punctuation, including fullstops and
7. What concepts do you consider demeaning to the soldiers and is the speaker’s
choice of language acceptable in either the armed forces or in civilian life? Why
has Dawe written in this way?
8. The speaker in the poem refers to ‘a mob of the little yellows’ and the ‘Charlies’
with their ‘rotten fish-sauce breath’. To whom is he referring and why has Dawe
chosen language that most people would consider racist and offensive?
9. Does the opening line set the tone for the poem? How effective are
onomatopoeic words ‘click’ and ‘pitter-patter’?
10. What is the point of the last line and the repetition of ‘dead’?
11. Dawe has chosen to use a regular rhyme scheme for this poem – abba – and
finishing with a rhyming couplet. What is the effect of this?
12. What is the point of this poem? Would you consider this an anti-war poem?