Written by Everyman
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Topics: Iraq, Poetry

Sunday, 23 March 2008

image for British Army admit isolated incidents of poetry in Iraq
Soldiers compare rhymes and lengths of verse

The British Army has had to admit that some of its personnel have been involved in acts of poetry whilst serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

General Sir Richard Dannatt KCB CBE MC, Head of the Army, told this website: "Look, war is hell. Sometimes stuff happens - and that includes poetry. I am not proud of it and it is something we work tirelessly to eradicate - but I cannot pretend it does not happen."

Recent revelation include:

A sonnet written to lost youth in Basra

Lines written in alexandrine hexameter dedicated to the innocent victims of insurgent warfare

Some blank verse, bemoaning the lack of adequate investment in equipment for troops fighting in Helmand province.

The British press has been ferocious in its response on the poetry: "Not since the first world war have we seen such dreadful examples of verse." Said the Daily Mirror in a recent editorial. This was of course the same organ that published fake poems that had been allegedly written by British soldiers - a case that cost the job of then editor Piers Morgan.

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