These narrative poems tell stories and are perfect for drama and improvisation work. Arts On The Move has produced a lesson plan – WW1 Poetry Into Performance – on how the WW1 poem The Hero can be explored and brought to life. Matilda (who told lies and was burned to death) is a parable poem and Arts On The Move has created a great resource – Matilda Mini Script – which turns this poem into a simple performance. Arts On The Move has produced a one act script – The Pied Piper of Hamelin – which expands this fabulous narrative poem into a great play for young actors.
“The Hero,” by Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), was written in response to World War I. Sassoon was a British officer and a war hero, decorated for bravery on the Western Front, but he turned against the war: this poem reflects his disillusionment.
Matilda (Who told lies and was burned to death)
Hilaire Belloc is best remembered today for his satirical and children’s poems. The latter included “Cautionary Tales for Children” which appeared in 1907. "Matilda (who told lies and was burned to death)" is the best-known of these tales and is a re-telling of Aesop's fable, "The Boy Who Cried Wolf".
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
The Pied Piper of Hamelin was a rat-catcher hired by the townspeople of Hamelin to lure rats away with his magic pipe in return for payment. When the citizens refused to pay him, he took his revenge by luring their children away as he had the rats. This version of the story was written by Robert Browning in 1842.