Friday, 22 March 2013

11bEn1 - 'Kissing' homework

Hi 11bEn1 (noisy class!),

'Kissing' is probably the toughest of the poems we have done so far, so it's worth taking a bit more time to deepen our understanding of it.

The poem focuses in two halves on the relationships between young couples, and then older couples. I personally think that Adcock portrays the young as shallow and lacking in passion, kissing only because they see another couple doing so at the lake, and so feel that it is the 'done thing'. The middle aged, on the other hand, kiss out of pure, unadulterated passion, taking nobody else into consideration.

Here's a few prompts to help you formulate your ideas on the poem:

1) How does the writer create the idea that the older generation are passionate? You could focus on structure or language.

2) What is the effect of the first and last lines of each stanza? Think about how they connect.

3) Explain the effect of the use of enjambement - which quotes add to this effect?

4) What is the effect of punctuation in this poem? Pick three examples and explain.

5) How does the writer portray the younger generation, their feelings and ideas? Give quotes in your answer!

6) Is there rhyme in this poem? Explain the writer's decisions with regards to rhyme.

This is due next Friday, 29th March.

Have a splendid weekend,

Miss D

11aEn1 - Unseen poem No.2

Hi 11aEn1, (This is the small, lovely class only! Pay attention!)

Here's an unseen poem for you to try and analyse:

Football at Slack

Between plunging valleys, on a bareback of hill
Men in bunting colours
Bounced, and their blown ball bounced.

The blown ball jumped, and the merry-coloured men
Spouted like water to head it.
The ball blew away downward -

The rubbery men bounced after it.
The ball blew jumped up and out and hung on the wind
Over a gulf of treetops.
Then they all shouted together, and the ball blew back.

Winds from fiery holes in heaven
Piled the hills darkening around them
To awe them. The glare light
Mixed its mad oils and threw glooms.
Then the rain lowered a steel press.

Hair plastered, they all just trod water
To puddle glitter. And their shouts bobbed up
Coming fine and thin, washed and happy.

While the humped world sank foundering
And the valleys blued unthinkable
Under depth of Atlantic depression.

But the wingers leapt, they bicycled in air
And the goalie flew horizontal

And once again a golden holocaust
Lifted the cloud's edge, to watch them.

Ted Hughes

Ideas for what to analyse:
  • Is there rhyme in the poem? If so, what is the pattern and why/why hasn't the poet used it? What does it do to the speed and rhythm?
  • What is the poem about? What ideas can we see through the poem and does the poet have a specific message? Do they have any clear attitudes?
  • How has the writer used language? Are there any specific techniques used? Do certain words stand out?
  • What is the imagery? Pay attention to how setting is portrayed.
  • How are the lines structured? Is there enjambment or are there end stops? What does this do to how we read the poem? Are there any caesuras or very short sentences?
  • What is the tone of the poem?

This is due on Tuesday 26th March. 

Enjoy your weekends,

Miss D

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

11bEn1 - Unseen Poem No.1

Hi 11bEn1,

As you are almost definitely aware, the first half of your poetry exam will involve analysing an unseen poem. The poem is not guaranteed to be on the theme of relationships, and indeed, is often a nature poem. So let's get ahead and do some unseen analysis; try this one for starters:

National Trust

Bottomless pits. There's one in Castleton,
and stout upholders of our law and order
one day thought its depth worth wagering on
and borrowed a convict hush-hush from his warder
and winched him down; and back, flayed, grey, mad, dumb.

Not even a good flogging made him holler!

O gentlemen, a better way to plumb
the depths of Britain's dangling a scholar,
say, here at the booming shaft at Towanroath,
now National Trust, a place where they got tin,
those gentlemen who silenced the men's oath
and killed the language that they swore it in.

The dumb go down in history and disappear
and not one gentleman's been brought to book:

Mes den hep tavas a-gollas y dyr

'the tongueless man gets his land took.' 

Saturday, 9 March 2013

11aEn1 - 'Rubbish at Adultery'

Hi chaps,

This is one of my favourites from our dear Anthea - it has a real 'human' voice and you can really understand how the speaker feels through their own "diatribe" against their cheating lover. What is interesting is the lack of control created by the enjambment (implying rage and a spilling over of emotions) which is countered by the planned rhyme scheme, suggesting that perhaps this 'rant' has been stewed over for a good while. So...

1) Is she really detached and in control or is she in a bit too deep? YOU DECIDE! Tell me what you think and why.

2) What is the effect of repetition in this poem? Pick out more than one example.

3) Pick out three emotions shown through the use of enjambement - which quotes show these emotions?

4) What is the effect of punctuation in this poem? Pick three examples and explain.

5) How does the writer use language to show the speaker's feelings? Give examples from the poem in your response.

As always, pick one question and answer it in the comments box below!


Miss D

Monday, 4 March 2013

11bEn1 - 'Our Love Now' homework

Hi everyone,

I hope you have enjoyed 'Our Love Now'. It is an interestingly structured poem about a rift in a relationship. Whilst the (presumably) male speaker feels that this rift can be mended, the female disagrees and believes that their love is damaged permanently. This poem can be read however you want: in two columns, or left to right, like a call and response.

Just as there has been a rift created in the relationship, (presumably by an argument, or something more serious) the gap on the page between the man and the woman's words reflects this. Furthermore, if you look at the shape of the stanzas, his words trail towards hers, as if they're reaching out, whereas hers form a blunt line against his, as if she's turning her back on him. Interesting stuff!

For your homework, please answer one of the following questions about the poem 'Our Love Now'. To leave a comment, click on X Comments at the bottom and then type your message into the box.
Helpful hint: Copy the text you have typed before submitting, just in case it gets lost in inter-space!

Your questions:

  • What does the word 'breach' mean? It has a few definitions. Explain how three of these can be applied to the couple's situation.
  • Can you pick out any persuasive techniques which the man uses? Name at least two and explain what they show about the speaker.
  • The woman offers a counter-argument to the man. What does she do to make herself sound reasonable and like she has thought out her decision thoroughly?
  • What are the four metaphors that the man uses to describe their falling out? Explain the effect of each on the reader.
  • The woman repeats "such is our love now" at the end of each stanza, except the last. What is the effect of this?
  • Pick out any language the woman uses which suggests permanence and explain its effect.
Again, if you are wanting to study A-Level English Lit, it will help you if you refer to the points of others in your response.

Happy homeworking!

Miss D