Follower My father worked with a horse-plough, His shoulders globed like a full sail strung Between the shafts and the furrow. The horses strained at his clicking tongue. An expert. He would set the wing (5) And fit the bright steel-pointing sock. The sod rolled over without breaking. At the headrig, with a single pluck Of reins, the sweating team turned round And back into the land. His eye (10) Narrowed and angled at the ground, Mapping the furrow exactly. I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake, Fell sometimes on the polished sod; Sometimes he rode me on his back (15) Dipping and rising to his plod. I wanted to grow up and plough, To close one eye, stiffen my arm. All I ever did was follow In his broad shadow round the farm. (20) I was a nuisance, tripping, falling. Yapping always. But today It is my father who keeps stumbling Behind me, and will not go away. Seamus Heaney
Questions • Read the questions, referring back to the lines and/or phrases noted, and answer each of the quesitons. These responses do NOT have to be sent to me. Keep them in your notes and be prepared to discuss them during our next tutorial.1. The image in "His shoulders globed like a full sail strung" (line 2) is that of a. a rising kite b. the solid earth c. a powerful ship d. the horse's reins Go back to the poem and look at the line referred to...line 2...AND the lines which precede and follow that line. Think about the words in each choice and parallel them to the words in the lines of the poem. My father worked with a horse-plough, His shoulders globed like a full sail strung Between the shafts and the furrow. The horses strained at his clicking tongue.What are you being asked? Think about the question you have been asked, noting the KEY words.
In this case, you are looking for an IMAGE...a picture created by words. What picture does this line create? a. a kite?....There are no terms that refer to a kite. This is the 'obviously wrong' or 'throw away' answer. b. the solid earth?....There are terms that refer to earth..."globed", "furrow" but not in the context to create an 'image' or picture of earth. This is called a 'distracter' question. It is intended to 'catch' you not reading carefully. It will get those students who see "globe" and "earth" and make the erroneous assumption there is a connection between the two. c. a powerful ship....
There is a parallel between the words "full sail" and image of a ship...."c" appears to be the answer. However, look at every option, and make sure you have chosen the BEST choice. Often in English Language Arts there will be more than one answer that is right...in some aspect. You will have choose which one is the BEST or MOST LIKELY. These phrases are used repeatedly in multiple choice questions. d. the horse's reins.... Again, a distracter intended to catch those who do not return to look at the specific lines, and simply make the connection that there are images of horses in the poem so this must be the answer.
2. In lines 1 to 4, the speaker sees his father as being a. proud and reserved b. strong and dominant c. fast-moving and tough d. hard-working and tired Go back to the poem and look at the lines referred to: My father worked with a horse-plough, His shoulders globed like a full sail strung Between the shafts and the furrow. The horses strained at his clicking tongue. What are you being asked? The key words are how the speaker sees his father. So you are looking for a visual from the speaker's perspective. Look at each choice, noting synonyms in the lines and the choice....parallels.
a. proud and reserved...There are not similar images or words. Nothing in this particular passage conveys proud and dominant. There are however, parallel images in the rest of the poem. That is why you must go back to the passage to which the question refers. If you go by memory, without rereading, they will 'getcha' with these types of choices. b. strong and dominant ... "strong" is paralleled in the image of the father straining between the plow and the land, "like a full sail strung/ Between the shafts and the furrow." This conveys an image of strength as he holds the two together. "dominant" is conveyed in the horses following his commands, "The horses strained at his clicking tongue." The father is commanding, dominating, the horses. So, this choice is good...but always check out the rest.
c. fast-moving and tough .... Again, there are images of "tough" and could be seen in this passage, but there are not connotations of 'fast moving' so this one is not an acceptable answer. d. hard-working and tired .... Definitely, "hard working" can be conveyed by the overall image of ploughing the fields with a horse and harrow. However, there may be 'feelings' of tired, that we bring to the image, BUT there are not direct references to 'tired' in this passage. There is not one single word that directly conveys the image/idea of tired. This shows how you must look carefully at the selected passage...not the whole image/memory created by the poem. Complete the remaining three questions on your own. Once you have made your selections, scroll down to the closure to check your answers.
3. "All I ever did was follow" (line 19) suggests that the speaker now feels that when he was young, he was a. helpful to his father b. useless to his father c. irritated by his father d. admired by his father • 4. In lines 23 and 24, the speaker views his father as a a. good friend b. skillful competitor c. persistent presence d. knowledgeable expert • 5. The main idea of this poem is that one's a. attitude should be optimistic b. awareness is often unreliable c. feelings should be expressed d. perception changes with maturity
This time try reading the questions first... • 1. The setting for this poem is a. a cabin b. a garage c. an airport hanger d. an apartment building • 2. The allusion to Helen (line 6) emphasizes the queen wasp's a. fear b. fertility c. significance d. helplessness • 3. The imagery used in the description of the wasps depicts mainly a. war b. nature c. evolution d. industrialization
4. The image that conveys the immediacy of the speaker's fear of the queen is a. "feelers trailing" (line 5) b. "posed on the ledge" (line 6) c. "glad of the hard glass parting" (line 8) d. "A jam of striped fighters" (line 16) • 5. The speaker's dilemma centres on the issue of a. killing one or killing many b. respecting life or respecting safety c. valuing creatures or valuing property d. caring about others or caring about oneself
The Wasps' Nest All day to the loose tile behind the parapet (line 1) the droning bombers fled: in the wet gutter Belly-upwards the dead were lying, numbered By October cold. And now the bloat Queen, Sick-orange, with wings draped, and feelers trailing, (line 5) Like Helen¹ combing her hair, posed on the ledge Twenty feet above the traffic. I watched, just a foot From her eyes, very glad of the hard glass parting My pressed human nose from her angry sting And her heavy power to warm the cold future (line 10)
Sunk in unfertilised eggs. And I thought: if I reached And inched this window open, and cut her in half With my unclasped pen-knife. I could exterminate An unborn generation. All next summer, If she survives, the stepped roof will swarm (line 15) With a jam of striped fighters. Therefore, this winter In burning sulphur in their dug-out hangars All the bred wasps must die. Unless I kill her. So I balanced assassination with genocide As the queen walked on the ledge, a foot from my eyes (line 20)
In the last sun of the year, the responsible man With a cold nose, who knew that he must kill, Coming to no sure conclusion, or anxious to come. George MacBeth¹ Helen-in Greek legend, the wife of the King of Sparta, renowned for her beauty and for being the central cause of the Trojan war, in that Greeks set sail to recover her after she was abducted by Paris of Troy.Remember to take the three steps we discussed earlier...check out the title, look for unfamiliar words and define them, and identify any allusions and imagery. Now, answer the multiple choice questions on the poem. You can check your answers in the closure at the bottom of the lesson.