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Amends

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Amends

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  1. Amends By Adrienne Rich

  2. Adrienne Rich • American Woman • Active feminist • From the 1960’s onwards wrote many poems about women’s role in society, racism, and the Vietnam War • Father encouraged her to write • Felt unfulfilled due to conflicting roles/ambitions (poet & mother)

  3. Title • Amends = • Reparation • Putting things right • Improvement • Forgiveness

  4. Stanza 1 Nights like this: on the cold apple-bough A white star, then another Exploding out of the bark: On the ground, moonlight picking at small stones • ‘nightslikethis’ = Merchant of Venice, Act 5 The moon shines bright: in such a night as this, When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees, And they did make no noise, in such a night, Troilus methinks mounted the Troyan walls, And sigh'd his soul toward the Grecian tents, Where Cressid lay that night.

  5. Stanza 1 Nights like this: on the cold apple-bough A white star, then another Exploding out of the bark: On the ground, moonlight picking at small stones • “cold” = • Atmosphere • Night • Harsh • “white star” = • Night • Blossoms/moonlight • “then another” = • Keeps happening • Many blossoms/light beams

  6. Stanza 1 Nights like this: on the cold apple-bough A white star, then another Exploding out of the bark: On the ground, moonlight picking at small stones • “exploding” = • Violent • Incongruous • Loud • Harsh • “moonlight picking” = • 1st mention • Personification • Reflecting off some stones more than others • “small stones” = • ‘Zoomed in’ • Small range of view

  7. Stanza 1 Nights like this: on the cold apple-bough A white star, then another Exploding out of the bark: On the ground, moonlight picking at small stones • Mood = • Busy • No rhyming • Colons = • Itemise/list progression Sky Tree Ground

  8. Stanza 2 As it picks at greater stones, as it rises with the surf Laying its cheek for moments on the sand As it licks the broken ledge, as it flows up the cliffs As it flicks across the tracks • “Greater Stones” = • ‘Zoomed out’ • “rises with surf” = • Reflects • Transparent effect • Bobbing • “laying its cheek” = • Relaxing • Touch • Femininity

  9. Stanza 2 As it picks at greater stones, as it rises with the surf Laying its cheek for moments on the sand As it licks the broken ledge, as it flows up the cliffs As it flicks across the tracks • “moments” = • Longer than picking • Sand more than stones • “sand” = • Relaxation • “licks” = • Semi-appeal to taste • Femininity (caring, motherly figure) • “broken” = • Confirms motherly nature • Moonlight trying to make amends

  10. Stanza 2 As it picks at greater stones, as it rises with the surf Laying its cheek for moments on the sand As it licks the broken ledge, as it flows up the cliffs As it flicks across the tracks • “flows up the cliffs” = • Water • Lots of reflection • Cliffs common near beaches • Uncontrolled • Relaxed, calm (no violent language) • “flicks” = • Little reflection • “tracks” = • Common near beaches • Relaxing environments • Nature

  11. Stanza 2 As it picks at greater stones, as it rises with the surf Laying its cheek for moments on the sand As it licks the broken ledge, as it flows up the cliffs As it flicks across the tracks • “picks”, “licks”, “flicks” = • Rhyme • Light touches • Femininity • Mood & Rhythm = • Relaxed • Calm

  12. Stanza 3 As it unavailing pours into the gash Of the sand-and-gravel quarry As it leans across the hangared fuselage Of the crop-dusting plane • “unavailing” = • Pointless • Too weak • Continuously • “pours” = • Lots of light • “gash” = • Wound in nature

  13. Stanza 3 As it unavailing pours into the gash Of the sand-and-gravel quarry As it leans across the hangared fuselage Of the crop-dusting plane • “quarry” = • Links to gash • Destruction of nature • Too weak • Continuously • “leans” = • Reflection off plane • Lack of balance

  14. Stanza 3 As it unavailing pours into the gash Of the sand-and-gravel quarry As it leans across the hangared fuselage Of the crop-dusting plane • “hangared fuselage” = • Body of plane • Plane ‘sleeping’ • Links to “sleepers” • “crop-dusting” = • Poisons (insecticides etc.) • Damage nature

  15. Stanza 4 As it soaks through cracks into the trailers Tremulous with sleep As it dwells upon the eyelids of the sleepers As if to make amends • “soaks” = • Saturated in light • Gathering more energy • Like water • “cracks” = • Light is ever-present • Cannot be destroyed • “trailers” = • Caravans • Poor people

  16. Stanza 4 As it soaks through cracks into the trailers Tremulous with sleep As it dwells upon the eyelids of the sleepers As if to make amends • “tremulous” = • People are afraid • Contrasts with the moon • “dwells” = • Gentle word • Protecting the “sleepers” • “as if to make amends” = • Uncertain why • Inanimateness of the moon • Light comforts the “sleepers”

  17. WholePoem • No full stops (periods)= • Continuous • “it” = • Moonlight • Reader forgets “it” is the moon • Constant use of “as” = • Adds to the itemising affect caused by the colons in stanza 1 • Provides a source of animation for the light

  18. Themes • Femininity versus masculinity • The destruction of nature by man • The relationship between humanity and the environment • The powerlessness of nature to retaliate against man’s actions

  19. Essay Questions • How does Adrienne Rich describe the environment to present a theme in the poem Amends? • How is femininity expressed in the poem Amends by Adrienne Rich? • What figurative techniques are used to help express Adrienne Rich's opinions of the moon in the poem Amends?

  20. THE END