II – Imagery • Free bird : Metaphor : “dips his wings in the sun’s orange rays” color orange suggests the warmness of the sun’s rays / the word “dip” suggest a light, swift and free movement • Vocabulary : “a free bird leaps” “leaps” suggests a joyful and happy movement • -Caged Bird : • Metaphor : “bars of rage” the caged bird turns his anger at the cage, which he blames for his captivity and sadness • Vocabulary : “a bird that stalks” as opposed to the free bird leaping, the caged bird “stalks” – suggests a clumsy, sad and desperate movement • Metaphor : “grave of dreams” the caged bird is said to stand on the grave of dreams – his cage is a limit to his dreams, their end, their “grave” • Visual image : “his wings are clipped and his feet are tied” emphasizes on the harshness of the bird’s life, creating a strong image in the reader’s mind III – Setting + Themes Written by Maya Angelou, a black female writer in the ’50s – this poem denounces segregation of black people at that time. This poem shows the situation of the black people : disadvantaged, secluded, not accepted within the US. Its aim is to change the situation by denouncing it. • IV – Techniques used • The techniques Maya Angelou uses to convey her political message, and to convince : • Comparison between free bird and caged bird stronger feeling of injustice than if only the caged bird was described – makes free bird’s happiness almost insolent • Small stanzas + almost regular rhythm + refrain a sense of repetition – gives an ironical sense of banality to the poem’s apparent signification, while the hidden meaning is extremely important. Seems like a song contradictory to Angelou’s goal. Emphasizes the effect of surprise and the shock it produces on the reader. I – Structure 6 stanzas (7/7/8/4/4/8 lines) 3rd and 6th stanzas exactly similar – a refrain? Black people sang songs to forget their pain Structure which repeats itself = things will never change. RHYMES : almost none – exception : 2nd, 4th and 6th lines in stanzas 3 and 6. Caged Bird • V – Links to other studied poems: Carpet Weavers – lack of freedom • Song to the Men of England both poems denounce an injustice within a society (in Song to the Men of England, inegality between workers / peasants and nobles / aristocracy is denounced) • Spectator ab Extra again, an injustice is denounced (the same as in Song to the Men of England, through irony this time)
IMAGES He remembers his schooldays = When he was a child « joyful » tells us it was happy time for him « I have had » tells us they are now over He also remembers a woman: « closed are her doors » = the Closed doors represent the end Of the relationship. Note use of Inversion to emphasise the word closed. « fairest » = shows his love for her Use of a superlative to emphasise her beauty « ghost-like » = simile to compare his life now; as if he were dead + memories haunt him. He revisits old places in order to try and have happy memories Again « Earth is a desert » = metaphor to show that his life seems barren and hostile + unwelcoming to him. Structure 7 stanzas: 3 lines each and a refrain SETTING 19th century poem Individual experience = strong emotions and feelings Past memories Techniques « All, All, the old familiar faces » = a refrain This repetition creates a mournful tone. The Old Familiar Faces Links: Memories of childhood + teenage times (first two stanzas) Links with Famhand and Little Boy Crying Life cycle = from childhood to death is linked with Plenty And Rising Five Missing people around him is linked with Plenty Memories of first love = She dwelt and Muliebrity References to nature = Before the Sun
Structure 1 stanza, 18 lines, no rhyme Repetitive « I have thought » adds to sense of melancholy 1-4: memory – thinks of what she saw 5-6: description of the girls’ moves 7-12: description of the smells 13-14: girl inspires poet BUT she won’t use her as a metaphor 15-18: how happy she is to find the dung IMAGES Visual: « the way she moved her hands and her waist » like a dance Images which appeal to smell: « freshly washed clothes » « road-dust » « cow dung » « monkey breath » « wet canna lilies » Muliebrity Techniques: Repetition – « I have thought so much about the girl = shows how insistent the memory is. Smells – repetition of « smell » and contrasting smells like « monkey breath » and « lilies ». Both pleasant and unpleasant. Metaphors – girl represents India (poverty, and how they have to work, hardship) She is also a metaphor for innocence and hope as she smiles at the cow dung Punctuation – no full stops from line 5 to end = memory is uninterrupted – flows freely Dashes = allow for pauses and to reflect on the memory or image conjured up Links Carpet Weavers: similarities are poverty, child labour, difficult working conditions. Sense of hope (paradise in carpet) + here girl smiles No call for revolution Emphasis on memories (link with Plenty) Caged Bird: idea of social injustice Settings Second half of 20th century India – near temple poverty
Setting In a café –sitting at the table A place only for the rich at this time 19th century – class divide in England Allows us to picture this rich character He is idle and does not seem to work Character: thinks highly of himself, proud, pleased By money, self-satisfaction, wants to sound sophisticated. Repetition of “I” and “my” = shows he is self- centred. Repetition of word “money” shows he is superficial + Interested in activities like eating + drinking Repetition of “they” = emphasises the division between The nobles/upper class and the poor / working class Effects: Use of “pelf “– a negative derogatory term for money Use of “sneer” = lower class mock him but he does not care about their reaction Use of “throw a crust” = disrespect and he does not want to touch them + it compares them to animals Repetition of the refrain “Heigh –ho” = makes the poem sound light-hearted but contrasts with serious nature Simple rhyme scheme adds to sense of a light-hearted song From Spectator Ab Extra Didactic Role Teaches us a moral lesson Creates a rich character to shock and repulse us + to question such a society which allows a divide Denounces arrogance of rich people + criticises gap between classes Use of an “I” character allows us to get closer to him and inside his mind Makes us ask ourselves if we are like him or not. The watcher from outside.
Setting Forest, England – “untrodden Ways” and “by the springs of Dove” Natural setting Romantic Movement – the loss of a loved one and description of personal feelings Techniques: Exclamations: “oh” in stanza 3 = sound of sadness at what he has lost “the difference to me!” = personal loss and the exclamation shows how much it means to him. Caesura in stanza 2 = makes us stop and think about how beautiful she is Lexical field of loneliness: “unknown”, “few could know”, “untrodden ways” , “none to praise” = adds to sense of her being alone and isolated Structure: 3 stanzas, 4 Lines, and ABAB rhyme scheme = simplicity of the structure contrasts with author’s complex feelings. Wants to express a pure feeling of love = simple poem reflects that purity. She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways Links: Mid-Term Break – discovery of death at the end of the poem Innoncence of brother Point of view is child – here it is an adult Farmhand: both misunderstood – him by women, Lucy by society Loneliness – close to nature Before the Sun: links to nature + Innocence Mention of death + boy is lonely as he talks to the sun Romantic poems – personal loss and feelings Images: Metaphor = “a violet by a mossy stone / Half hidden from the eye” Mossy stone = people or society Violet = Lucy, her beauty and the fact she is different; being by the Stone makes her stand out even more Half-hidden = makes us realise she is special / she was shy / wild A violet = flower / nature / purity / innocence / fragile Simile “fair as a star” = extraordinary / something rare / to be looked at
Images: “assorted heights would make a melodious chime” = (metaphor) compared to bells = Emphasises different ages of children “school of days” = factory life is compared to a school = ironic as they probably do not have the chance to go to school “Garden of Islam” = carpet and image of a Better life / paradise Simile: “they watch their flickering knots like television” = reflects speed of their work + Ironic as they do not have televisions “Garden of Islam grows” + “the loom of another world” = reference to another world and idea of a frustrated childhood Setting 20th century factory in Morocco = Contemporary problem Story of child labour and theme of exploitation Structure 4 stanzas + 3 lines each + no rhyme scheme Suggests a rigidity in the structure = reflects the rigidity of children’s work Carpet Weavers, Morocco Contrast idea of the carpets which will travel in the “merchant’s truck” and end up in the mosque whereas the children making it will not have the chance to travel. Links: Muliebrity: theme of child labour (note in this poem only one girl) Foreign setting – Morocco and India Muliebrity seems to be more optimistic – in this poem, no sense of positive change to come Song to the Men of England: workers’ difficult lives BUT in 19th century and concerns adults + calls for change and revolution
Images: Metaphor – “settle down in showers on the Dewy grass” = chips are compared to rain, shows their graceful movement / abundant as well Long sentences – “for some distance through the air” = mirrors the long movement of the chips Lexical field of religion – prayers, spiral of smoke, sacrificial = shows his respect for nature and for the sun Structure: Stanza 1+2 = cutting wood 4-6 = making afire 7-9 = cooking corn and eating Setting: Zimbabwe – 20th century Poet = farmer’s son Respect for nature Nostalgia for a lost time when man / nature were closer Techniques: Powerful adjectives – “intense blue morning” = day starts beautifully / metaphor for life which hides difficulties (the rain) “big log” = he wants to be like an adult = Metaphor for adulthood / body changing Personification = “the wood hisses” and “the sparks fly” = emphasises the way they move + their speed + graceful The sun = as if sun was alive “winks” and “I tell the sun” and “winks like a grown up” = boy feels linked to the sun / has great respect for it Sun is also invited to a feast and offered a prayer Before the Sun Themes: Life cycle / passing of time / a day = Rising Five Relationship between humans and nature = Farmhand Sense of harmony and respect “till the cobs are just two little skeletons” = metaphor for death of that way of life
Links: Social classes – links with role of women and jobs they do = Plenty Idea of personal achievement – she is good at telling stories just as the Farmhand is good at farming: “To tell the stories was her work.” Muliebrity: women working and the pleasure they take from their work even when it is difficult Men/Women “useless” = male viewpoint versus women’s view that these stories were useful Women’s work: busy in the kitchen – verbs “scoured” and “swept” and”stitched corn”. Techniques: Enjambment: - creates pauses Held / breath = mirrors the way in which they held their breath and so shows suspense Onomatopoeia – “tongue clacked” mirrors sound of tongues moving and noise they make “spinning” – simile of telling tales and spinning cloth = both creative, add to them, build them up Colour – “thin grey washed over the fields” = visual image of dull colours of day after excitement at night Metaphor – bats for the stories = shows how stories came alive at night + were also frightening / Fascinating Sibilance – “s” sound repeated = the buzz of the background noise and of people talking Contrast: day and night Day = household chores seems Miserable Night = relaxed, shared moment, joy Storyteller Setting: Scotland + 20th century Woman’s point of view – and domain – the kitchen Lower class society Structure: 4 stanzas – no regular rhyme scheme Irregularity – mirrors the way the stories grow and are unstructured - reflects free flowing speech – not Controlled.
Images: Simile – “He lay in the four foot box as in his cot” = compares coffin / cot and it makes it seem as if he’s sleeping / at peace Shocking as it reminds us he should be asleep like a baby not dead Personification – “whisper” highlights the fact that these are anonymous voices – emphasises his feelings of isolation “poppy bruise” = metaphor which appeals to sense of colour – it is a flower which is linked to remembrance Links: Little Boy Crying – child discovering the difficulties of life – from innocence to experience Child’s viewpoint Rising Five – portrayal of a child + mortality She dwelt – pain of losing someone + poem which dwells of personal feelings Mid-Term Break Techniques First person narrative – a child’s viewpoint Alliteration – classes to a close = makes the word close stand out – sense of something ending “s” sound = creates a soft and peaceful, almost hushing sound = sad atmosphere Euphemism for death – “heavy blow” and “my trouble” = adults find it hard to say Contrast – adults who cry and suffer and baby who “cooed and laughed” - innocent Structure: 7 stanzas of three lines – and 1 extra line which stands alone = emphasises shock ending that the boy who is dead is just 4 Setting: 20th century – Ireland School / home / bedroom = intimate
Interpretations: The last stanza stands alone as if the author wanted to teach us a lesson. a) Don’t use your tears to use your father b) Don’t mess around in the rain or you’ll get slapped c) Don’t mistreat your child – don’t ignore his tears = shows the ambiguity of the ending and different interpretations. Themes: Relationship between adults and children – Mid-Term Break = it explores diverse expressions of grief and sadness after the death of a child. A child’s viewpoint Plenty – the author understands reasons for her mother’s Behaviour when she was younger. • Techniques: • Monosyllabic words – stanza 1 “the quick • slap struck” = imitates the rhythm of the father • hitting his child • b) Use of verbs in continuous form – verbs in ing • “swimming”, “splashing” and “angling” = it makes • the reader feel the scene is unfolding before his • Eyes • c) Use of you – it suggests a universal • experience for all adults and children + it makes • the reader feel involved in the scene OR it seems • to be a dialogue between the poet and the • reader. • Boy’s feelings of anger towards his father are • Created by the following: • Onomatopoeia = “chopping” – emphasises the • violence of the action. • Caesura = “you hate him.” draws attention to those • words. We pause and consider the boy’s feelings. • Enjambment = “dead / At last” = this placed at the • End of the lines reflects his anger. Little Boy Crying Images: In stanza 2: reference to fairytale, Jack and the Beanstalk = used to show how the boy feels. He sees his father as the “ogre” in the story. Lexical field of height: “giant”, “ogre”, “colossal” and “towers” = to show how mean and horrible The child feels the father is, and to show that the child presents himself as the innocent one. Feelings expressed through a fairytale. Metaphor – stanza 3 – the mask = “nor guess the wavering hidden behind that mask.” He has to pretend to be strict and firm.
Techniques: Lists: “aspirin, porridge, petrol, bread” – shows that everything was dear and counted Tub – “pocked” like skin so personified which shows it is old. Smile = “a clasp” compared to the fastener on a bag; her need to keep a control on her emotions – not allow her fear and worries to show “Her lips stretched back and anchored down” – this emphasises the control on her face – her tight look “the shower’s a hot cascade” = emphasises the abundance of water and contrasts with the past –”drought” Structure: 8 stanzas + 4 lines Repetitive structure mirrors the life of the family Stanza 1: “When I was young” takes us back in time. First 6 stanzas describe this childhood where she did not understand. Stanza 7 and 8 – today. She now understands better and misses her family: “my scattered sisters. “ Plenty Similarities: Old Familiar Faces = idea of memories and thinking of old times, missing people Link with childhood – here she does not realise at the time why her mother behaves like this = gap between Parents / children same can be found in Mid-Term Break as boy does not know what is happening. Born in 1969 in South Africa andbrought up in Karoo grasslands area which is a dry area.Winter is nearly completely dry.
Techniques: Imperative – “watch him” = orders us to admire him Onomatopoeia – “Ah” = word which suggests the admiration we should feel for him Use of adjectives – “effortless”, “strong”, = emphasises his physical prowess and how good he is at his job Simile – “like a lover to the song” = shows the close relationship he has with his tractor Dash/hyphen = wants us to stop and admire the farmer. Metaphors – “the earth wave breaking” = as the earth is turned it is compared to the waves – creates a visual image “An open wound” = suggests a painful memory which has not healed Structure: 5 stanzas - 4 lines each No regular rhyme scheme First 4 stanzas describe this awkward man. Last stanza – change in tone as we are told to look differently at this man and admire him at work. Farmhand Description of the farmer: He smokes, “tells jokes”, + seems “careless” Hairy hands + red face = suggests Someone who works outdoors and who is manly “crops slow-growing as his mind” = does this mind he is simple-minded, slow to react, uneducated? Seems more at ease with his tractors than with girls – only looks at them. Has hopes and dreams but these are “awkward” and “envious”. Links: Muliebrity – someone who takes pride in his work like the young girl. Contrast with how masculinity is portrayed here and femininity in Muliebrity. Description of one character as observed by another. Closeness to nature – Before the Sun
Links: Carpet Weavers = low social class, Hard working conditions + social Injustice Muliebrity = hard work, social Injustice, low social class. Setting: 20th century Factory – working class New Zealand Voice: first person narrative Ironic? At the end when he says: “in case an earthquake breaks out” = in order to be positive. Personal reflection – see abundance of Words such as “I like” or “I am” or “I can” “These thoughts I push away” etc Monologue Techniques: Poetic inversion – “The look on the faces of the Unlucky I know also” + “These thoughts I push Away” = draws the reader’s attention to these Images + shows the emotion of the narrator + places emphasis on them Enjambment – “in the / summer” = last word of line is emphasised “…” = pause and so makes us think about dying. Perhaps he stops as it is too painful to go on. Images: “before the axe falls” – to be sacked – a violent image which mirrors the violence of being sacked “strangers who drift” – like boats on a river = suggests they arrive by accident and perhaps in large numbers and without much hope of finding a job.
One of the great Romantic poets. Shelley belonged to the aristocracy but rebelled against his class. This poem was written in 1819. It seems to call for the working class to rise up and rebel against the tyranny of the landed gentry. Techniques used in the poem: Metaphors: « Bees of England » = The workers which suggests they Do all the work whilst the « drones » Reap all the benefits. A « drone » is a parasite who lives Off others. The rich are also said to « drink your Blood » = vampires = a creature that lives off others. Direct address: « wherefore » and « Have ye leisure » = speaks to the reader and calls for action. Stanza 5: look at use of caesura to create a contrast between what the workers do and who benefits. The comma shows this division between the classes. Song to the Men of England by Percy Bysshe Shelley Stanzas: 8 stanzas with 4 lines each. There is a sense of mounting anger in this poem. The questions add to this sense of fury. Note the pessimistic ending which suggests the working class are building their own grave: « And weave your winding sheet. » Called a song = call to arms A rousing hymn to rebellion. Rhyme/ Rhythm adds to this sense of a song.
Themes: key idea of passing of time and that we spend our time looking to the future instead of living for the moment. Stanza 1: little boy wants to be older « not four / But rising five. » Stanza 2: nature used to reflect the cycle of life and the idea of things dying and then being reborn. Stanza 3: Day turning into night. The three stanzas can also be seen as representing the life cycle: Childhood – middle age and then death. The 4th stanza seems to be a summing up if this main idea: an Explanation of the three metaphorical stanzas. Techniques: Simile: « we drop our youth » = Treat life as something unimportant and don’t realise how precious it is. « rot in the fruit » = suggest the coming of old age. « new buds » and « old leaves » = reflects life passing Stanza 2: full of assonance + Rhyme which seems to imitate how alive nature is and growth. Look at use of enjambment and commas: « not May, / But rising June. » The pause and gap in the lines may imitate the passing of time. Look at the description of the little boy = innocent child with glasses and curly hair and mouth full of Toffee. Rising Five by Norman Nicholson Born in the Lake District, England. Love of nature found in his poems. Dates: 1914 - 1987