Pike by Ted Hughes (ESL/Starter Activity)

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In Pike Hughes offers a far from Romantic view of nature in his depiction of this primitive and malevolent fish. The poem begins with a description of a baby pike, and we are given the impression that right from the very  moment of birth this creature is in possession of some pretty chilling characteristics.

Task: Re-read the poem over and over again highlighting decriptive words/phrases and imagery. Once you have compiled a list of the visual characteristics of the pike, try to draw the fish from memory by refering to the description of the poem.

Using cardboard design your pike based on the poem, and as a class we will prepare an underwater world. After we have completed our fish we can select quotations from the poem and label our pikes.

Posted in For Teachers, Poems for 2013/2014 | 4 Comments

ESL Activity -Á Different History by Sujata Bhatt

A Different History –Sujata Bhatt

Sujata Bhatt’s poem ‘A Different History’ is an appealing poem because it _______________________________________. The poem is divided up into two sections and the tone also changes from the descriptive to some very big questions. The first  part of poem reflects Bhatt’s cultural background. We know this because there are references made to _______________________ and ______________________. This is rather appealing to the reader as we _____________________________

__________________________________________________________________. Upon the first reading the first poem appears to be about ___________________. Though later it becomes clear that the poem is about learning a new language. I can personally relate to the poem because _______________________________ ____________________________________________. I remember finding it hard to learn another language because ____________________________. The second part of the poem becomes more wide-ranging and far-reaching. Bhatt makes references to how a new language becomes the dominant one, the linga franca of a particular country. Countries adopt new languages because ________________ __________________________________________________________________. Clearly Bhatt is negative about being forced to adopt a new language because ____________________________________________. The poem ends on a slightly more uplifting note with the last line referring to ___ __________________________________________________________________.

This suggests that _____________________________________________


I like this poem because ____________________________. I also find it interesting because _____________________________________.

Posted in Poems for 2013/2014 | 4 Comments

Composed Upon Westminister Bridge-Fun Task

Using the structure of the original poem rewrite it so that your version sounds particulary negative about urbanisation.

Posted in Class Activities, Poems for 2013/2014 | 7 Comments

Pied Beauty

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Pied Beauty


Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise Him.


Once we have analysed the poem, the task is to come up with a version of your own. Look at Hopkins poem closely and note the use of language features (alliteration, simile and assonance). When producing your own version take these into account. Hopkin’s poem deals with ‘dappled things’, yours can be on one of the folllowing: 

Yummy things

Scary things

 Musical things

Technological things

Scientific things

Living things

Pretty things

Floral things

Tasty things

Fruity things

Feminine things

Simple things

Masculine things

Aussie things

Aquatic things

Sporty things

School things

Glamrous things


Glory be to God for ———————– things

For ————— of ———————as a ————————–;

For ——————– all in stipple upon —————————;

——————————————; ————————————;

————– and ______ ­­­- _______, _________ and __________ .

All things _________ , ________. ___________, __________ ;

Whatever is ____________, ____________ (who knows how?)

With ______, ___________; _______, _____; _________, _____;

He fathers-forth whose ____________ is past change: Praise Him


Posted in For Teachers, Poems for 2013/2014, Poetry | 5 Comments

Of Mice and Men And A.A Milne’s ‘Us Two’ (Grade 8)

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 Today we started looking at the theme of friendship in Of Mice and Men. Lennie and George are each other’s only friend, and although the friendship does not come without a large degree of stress, there is a tremendous sense of loyalty and commitment to each other. Note how in Section Two when we are introduced to the characters in the bunkhouse, the ranch men are incredibly lonely with no friends at all. Candy has his old dog, but if we re-read the end of the chapter that friendship looks as though it’s going to come a sad end. The relationship between Lennie and George reminded me of A.A Milne’s poem ‘Us Two’, the persona being Christopher Robin who is Winnie the Pooh’s best ‘human’ friend. Think about Lennie and George as you read the poem. Maybe a comparison can be also made between the imagined farm and chasing dragons? At the end of this poem is a reading by Katie Holmes (yes that’s right, Tom Cruise’s wife).
Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
“Where are you going today?” says Pooh:
“Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too.
Let’s go together,” says Pooh, says he.
“Let’s go together,” says Pooh.”What’s twice eleven?” I said to Pooh.
(“Twice what?” said Pooh to Me.)
“I think it ought to be twenty-two.”
“Just what I think myself,” said Pooh.
“It wasn’t an easy sum to do,
But that’s what it is,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what it is,” said Pooh.”Let’s look for dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“Yes, let’s,” said Pooh to Me.
We crossed the river and found a few-
“Yes, those are dragons all right,” said Pooh.
“As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.
That’s what they are,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what they are,” said Pooh.

“Let’s frighten the dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“That’s right,” said Pooh to Me.
“I’m not afraid,” I said to Pooh,
And I held his paw and I shouted “Shoo!
Silly old dragons!”- and off they flew.

“I wasn’t afraid,” said Pooh, said he,
“I’m never afraid with you.”

So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
“What would I do?” I said to Pooh,
“If it wasn’t for you,” and Pooh said: “True,
It isn’t much fun for One, but Two,
Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. “That’s how it is,” says Pooh.

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Section One-Of Mice and Men (Homework Questions -Due 7th March)

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1) What do Steinbeck’s first descriptions of George and Lennie tell us about the characters? Is there anything which he writes about Lennie which leads us to believe that he has the mind of a child?

2) What hints are there in the opening dialogue (conversation) between George and Lennie tell us about the nature of their relationship?

3) What  is the significance of the dead mouse in terms of what it might say about Lennie?

4) George appears to get easily annoyed with Lennie. Do you think that George is being honest when he states that he would be better off without Lennie?

5) What do you think George asks Lennie to familiarise himself with the location of the clearing where they spend the night?

Posted in Novel | 16 Comments

‘Summer Farm’ -Sand Animations

Below are some clever sand animations based on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. My class was lucky to have been looking at Norman MacCraig’s Summer Farm on the first day of Spring. We were working on creating our own versions of Autumn Farm based on MacCraig’s poem and I remembered Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and came across these wonderful animations!

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The Hunting Snake by Judith Wright (ESL differentiated task)

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In the poem ‘The Snake Hunter’ Judith Wright describes the reactions of the travelers in the line ‘_________________________________________________________________’ . ‘Froze’ suggests that the both the speaker of the poem and the person/s accompanying her __________________________ because __________________________________________________________. ‘Reeling’ to describe … Continue reading

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Writing the Introduction for The Incredibles essay

Writing an Introduction

Below is the template we used in class to ensure that we are addressing the question (see assignment) and that we are also introducing other points relating to identity and so on. The main aim is to somehow get your five points that you are going to discuss in the intro. When you have finished writing it, ask yourself

  • Does it relate to the question?
  • Have I included five main points?
  • Have I referred to the film?
  • Does my introduction conclude?

Writing an Introduction

Pixar’s animated feature ‘The Incredibles’ (2004) is about accepting differences and valuing people’s individuality. In the film, the Incredible superhero family experiences ………………………………………… . Other themes relating to the concept of self and identity include _____________, ____________ and ___________________ .  (1-2 sentences relating explicitly to the film –an event that supports your ideas?) In addition to these ideas, the film also explores _____________________ and ______________. This is made evident to the viewer when _______________________________. (You might need a sentence to conclude the paragraph. Do not say ‘In conclusion’ )

Posted in Film, The Incredibles | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

Language Features of ‘Summer Farm’ by Norman MacCraig

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Orientation into the language features of ‘Summer Farm’

In the opening line of the poem, MacCraig provides the reader with a simile, comparing the ___________________ to _____________________________. This description is also oxymoronic as lightning is described as ‘tame’, whereas is nature lightning is often wild, explosive and threatening. By comparing ‘straws’ to ‘tame lightnings’, MacCraig gives the impression ………………………………………………… Another descriptive device is given in the run-on line in relation to the straws which ‘ hang …………………..’ which suggests that …………………………………… . In the second line of the first line a simile is used again ‘green as glass’. Here the poet is describing ……………………………………………. . In the final line of the first stanza MacCraig gives the reader another contrasting image the ‘ducks wobbling’ in ‘two straight lines’. ‘Wobbling’ denotes the way …………………………, though there is a sense of order portrayed by ……………………………………………………………

In the second stanza, movement is conveyed by the swallow. The actions of the swallow are described as ____________________________________________. ‘Dizzy blue’ is also an effective image because —————————————————– . In the third stanza, the speaker of the poem becomes more evident through the use of the —————————————– ‘I’. The use of ‘I’ reinforces ____________________________________________ . Though a subtle comparison, it is clear that the speaker of the poem has compared himself to the grasshopper. The grasshopper is similar to him because ……………………………… . The tone of the poem shifts completely to the speaker of the poem as he describes himself as ‘a pile of selves’. This suggests that ………………………………… . In the final lines of the poem the poet describes an invisible hand – a metaphysic hand –which lifts the farm ‘like a lid’ and we see eventually ‘ in the centre, me’. In this final image the writer is describing ………………………………………………………………………

Posted in Poems for 2013/2014 | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Writing the Essay-The Incredibles

The Incredibles Essay-Grade 8

For most of you this will be the first time you will have ever written a formal essay for English where you are expected to select, insert and anlayse quotations to support your ideas. This is a major transition from dealing with plot, character and basic themes, and, are skills you will require for Grade 9/10 and beyond.

It is therefore crucial that we are more or less on the same page. A lesson ago we selected a quotation (from your Quotation assignment) which had been already analysed/discussed in detail. What we tried to do was to think about how that quotation fits into the question, and some of the points raised by the question. We look at PEA – Point, Example, Analysis (some teachers have different terms for this structure, but all boils down to the same thing).

Point –the start of a paragraph. Your first sentence is often called a ‘Topic sentence’, and introduces an idea that relates to the question. A couple of sentences discuss this point.

Example-usually a quotation. You introduce a quotation to support your point. Introducing a quotation to support your thoughts is a skill in itself, and we will have a lesson on this once we have the structure under control. The idea is that it should flow.

Analysis – We have actually done this in our ‘Quotation Assignment’ and we discussed the quotation in some detail. You may wish to change/add/edit this when you write your essay.


The question is:

Discuss how the film The Incredibles is about accepting differences and valuing people’s individuality.

Some of the ideas we brainstormed included

  • Fitting in –does fitting in mean loss of identity?
  • What is a hero? Are they unique individuals?
  • Marriage – does Mrs Parr accept that her husband is different and must be valued as an individual? Is she supportive
  • Normal –what does being ‘normal’mean? Is it possible to be ‘normal’ but still be an individual? Be unique?
  • Being true to yourself – what does this mean? What are the problems experienced about not being true to yourself in the film?
  • Family/siblings –differences and similarities, what makes a person unique?

1)      For each of these ideas, find a quotation from your assignment that best highlights the ideas above (select 6 quotations and analysis).

2)      Now create topic sentences for all six quotations, so you will have six paragraphs (you can include the one you did in class the other day).

3)      Do not write an introduction or conclusion-we will do this as a class together.

Select one paragraph and add it to the blog, so I can comment on your understanding and progress.

J Mayer

Posted in Film, The Incredibles | Tagged , | 25 Comments

The City Planners by Margaret Attwood Support Material

Canadian poet/author Margaret Attwood is very negative about suburbia in ‘The City Planners’. I have included some clips about suburbs in the United States in particular the evolution of suburbia which happened after World War Two – in Britain, Australia and the US. The first clip is from a television series, and ‘Little Boxes’ by Pete Seeger is the theme song – one that my father taught me on long trips through suburban Sydney to get to the beach! It’s a jolly song, but listen to the lyrics -what is the message?

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The City Planners by Margaret Atwood (ESL) -Template

The City Planners by Margaret Atwood

From the title ‘The City Planners’ we can predict that the poem will be about ____________________________________________________.

The first line ‘cruising these residential Sunday/streets in dry August sunlight’ gives us the impression that _________________________________________________________.

‘Cruising’ suggests ____________________________________ , with the alliterative ‘Sunday streets’ implying ________________________, ‘dry August sunlight’ lulling the reader into _________________. The next line ‘what offends us is the sanities’ comes as a jolt and the rest of the poem is Attwood’s criticism of _____________________________. ‘Pedantic rows’ and ‘sanitary trees’ expresses the poet’s thoughts about suburbia which she describes as __________________________

She then provides a simile by comparing the ‘levelness of surface’ or rather the height of the trees as a ‘rebuke’ to the ‘dent in our car door’. This suggests that ____________________________. She goes on to reinforce the imagery of suburbia by saying that there is ‘no shouting here, or shatter of glass’ which provides us with a positive image of life in a residential area. This line suggests that ____________. However it is juxtaposed in the next line when she describes the abruptness of the ___________________________________________.

Stanza two continues the predicament that challenges suburbia in a way by pointing out flaws. There is a distinct similarity between stanza one and two in that there is list of complaints relating to suburbia. Her description of the monotony of roof tiling –‘all display the same slant of avoidance to the hot sky’-because we are made to think that  _________________. Some images that stand out for Atwood in suburbia are the offensive smell of oil which smells faintly like vomit and a splash of paint is compared to a bruise. She says that the paint is as ‘surprising’ as a bruise because ______________________________. The same tone is repeated when she describes ‘a plastic hose poised in a vicious coil’. This gives us the impression that ____________________ . The hose is followed by a comma to reinforce the list of things she finds offensive about suburbia, mentioning the ‘too-fixed stare of the wide windows.

 In the next few stanzas the tone shifts from a list of suburban ills to what might happen in the future. Attwood’s apocalyptic vision is that __________________________________________. She later says that even the ‘clay seas’ will become contested territories and the City Planners of the future will still map out another city.


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The Incredibles : Quotation Homework

For homework each of you have been given a quotation to be completed tonight.

The instructions are:

Open a word document

Copy the quotation

Under the quotation address the bullet points in detail, in FULL SENTENCES. It should be one block of writing.

Cut and paste into comment box below this post

I look forward to receiving them!!


Miss Mayer

Posted in The Incredibles | 25 Comments

Dover Beach Main Ideas

Dover Beach


The poem Dover Beach is about maturity, reflecting his own felt need to commit himself and his life. Matthew Arnold has written many other poems, some of which were inspired by a French girl, Marguerite, from whom he was to be separated for the rest of his life. These poems highlight his realization that love enhances loneliness, a sense of loss, and is a self-imposed prison.

The title locale (location) and subject of the poem’s descriptive opening lines is the shore of the English ferry port of Dover, Kent facing Calais, France at the Strait of Dover, the narrowest part of the English Channel, where Arnold honeymooned in 1851



The most poignant image is the sea. The sea includes the visual imagery, used to express illusion, as well as the auditory imagery, used to express reality. A vivid description of the calm sea in the first eight lines allows a picture of the sea to unfold. However, the next six lines call upon auditory qualities, especially the words “Listen,” “grating roar,” and “eternal note of sadness.” The distinction between the sight and sound imagery continues into the third stanza. Sophocles can hear the Aegean Sea, but cannot see it. He hears the purposelessness “of human misery,” but cannot see it because of the “turbid ebb and flow” of the sea. The allusion of Sophocles and the past disappears abruptly, replaced by the auditory image, “But now I only hear/ Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar/ Retreating to the breath/ Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear/ And naked shingles of the world” (Lines 24-28). The image is intensely drawn by Arnold to vividly see the faith disappearing from the speaker’s world. The image of darkness pervades the speaker’s life just like the night wind pushes the clouds in to change a bright, calm sea into dark, “naked shingles.”In the final stanza, the speaker makes his last attempt to hold on to illusion, yet is forced to face reality.



 The tone of the piece is determined by the constant presence of “melancholy” and “misery” in the poem that stretch on into the distance with a “long withdrawing roar…” The calmness of the narrative voice with which the piece is set to work (“the sea is calm to-night). The tide is full, the moon lies fair.”) is essential for the descriptive nature of the first stanza. Yet, later on its role is to emphasise the negativity in the tone of the poem: “But now I only hear /Its melancholy…”, “Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow /of human misery…” The end of the piece, however, implies that the alteration of the things around us is something inevitable. The tone changes in the last verse of the poem in the sense that it now not simply resents mutability, but is also a tone pleading with the reader to realise nothing is as stable and reliable as one perceives it, not to take the world for granted, and to stay “true/ to one another”. Bitterness is suggested when Arnold exclaims ‘Ah, love’ to show that in this changing world, one can only rely on the partner, and be trustful and true. Sarcasm is used to describe the modern world as a ‘land of dreams’ as there is no more hope for the world, as there is no more faith.

Posted in Poems for 2011/12, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Animated Macbeth

Today I had every intention of cleaning up the house, but came across this really cool program! It’s a lot of fun and is especially ideal for drama texts. It’s free, to a certain extent…that is to say, if you want to process the film, you need to buy credit points. It’s worth it though! The second one, I think, is a good deal better. Up for the challenge?

Posted in Class Activities, For Teachers | Leave a comment

How It Happened-Empathy Model Task

Hello again,

Below I have included an ’empathy’ model task on the short-story ‘How It Happened’. Some students think that choosing the ’empathy’ question which is always Question 3 in Prose and Drama section of the paper, the ‘easy option’. Bare in mind that those questions carry the same marks as a * question, or question 2. You cannot merely write, say if you are Blanche from ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, write stuff like ‘Woe if my life, it is in ruins woe woe woe…’, without making strong references to the text. I personally think that Empathy tasks are sometimes the hardest for students to tackle as they really have to know the characters well to be convincing. However, there are those students, particularly drama students who can really breath life into a character…

Imagine you are Perkins after the car crash in How It Happened.  Write a diary entry

 Model Response

Dear diary,

Yesterday was horrible! It all began with my masters greedy face while he was looking at the car catalog, his smile was exaggeratedly wide and his eyes were opened wide open like two huge windows.  “Umm… sir, I’m not sure it’s safe, I mean… it hasn’t been tested” he chided me for ‘talking non sense’, if he knew what was coming he would think differently. His look hadn’t changed during the whole week, until the famous car arrived, we looked at the car with different faces, I stared In awe and disbelief, while his greedy face became more exaggerated and almost crazy. I charged again shoeing my discomfort against the shiny piece of metal before us. He ignored my talk and barged in.

The car was so delicate on the inside I was afraid it might collapse at any minute. I slowly sat as the seat creaked under the weight of my body. My masters fingers scanned every section of the car with his face unchanging. He revved up the engine and we darted down the path that would take us home. His face suddenly stopped grinning and turned into a deep frown, his mouth was tightly shut and his eyebrows collided with each other furiously. I asked him what was wrong, and all I got was a mumble that sounded something like “brakes don’t work”.

From that moment everything went from bad to worse. A chill ran down my spine, I began to sweat, I tried to scream but my heart was stuck in my throat. The car sped around the corner and almost fell sideways. I caught up some valor, and suggested my master he should jump, he said he wouldn’t. I calmed myself up, steadied my breathing and we both began screaming our escape options over the cars roaring engine. I cannot say exactly how much time passed maybe minutes, seconds, but we were about to hit the pillar on the entrance when I was able to scream.

I regained consciousness squashed by the car; my feet where stuck underneath the curved shape of the engine, the car was on fire and the front window was cracked as if something might have flown through it. I heard someone shouting something I couldn’t work out, I gasped for air but smoke stung my chest like a million knifes, I tried not to breath and I waited. As the people came closer I tried to move but my feet hurt so badly I just became still and heard the steady drops of petrol dripping from the engine fall quickly to the floor. Suddenly I heard a loud sizzle as the fire was being put off. Strong hands pulled my out off the car. Between screams I opened my eyes and looked everywhere for my master, someone answered my question; he had flown out the front window and died instantly. I looked back at the burning piece of junk behind me and cursed the car, my masters stubbornness and death itself.

Posted in Assignments, For Teachers, Prose: Stories of Ourselves (2012) | Leave a comment

How It Happened: Storyboard

Hi there!

Below is a fabulous storyboard on the short-story ‘How It Happened’ from the 2011-12 selection from the anthology ‘Stories Of Ourselves’.  It was completed by Arisa Leisure who always creates visually fabulous stuff (from Miss Vee’s class). Thank you Arisa, for allowing me to share your delightful storyboard!


Posted in Class Activities, Prose: Stories of Ourselves (2012) | Leave a comment

End of Year Exam For Grade 9

Dear Grade Nine,

Your end of Year Exam is on Monday 6th June and Tuesday 7th. Both classes will be doing the exam at the same time. The location at the time of writing this post is unclear – but it is more than likely that it will be in the hall on the 5th floor ( I will get back to you on that one).

Monday 6th June – full First Language Paper (English) 1 1/2 hours Period 1 and 2

Question 1: Written Response based on Passage A

  • Here you could be expected to write a leaflet, report, interview, persuasive speech, letter.
  • A good answer is one that is focused and shows that you are certain of the requirements of the task.
  • The material must stem from the passage
  • There should not be too much reliance on invented material as the task is to manipulate the language and information in to a new type of text. For example, you could be given a passage that is informative, and probably appears in magazine, and you might be asked to write a letter of complaint.
  • This question really is all about the audience you are writing for and how well you communicate the purpose in writing.
  • Also you need to probably discuss a range of ideas.


  • Question Two: The One about Language and the effectiveness of word choices and literary devices.
  • You may use quotations here.
  • You must discuss the effects of language, and any literary devices that you think has been employed by the writer, if any
  • Think how it affects the reader – the mood and atmosphere being  created, tone and the impact on the reader. 

Question 3: The Summary

  • You must aim to answer the question at hand-do not merely copy out statements. You need to show that you have answered the question.
  • Do NOT use quotation marks -even if you are using the words passage.
  • Divide up your writing into TWO big blocks/paragraphs of writing (you will be able to tell the best way to structure your answer by the bullets points -sometimes you can divide your ideas according to the passages. Passage B can be one paragraph and Passage A another paragraph.

For all questions, be sure that you have tried to answer the question -you are also being assessed on following the instructions -your ability to respond to the requirements of the task-as well as your understanding of the passages.

Tuesday 7th June – Literature (Unseen) 1 1/2 hours Period One and Two

Paper Five – Literature (Unseen)

This is the first time you will have all attempted this Paper. As you are now probably aware you will be getting two grades-one for First Language and one for Literature, if you choose to sit for the IGCSE.

When you sit for the Literature one-there will be two papers -Paper One is (Poetry, Prose and Drama) and Paper Five Literature (Unseen). We have finished one third of Paper One, and next year we will do a novel and play. Paper Five is different -and is worth about 20% of your IGCSE Literature grade. You do not have to study texts for Paper Five as it is ‘unseen’ -you do not know what will come out on the paper. However, there will be a poem, and some prose (fiction).

Basically, you have to answer a question, which is usually about analysing the theme, language, possibly the impact on the reader. At this stage the best approach is to simply do what you have been doing with the poetry-analysing language, and learning to respond to a question.

Throughout the exam, I will keep track of the time for you. With Paper One, I will advise you when to move on to the next question so that we are learning how to manage our time better, and to our advantage.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Summer is nearly here

Hello Grade Nine,

We have such little time left until it’s summer holidays. On one hand I am truly looking forward to a LONG break, but at the same time I am sad that a few us will be leaving the school. I will write a post on that one another time. For now, though, it’s important that I let you know what is happening for the remaining part of the term up to Action Week.

Week Beginning 23rd May

Poems to cover : Full Moon… and Sonnet 29

Week Beginning 30th May

Poems to cover: Amends


Wednesday 1st June the Poetry Poster is Due


Week Beginning 6th June

Monday 6th June EXAM for all of Grade Nine: Full First Language Paper (Q 1, Q2, Q3)

Tuesday 7th June EXAM-all of Grade Nine Literature (Unseen), Period 1 and 2

Week beginning 13th June

Poem to cover: Dover Beach

Tuesday 14th June: All Day Poetry Workshop –Grade Nine will do ‘On A Grasshopper and Cricket’ during this session.



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Good Luck

Dear All,

If you have hit on this page, chances are that your CIE English Literature exam is on tomorrow. I would like to wish all the students across the world the very best of luck. My class still has a minimum of two literature texts to cover next year, so we will be where you are in year’s time!

There’s a lot you have to do in the Literature Paper in such a short space of time. Remember that you really only have 40 minutes to answer each question. You may know everything there is to know about a given text, but please remember, you must answer the question. Read the instructions carefully, and decide which * question you are going to answer. As it’s quite rare that the * question is on your favourite poem, I often advise students do the * question on the Prose or Drama section. You never know, though your favourite Poem could be the * question, which leaves you with more options.

Just remember though, at least one question has to be a * question.

You should aim for a minimum of two A4 pages for each question. Divide up your time wisely because EACH question is worth the SAME marks.

And DO write in paragraphs, for an obvious point

All the best,


Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Poster Assignment and Objectives Due May 25th

Poster Assignment and Objectives

The purpose of this assignment is to create a visually stunning and informative poster on a poem from the Songs Of Ourselves selection. To help you with your assignment, you should reflect upon your previous assignments and blog/journal responses to the poem. The blog contains ample information on the poems, and some include power-points. Your task is to use this information wisely, and create something spectacular.

Your poster should include:

Content (the information)

Ideas: themes, issues, thoughts and feelings

Voice: narrator, the tone and viewpoint

Form: shape of stanzas, line length, sentence length, enjambment and form

Imagery: symbolism, metaphors, similes, personification, oxymoron etc

Grammatical Features: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, prepositions, articles. Also consider syntax.

Sound: rhyme, rhythm and meter and repetition .Consider alliteration, sibilance, assonance, short and long vowel sounds, harsh or soft consonant sounds and onomatopoeia.

Biography: Writer’s background may be important, but this would be the least essential component.

Instructions: You will need to think about how you are going to divide up the information. Most of you will find that you will have too much information. Therefore you will need to consider the significance of the information and its relevance to the understanding of the poem.

Your poster should not be full of pictures-information is essential! Consider the choice in font size when typing out the information. Certainly the minimum font size should be about 14pt.

Rubrics for Poetry Poster


You have achieved a balance between information and visual aspects of the poster.

The information you have selected is mostly in your own words.

Your information covers the key aspects of poetry: imagery, structure, sound, tone, grammar, theme, voice, biography.

Your information has been presented in a way that it can be read easily.

Your information contains helpful subheadings to direct your readers’ attention.

It is evident from the poster that you have a developed understanding of the poem.

Your poster captures the mood of your poem through visual representation.

The information you have provided has been carefully edited

Additional comments

I like this poster because

Area/s for improvement is/are

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Poetry Exam Questions for Grade 9

The end of year exam will comprise of a full English First Language Exam and an ‘únssen’ Poetry/Prose one for English Literature.

The unseen Poetry/Prose one is Paper 5 for English Literature and is one where your annotation assignment will help you, insofar that you will know how to anlayse a poem and search for meaning. You will also have a choice of analysing a piece of fiction, so you dont have to do the poem.

As you will have two major end of year exams, I have decided to do the Songs of Ourselves Poetry Exam in-class. When you do this paper ‘for real’, you will only have 45mins to do the Poetry section, then you will have to move on to Prose and Drama (both of which will be 45mins). Also there is procedure when it comes to answering the questions in the real exam which I will tell you about once we have fully explored the content of each style of literature.

As this is the first time you will have written about a poem under timed conditions, I have decided to give you questions and a clean copy of the poems well in advance. You must not bring any other additional notes to the exam.

Time Limit: 1hr

Equipment: Questions, Lined Paper, Clean Copies of Poems.

Exam Date: 9B Wedneday 11th May Period One

                         9A Thurday 12th May Period Three

1) Re-read ‘Time’.

Explore the ways in which the poet uses imagery in the poem.

2) In EITHER Marrysong (by Dennis Scott) OR First Love (by John Clare) explore how the poet’s words vividly portray love.

3) Sounds of words can contribute powerfully to a poems effect and meaning. Explore some examples of this from at least two poems that you have studied from this section of Songs Of Ourselves.

4) Explore how EITHER  The Flower-Fed Buffaloes (by Vachel Lindsay) or Report To Wordsworth (Boey Kim Cheng) powerfully conveys feelings about human impact on the environment.

5) Explore how Clarke uses the medium of poetry to explore social concerns in ‘Lament’.

6) Explore the way in which Clare has used language and other poetic devices to present the experience of falling in love in ‘First Love’.

7) Explore the way in which Dennis Scott has used language and other poetic devices to convey the relationship in ‘Marrysong’.


Posted in Assignments, Class Activities, For Teachers | 2 Comments

Audio-visual Presentations of CIE Anthology of Poems (2010-12)

And so the Big Day has arrived-the official launch of our audio-visual presentations on the selection of poems to be examined next year (this year, if you happen to be in Grade 10 or Year 11). The idea was to be as cinematic as possible ,and, whilst it has been mostly the first time we have all used windows movie maker, or imovie, to create a presentation in this sort of way, just about every one of them has a hint of a future film-maker. I am also impressed with the wide-selection of music chosen -eerily appropriate in many cases. I must take the opportunity to give a global ‘thanks’ to teachers out there who inspired this project on Youtube with their classes (some of which can be seen in the category called: ‘Soundbites’.) We really enjoyed ourselves,and would love to share them with YOU.

Posted in Assignments, Audio-Visual Recordings of Set Poems 2011/2012, Poems for 2011/12 | 2 Comments


Hello Everyone,

Below we have our very first Poem-‘movie’-Presentation. What do you think? I am looking forward to receiving them tomorrow and taking the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your creativity! From general observation, the quality of presentations are excellent. So well done, in advance.

Posted in Audio-Visual Recordings of Set Poems 2011/2012 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome Back

Hello Everyone!

Welcome back! This term promises to be a busy one. Next week is the musical (if you haven’t bought your tickets, do so now!), there is also Action Week and end-of-year exams. By the end of this year we will have technically finished the First Language Course, and about one-third of the Literature (next year we will be looking at the prescribed novel The Great Gatsby and the drama/play Death of a Salesman (unconfirmed, but pretty much for certain).

The focus for the next couple of weeks is to complete the ‘Movie assignment’. I hope you have all had a chance to see the poem you have been given. By the end of this week, it would be greatly appreciated if you have all the technology sorted out.

*Do you have WindowsMovieMaker or the equivalent?

*Can you record your voice in a manner that is clear and loud enough? You can probably do this through your phones or MP3 players-but don’t leave it to the last-minute! In order to know what technology is available, you need to assess what you have.

By the time I have finished this post, this blog will have received close on 3000 hits. I wanted to celebrate at 2000, but I was flying back to Malaysia at the time. I would like to thank my students again for their contributions -thank you to you for taking the opportunity to visit this site, thus making the experience of reading and studying literature  a more dynamic experience. Many of you have expressed in your comments that you have found it very helpful, and in that, we have achieved our aim.



Posted in CIE Administration, Class Activities, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Analysis on ‘So We Shall No More Go A Roving’

Explore how the words of Lord Byron’s ‘So We’ll Go No More A-Roving’ vividly convey the character of the speaker in the poem.

Lord Byron was a very socially active poet and wrote ‘So We’ll Go No More A-Roving’ at the age of twenty-nine. He was notorious for living his life indulgently with love affairs and wealth, and in this poem, Byron realises his dilapidated physical and spiritual state due to the uncountable number of nights being relentless and making love. A melancholy tone is built up through auditory effects, and by employing various techniques, Byron expresses his view with vividness that love is a powerful and irresistible force yet something that is not eternal.

This short and succinct poem makes effective use of auditory features. It begins with long and slow ‘O’ sounds, “We’ll go no more a-roving,” and implies the poet’s weary and exasperated consciousness. A “moaning” effect is created by this assonance, which may be Byron’s reflection on his physical state. In addition, sibilance is used in the second stanza, “For the sword outwears its sheath,” which also extends the delicate sound of “s” conveying Byron’s state of fragility. Also, that phrase is very smooth when enunciated, further emphasising Byron’s listlessness due to his increasing age and his rather unscrupulous way of recreation.

Bryon uses the moon as a symbol for the passion for his wish to make love. The phrase, “So late into the night … moon be still as bright” suggests that Bryon believes that there is no difference between day and night to him. From the first stanza, we can infer that Bryon does not believe night is for sleeping, and wants to waste no time of his life and continuously indulge in affairs. In the last sentence of the poem, this same idea is reinforced as the poet accepts that he cannot continue this lavish love life “by the light of the moon.”

Despite Lord Byron’s limitless desire for romance, he acknowledges his feebleness of body and mind, which shows that Byron has a hint of sensibility in him despite his rather immoral and profuse lifestyle. There are two distinct innuendoes of the second stanza. The sword may have a phallic allusion, while the sheath is a symbol of a female. The phrase “the sword outwears its sheath,” indicates that Byron is now tired and has had enough. Otherwise, the “sword” may represent Bryon’s spirit or conscience, while the “sheathe” is what contains his spirit, which is his body. In other words, Byron’s way of acting due to the influence of his soul has taken its toll on his outer appearance, and therefore he recognises the need to take a break from his usual life. By saying that “The heart must pause to breathe and love itself must have rest” Byron finally acknowledges that he has lived beyond his physical capabilities and admits that it is difficult to restrain oneself from something as compulsive as love, but failure to do so will result in morbid consequences.

The poem ‘So We’ll Go No More A-Roving’ boldly portrays the character of Byron, whose life was full of luxuries and women. He uses this poem to express his need to cease his activities, as at the age of twenty-nine, he was becoming severely enervated. Due to his extravagant lifestyle, Lord Byron died at age thirty-six. Despite Byron’s insatiable passion for more love, he admits that he has been worn out and must stop “a-roving.”’

Posted in Essay Writing Skills, Exam Revision Literature, For Teachers, Poems for 2011/12, Poetry Essays: Model Responses for 2011/2012 | 17 Comments

Wishing You A Well-Deserved Break

Dear Grade Nine,

Wishing you all a safe and relaxing holiday, and hope to see back refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the year. Not long to go now, and time is likely to pass very quickly, and before you know it, it will be June.

So take care, everybody and see you on Wednesday 13th April,



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The City Planners by Margaret Atwood

Cruising these residential Sunday

streets in dry August sunlight:

what offends us is

the sanities:

the houses in pedantic rows, the planted

sanitary trees, assert

levelness of surface like a rebuke

to the dent in our car door.

No shouting here, or

shatter of glass: nothing more abrupt

than the rational whine of a power mower

cutting a straight swath in the discouraged grass.

But though the driveways neatly

sidestep hysteria

by being even, the roofs all display

the same slant of avoidance to the hot sky,

certain things:

the smell of spilt oil a faint

sickness lingering in the garages,

a splash of paint on brick surprising as a bruise,

a plastic hose poised in a vicious

coil; even the too-fixed stare of the wide-windows

give momentary access to

the landscape behind or under

the future cracks in the plaster

when the houses, capsize, will slide

obliquely into clay seas, gradual as glaciers

that right now nobody notices.

That is where the City Planners

with the insane faces of political conspirators

territories, concealed from each other,

each in his own private blizzard;

guessing directions, they sketch

transitory lines rigid as wooden borders

on a wall in the white vanishing air

tracing the panic of suburb

order in a bland madness of snows.

Posted in Poems for 2013/2014 | 5 Comments

End of the Term

Dear All,

We have just about come to the end of a busy term, and look how far we have come! It has been a particularly exciting term as it was the first time many of us have experienced analysing poetry, and with astounding results. Next term we will complete the remaining handful of poems and continue to improve upon our ability to comment on language and literary devices and their effectiveness.

Your first assignment when we return will be doing a ‘Movie/Presentation’ on a poem I have chosen for you. Here is the link for the page which will tell you what poem you have been given and what you are expected to achieve.


No need to worry if you are not Steven Speilberg, your presentations are to be similar to those we have watched in class by other students. I am pretty confident though that we will produce even better ones🙂

We will have plenty of time to work on these in class when we return; however, if you feel a little bored you can have a head start.

Wishing you all a fabulous and safe holiday,


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Haikus For Japan

Following the success of ‘Lament For Japan’ based upon Gillian Clarke’s poem, I have decided to introduce the class to a traditional form of Japanese poetry called the Haiku. As with the ‘Lament For Japan’, our Haiku will deal with the double catastrophe of an earthquake, followed by a tsunami and the impending disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power point. These are especially sad and troubled times and I think it deserves our attention, our thoughts and empathy.

A ‘Haiku’ is a traditional form of Japanese poetry which when adopted by English-speaking countries contain three lines with a syllable pattern of 5, 7, 5 (if you were to include another two lines with 7 syllables each, you will have created a Tanka, another form of traditional Japanese poetry).

The Haiku looks disarmingly simple, after all it contains only three lines pertaining to a syllable pattern. In the same way we may perceive writing children stories as easy, we may wrongly assume that writing a Haiku is just as simple. A good Haiku is about painting a picture with words, with the final line often giving an overall impression, a kind of conclusion, if you like.

Haiku Examples in English

The following haiku examples in English will help you understand how a haiku is written. One noun and a connective phrase with five syllables consists of the traditional Japanese haiku poems.

An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.

~ Basho

Sick and feverish
Glimpse of cherry blossoms
Still shivering.

~ Ryinosuke Akutagawa

The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

~ Masaoka Shiki

Over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.

~ Soseki Natsume

Sick on a journey –
Over parched fields
Dreams wander on.

~ Basho

You rice-field maidens!
The only things not muddy
Are the songs you sing.

~ Raizan

Whispering to her–
the spotted fawn
eyes the outstretched water lily

The butterflies dance
Brilliant colors of rainbows
Rippling like water

Earth whirls a chorus.
Fluttering fair women talk.
Winter sways gifts.

The apples chortle.
Wonder misses the landscapes.
Earth charms heaven.

As you can see, the Haiku traditionally deals with nature or animals, though can be on any subject. They rarely rhyme, so do not feel the pressure to make it rhyme. If you really want a challenge, work on the final line as this is one which summarizes your entire ‘picture’.

Your task

1) Following an audiovisual introduction, write down Japan and come up with as many thoughts and images which comes to mind.

2) Circle your strongest impression

3) Begin writing words, phrases and see if a picture is being developed.

4) Once you have your ideas, see if you can plan around the syllable pattern.

Posted in Class Activities | 33 Comments

Lament For Japan

Through a detailed exploration of Gillian Clarke’s poem we learnt that ‘Lament’ is an expression of sorrow. Clarke’s ‘Lament’ is for the destruction caused by the Gulf War which had serious repercussions on the environment.  Although not man-made, the double tragedy of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on Friday made us think about the fragility of our existence. Below is our expression of sorrow for Japan.

Task: Based upon the structure of Clarke’s poem ‘Lament’ write three lines making use of the word ‘For’.  Time limit: 10 minutes.

Lament: For Japan

For the shattered cities, fields and homes.

For the broken bones, families and hearts.

For the fear and panic, hunger and devastation.

For the warning comes but no one lends an ear

The second warning comes but no one cares to hear

The third warning comes but sadly no one see things clear

For the people, buried deep under the debris

For the innocent, waiting for their loved ones

For the men hard at work, searching for the never ending dead.

For Death who knocked on a door nearby,

Think of all those who wouldn’t die,

All that hope you couldn’t take

For the nightmare ocean pushing us down

Dragging and pulling, so no one could reach the top

Now, we are flying the dark sky.

For the hundreds of helpless, innocent souls

who were washed away from all things they once loved

For the world, in hope that everyone will hear the people of Japan.

For the world, it was the day of sadness,

The monstrous wave which raced along Japan

For the people with no one, nothing left.

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Beautiful Sunsets

When discussing Gillian Clarke’s ‘Lament’ today, some you sensed the irony in the momentary beauty of words ‘veiled’ and ‘iridescence’ which were immediately juxtaposed in the next lines, where we were told about the environmental destruction caused by war.

The conversation veered towards sunsets, and quite a few of you were surprised to learn that exquisite sunsets are partly caused by pollution.

Below is an article to get you thinking about those spectacular sunsets next time you are lying on beach somewhere, say, in Indonesia or Thailand.

Fact or Fiction?: Smog Creates Beautiful Sunsets

It depends on what color you like. By Coco Ballantyne | Thursday, July 12, 2007 | 0

RED SKIES AT NIGHT: May be a warning of heavy particulate pollution rather than a storm coming. Image: © ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/JEREMY WEE

Picture twilight in Los Angeles: the city’s labyrinth of eight-lane freeways is jammed with millions of cars, engines burping pollutants into the air. The people in those cars may be drowning in a sea of smog, but they at least can take solace in seeing a scarlet sunset blazing across the horizon.

According to urban legend, air pollution enhances the beauty of a sunset. And pollution does indeed change the appearance of sundown, but whether it tips it in the direction of beauty is a matter of personal taste—and the overall amount of that pollution in the air.

Be it the azure of high noon or the orange glow of dusk, the colors of the sky result from sunlight interacting with molecules in the air, primarily nitrogen and oxygen, which cause it to be deflected in all directions, a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering. All wavelengths of light are scattered, but they are not scattered equally. According to John W. S. Rayleigh’s approximate scattering law, colors with shorter wavelengths are scattered the most: violet, followed by blue, then green, and so on.

During the day, when the sun is directly overhead, light travels only a short distance through a relatively thinner section of the atmosphere. But as the sun edges toward the horizon, the light must travel increasingly longer paths and is scattered by more air molecules. By the time it reaches the end of this journey (our eyes), “most of the blue has been scattered out of that beam” explains Stephen Corfidi, a meteorologist at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). What remains are the warmer hues of yellow, orange and red, which blend into a yellowish-orange sunset.

Yet, scattering by nitrogen and oxygen can only explain how sunsets can be orange and perhaps reddish, not how the sky can blush blood red. “In an atmosphere with no junk at anytime, you’ll never get a sunset that would make someone with normal color vision say, ‘Wow that’s red!'” says Craig Bohren, professor emeritus of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University. “It is certainly true that the ‘pollution’ results in redder sunsets.”

To get a red sky, you need aerosols, explains A. R. Ravishankara, director of chemical sciences at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo. Aerosols are solid or liquid particles suspended in the air that originate from both natural processes and human activity.

Natural aerosols come from forest fires, mineral dust kicked up by sandstorms, sea spray and volcanic eruptions, among other things. Volcanoes, which have produced some of the most spectacular sunsets in history, can inject sulfuric acid droplets into the stratosphere, the layer of the atmosphere between 10 to 35 miles in altitude. These droplets can be swept across the globe, painting brilliant crimson twilights wherever they go. Following the 1883 eruption of Indonesia’s Krakatoa, brilliant sunsets appeared around the world, one of which is said to have inspired Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s painting, The Scream.

But “in a large city, you can ignore natural aerosol products for the most part” because the number of aerosols produced by human activity far exceeds natural sources, says Sergey Nizkorodov, a chemist at the University of California, Irvine. Human-generated aerosols can enter the atmosphere directly, as is the case with soot emitted by internal combustion engines in cars and trucks, he explains. Aerosols are also produced when molecules in the gaseous state enter the atmosphere and react with other chemicals, he adds. A classic case: burning fossil fuels releases sulfur dioxide gas into the air, which then turns into sulfuric acid aerosols.

Most particles suspended above cities scatter radiation, preferentially removing the cooler violets and blues in the spectral palette and enhancing the red, Nizkorodov says. In this sense, these particles scatter light much the same as do oxygen and nitrogen molecules.

“Molecules and small particles scatter the same way as long as the particle is sufficiently small,” Bohren says. If the particle is small compared with the wavelengths of visible light, it will scatter short wavelengths, such as blues and violets, more than long wavelengths, such as red. Many man-made aerosols are small enough to meet this criterion, so they contribute to the deep crimson sunsets of Los Angeles and other polluted cities across the globe.

However, “at some point, the air pollution is so bad, and the sky is so saturated, you don’t even see the sun clearly anymore,” Nizkorodov says. For example, the sunset can appear bright but washed out when large numbers of big particles accumulate in the troposphere, the layer of the atmosphere closest to the ground. Aerosols that are close in size or larger than the wavelengths of visible light tend to scatter all colors indiscriminately, increasing the overall brightness of the sky but dampening color contrast.

“Particles of any kind, even much smaller than the wavelength of visible light, will, as a rule, make the sky brighter but at the expense of its purity of color,” Bohren says, noting that the effect is more pronounced when there is a high concentration of large aerosols. So, although aerosols may make a sunset red, excess pollution will also dampen the overall sunset experience. In fact, the transition from day to night might be a whole lot peachier—and healthier—without all that atmospheric flotsam.

© 2011 Scientific American, a Division of Nature America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Gillian Clarke’s Lament-Background Information

Clarke wrote Lament in the early 1990s during the Gulf War Crisis, which developed into a full-scale UN-authorised war between Iraq and a coalition force made up of some thirty-five countries. Her poem deals with the casualties of war, primarily the destruction of the natural environment as well as innocent people who were caught  up in the war, leaving them homeless and often stateless.

Whilst this war occurred over twenty years ago (not without repercussions), Clarke’s poem is still relevant today because there continues to be conflict in the Middle East, though the attention has most recently shifted to Northern Africa. Wars are man-made, and this is a pertinent point made by Clarke in her poem, ‘Lament’. Some of issues raised in this poem are:

  • man-made environmental disasters ie oil spill
  • refugees
  • soldiers from vastly different backgrounds and parts of the world in combat.
  • animal casualties birds, mammals
  • arguments

Gulf War 1 (August 2, 1990 – February 28, 1991), ) or the First Gulf War as it is also known, is regarded as being the world’s third largest oil spill. The speaker of Lament refers to this catastrophic  environmental disaster .

Clarke uses animals to reinforce the environmental disaster. Below are some of the ones she mentions.

Below is a short story written for children entitled ‘The Sad Cormorant’ set in Kuwait (incidentally the setting of Clarke’s poem)the cormorant is ‘sad’ because his habitat has been destroyed by an oil spill.

Posted in Poems and Summaries | 1 Comment

Movie-Poem Assignment


Movie/Presentation of a Poem from the Anthology


Hello Grade Nine,

I am using the term ‘Movie/Presentation’ very loosely, but the bottom line is –you will be given a poem from the CIE Anthology and will be expected to create an audio visual presentation of the poem. We have looked at a few examples created in class from students across the world on You Tube when we have been introduced to a new poem.

Now it’s our turn

To create bigger and better ones.

1) You are to select a number of images which best suit the words/line in the poem from the internet. Please try to aim for consistency in quality, style (if you are using photos, do NOT change and start looking for cartoons).

2) You will need to use Windows Movie Maker or some other program (not Powerpoint) so that there is a sense of ‘movement’ achieved.

3) If you decide to do it on PREZI you will need to see me, as this lends itself to a different kind of presentation.

4) You will require music, and you will need to record your voice over it-as you will be reading the poem

Name Poem Name Poem
Daniel Time Brian Lok Time
Andrey Full Moon And Little Frieda Benedicte Amends
Clarence Lament Diana Full Moon And Little Frieda
Se-One The Grasshopper and The Cricket Alex Lament
Cara The Flower-Fed Buffaloes Brian K Dover Beach
Celeste Report To Wordsworth Arisa Sonnet 29
Anna Anna Adarsh The Flower-Fed Buffaloes
Nick H Marrysong Nick J Report To Wordsworth
Tom Amends

You will be marked on:

  • Your ability to select images appropriate to the meaning of the text
  • Images and music reflect the tone of the piece (music should not have lyrics being sung)
  • Your ability to speak the poem
  • The timing
  • Originality (ie not selecting the first images you see on Google)

You must submit this as a file to jmayer@bifskorea.org on Wednesday 27th April

Posted in Assignments, Class Activities, For Teachers | 3 Comments

Annotation Assigment

The purpose of this assignment is to prepare you for viewing an ‘unseen’ poem under test conditions. What this means is that one of these days you will be given a poem you have never seen before and you will have to write about it, commenting on the themes/message and how they are conveyed by the poet (much the same as you are doing in your summaries of the poems set to study). It is not an easy task as you have to read the poem with purpose and eventually write about it with clarity in expression.

When we began the summaries, a student told me that in order to write about it, she had to read it twenty times. In the same way that you cannot write about a painting only having looked at it once, you have to study it -read the poem multiple times looking for key areas.

My advice would be to begin reading the poems and highlighting points -things that stand out, and make your own comments. The poems selected are well know, so AFTER you have have thought about it, you may wish to annotate your poem in more detail by looking at the following links (but do try to do some of your own thinking)




Rationale : How to Annotate a Poem

We annotate texts and poems in order to understand them.  An annotation requires many readings of the poem.  You must make time to seriously consider each word and its place within the poem as a whole.  What is the poet is saying through this particular speaker/persona?  What is the natural progression of the poem?  What is its purpose?  What is the tone and style of the poem? 

I will be looking for serious consideration of the following elements:  

  • Structure of the poem which explains its progression along with the major turning points
  • Language that denotes regionality, education of speaker, rhetorical purpose, etc.  Is it conversational, colloquial or does the speaker fall back on formal language?
  • Tone:  Is the poem celebratory, depressed, confused?  Does it shift or change?
  • Speaker/Persona:  What does the poem reveal about the speaker?
  • Imagery:  What images does the poem use to create meaning or set the mood?
  • Symbolism:  What images become symbolic?  
  • Any other characteristics that are specific to your poem–Every poem is different.

As you research, you will discover that particular poets are known for certain techniques or styles.  If this poem follows that trend or veers from it is important to your understanding of the poem.

Your Task

An annotation requires many readings of the poem. You have five (5) poems to annotate.  See my example for what an annotated poem should look like:

  • · “We Remember Your Childhood Well”-Carol Ann Duffy
  • · “Mid-term Break”-Seamus Heaney
  • · “Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan”-Moniza Alvi
  • · “Search For My Tongue”-Sujata Bhatt
  • · “Valentine”-Carol Ann Duffy


 I will be collecting and grading your HANDWRITTEN annotations on these poems. I will be collecting these annotations, which must be written on the poem copies, on March 16th.  


I will be looking for serious consideration of the following elements:   

  • · Structure of the poem which explains its progression along with the major turning points  
  • · Language
  • · Tone
  • · Speaker/Persona
  • · Point of View
  • · Imagery
  • · Symbolism
  • · Other literary devices
  • · Theme
  • · Any other characteristics that are specific to your poem–Every poem is different.



Search For My Tongue –Sujata Bhatt

You ask me what I mean
by saying I have lost my tongue.
I ask you, what would you do
if you had two tongues in your mouth,
and lost the first one,
the mother tongue,
and could not really know the other,
the foreign tongue.
You could not use them both together
even if you thought that way.
And if you lived in a place you had to
speak a foreign tongue,
your mother tongue would rot,
rot and die in your mouth
until you had to spit it out.
I thought I spit it out
but overnight while I dream,

(munay hutoo kay aakhee jeebh aakhee bhasha)

(may thoonky nakhi chay)

(parantoo rattray svupnama mari bhasha pachi aavay chay)

(foolnee jaim mari bhasha nmari jeebh)

(modhama kheelay chay)

(fullnee jaim mari bhasha mari jeebh)

(modhama pakay chay)

it grows back, a stump of a shoot
grows longer, grows moist, grows strong veins,
it ties the other tongue in knots,
the bud opens, the bud opens in my mouth,
it pushes the other tongue aside.
Everytime I think I’ve forgotten,
I think I’ve lost the mother tongue,
it blossoms out of my mouth.



Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan

They sent me a salwar kameez
and another
glistening like an orange split open,
embossed slippers, gold and black
points curling.
Candy-striped glass bangles
snapped, drew blood.
Like at school, fashions changed
in Pakistan –
the salwar bottoms were broad and stiff,
then narrow.
My aunts chose an apple-green sari,
for my teens.
I tried each satin-silken top –
was alien in the sitting-room.
I could never be as lovely
as those clothes –
I longed
for denim and corduroy.
My costume clung to me
and I was aflame,
I couldn’t rise up out of its fire,
unlike Aunt Jamila.
I wanted my parents’ camel-skin lamp –
switching it on in my bedroom,
to consider the cruelty
and the transformation
from camel to shade,
marvel at the colours
like stained glass.
My mother cherished her jewellery –
Indian gold, dangling, filigree,
But it was stolen from our car.
The presents were radiant in my wardrobe.
My aunts requested cardigans
from Marks and Spencers.
My salwar kameez
didn’t impress the schoolfriend
who sat on my bed, asked to see
my weekend clothes.
But often I admired the mirror-work,
tried to glimpse myself
in the miniature
glass circles, recall the story
how the three of us
sailed to England.
Prickly heat had me screaming on the way.
I ended up in a cot
In my English grandmother’s dining-room,
found myself alone,
playing with a tin-boat.

I pictured my birthplace
from fifties’ photographs.
When I was older
there was conflict, a fractured land
throbbing through newsprint.
Sometimes I saw Lahore –
my aunts in shaded rooms,
screened from male visitors,
sorting presents,
wrapping them in tissue.

Or there were beggars, sweeper-girls
and I was there –
of no fixed nationality,
staring through fretwork
at the Shalimar Gardens.

Moniza Alvi




Valentine-Carol Ann Duffy

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
Like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears
Like a lover.
It will make your reflection
A wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
Possessive and faithful
As we are,
For as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
If you like.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
Cling to your knife.







Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney

I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o’clock our neighbors drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying–
He had always taken funerals in his stride–
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand

And tell me they were “sorry for my trouble,”
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand

In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.
At ten o’clock the ambulance arrived
With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops
And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,

Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.

We Remember Your Childhood Well by Carol Ann Duffy

Nobody hurt you. Nobody turned off the light and argued
with somebody else all night. The bad man on the moors
was only a movie you saw. Nobody locked the door.

Your questions were answered fully. No. That didn’t occur.
You couldn’t sing anyway, cared less. The moment’s a blur, a Film Fun
laughing itself to death in the coal fire. Anyone’s guess.

Nobody forced you. You wanted to go that day. Begged. You chose
the dress. Here are the pictures, look at you. Look at us all,
smiling and waving, younger. The whole thing is inside your head.

What you recall are impressions; we have the facts. We called the tune. The secret police of your childhood were older and wiser than you, bigger                                than you. Call back the sound of their voices. Boom. Boom. Boom.

Nobody sent you away. That was an extra holiday, with people                                     you seemed to like. They were firm, there was nothing to fear.                                      There was none but yourself to blame if it ended in tears.

What does it matter now? No, no, nobody left the skidmarks of sin on your soul and laid you wide open for Hell. You were loved. Always. We did what was best. We remember your childhood well.





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In-class Poetry Essay-Sonnet 43 (Feb 28-March 2)

The Task:

You will have three lessons to write your response to the following question:

Explore the ways in which the Elizabeth Barrett-Browning has used language and         other poetic devices to present her ideas about love in Sonnet 43.

To help you write your first literary essay on poetry, the following structure may be useful:


(1 paragraph)

Use key words from the essay title in a brief description of what the poem is about. Comment briefly on the themes, issues, thoughts and feelings the poem explores.  Identify the narrator, the tone and viewpoint of the poem.


(1 or 2 paragraph)                                                                                                                              Divide the poem into sections and explain in more detail what the poem is about,               section by section.  Write about the development of ideas and themes from one section to another and one stanza to another. Consider the significance of shifts intone between sections.  Consider the shape of stanzas, line length, sentence length, enjambment and form.

DICTION (WORDS) (1 or 2 paragraphs)

Write about the significance and effect of the poem’s words and their connotations. Look at semantic fields, hyperbole, contrasts, allusions, level of formality etc. Include short quotations and analysis of the effects of language.


(1 or 2 paragraphs)

Write about the significance and effect of the imagery used in the poem. Consider symbolism, metaphors, similes, personification, oxymoron etc.  Include short quotations and analysis of the effects of language.

GRAMMATICAL FEATURES (1 or 2 paragraphs)

Write about the functions of word classes. Consider nouns, pronouns, verbs,             adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, prepositions, articles. Also                              consider syntax. Include short quotations and analysis of the effects of                              language. Only write about features which have significant effects.


(1 or 2 paragraphs)

Write about the significance of rhyme, rhythm and meter. Consider the use of repetition .Consider alliteration, sibilance, assonance, short and long vowel sounds, harsh or soft consonant sounds and onomatopoeia.


(1 paragraph)                                                                                                                                Return to the key words of the question and give your final personal response to the poem as a whole. Do you think the poem is successful in conveying a message or portraying experiences, thoughts or feelings? What does the poem make you think or feel.

It is expected that you will come to class prepared with a copy of the poem,                           your book and any additional notes you decide to bring.

The session will begin on February 28th and finish March 3rd at the end of the period.

When you have finished typing/editing your work you will print one copy and send one copy to jmayer@bifskorea.org.

Grade Descriptors

Your assignment will be marked according to the following descriptors provided by CIE

Grade A

A Grade A candidate will have demonstrated the ability to:                                                sustain a perceptive and convincing response with well-chosen detail of narrative and situation;                                                                                                                                               demonstrate clear critical/analytical understanding of the author’s intentions and the text’s deeper implications and the attitudes it displays;                                                               make much well selected reference to the text;                                                                             respond sensitively and in detail to the way language works in the text;                             communicate a considered and reflective personal response to the text.

Grade C

A Grade C candidate will have demonstrated the ability to:                                                 make a reasonably sustained/extended response with detail of narrative and situation;                                                                                                                                                show understanding of the author’s intentions and some of the text’s deeper implications and the attitudes it displays;                                                                                                                                                         show some thoroughness in use of the text for support;                                                             make some response to the way language works in the text;                                          communicate an informed personal response to the text.

Grade E

A Grade E candidate will have demonstrated the ability to:                                                         make some relevant comments in terms of narrative and situation;                                                                                                                                              show some understanding of the author’s intentions and the surface meaning of the text;                                                                                                                                                     make a little reference to the text for support;                                                                              make a little reference to the language of the text;                                                               communicate a basic personal response to the text.

Grade F

A Grade F candidate will have demonstrated the ability to:                                                                                                                                                           make a few straightforward points in terms of narrative and situation;                                show a few signs of understanding of the author’s intentions and the surface                            meanings of the                                    text;                                                                                                                                                    make a little reference to the text;                                                                                                                                                        show evidence of a simple personal response.

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Poetry: In-class guided essay (Feb28-March3)

Poetry Essay: In-class Guided Essay on Sonnet 43
The Task:You will have three lessons to write your response to  

the following question:

Explore the ways in which the Elizabeth Barrett-Browning has

used language and other poetic devices to present her ideas

about love in Sonnet 43.

To help you write your first literary essay on poetry, the following  

structure may be useful:


Use key words from the essay title in a brief description of what the poem is about.

Comment briefly on the themes, issues, thoughts and feelings the poem explores.

Identify the narrator, the tone and viewpoint of the poem.

STRUCTURE (1/2paragraph)

Divide the poem into sections and explain in more detail what the poem is about,

section by section.  Write about the development of ideas and themes from one section

to another and one stanza to another. Consider the significance of shifts in tone between

sections.  Consider the shape of stanzas, line length, sentence length, enjambment and form.

DICTION (WORDS) (1 or 2 paragraphs) Write about the significance and effect

of the poem’s words and their connotations. Look at semantic fields, hyperbole,

contrasts, allusions, level of formality etc. Include short quotations and analysis

of the effects of language.

IMAGERY (1/2 paragraphs)

Write about the significance and effect of the imagery used in the poem.

Consider symbolism, metaphors, similes, personification, oxymoron etc.

Include short quotations and analysis of the effects of language.

GRAMMATICAL FEATURES (1 or 2 paragraphs)

Write about the functions of word classes. Consider nouns, pronouns, verbs,

adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, prepositions, articles. Also consider syntax.

Include short quotations and analysis of the effects of language. Only write about

features which have significant effects.

SOUNDS (1 or 2 paragraphs)

Write about the significance of rhyme, rhythm and meter. Consider the use of

repetition .Consider alliteration, sibilance, assonance, short and long vowel sounds,

harsh or soft consonant sounds and onomatopoeia.

CONCLUSION (1 paragraph)

Return to the key words of the question and give your final personal response to

the poem as a whole. Do you think the poem is successful in conveying a message

or portraying experiences, thoughts or feelings? What does the poem make you

think or feel.

It is expected that you will come to class prepared with a copy of  

the poem, your book and any additional notes you decide to bring.

The session will begin on February 28th and finish March 3rd at the end

of the period. When you have finished typing/editing your work you will

print one copy and send one copy to jmayer@bifskorea.org.

Grade DescriptorsYour assignment will be marked according to the following descriptors provided by CIEGrade A 

A Grade A candidate will have demonstrated the ability to:

sustain a perceptive and convincing response with well-chosen detail of

narrative and situation;                                                                                                                                                                demonstrate clear critical/analytical understanding of the author’s intentions

and the text’s deeper implications and the attitudes it displays;

make much well selected reference to the text;

respond sensitively and in detail to the way language works in the text;

communicate a considered and reflective personal response to the text.

Grade C

A Grade C candidate will have demonstrated the ability to:

make a reasonably sustained/extended response with detail of narrative

and situation;

show understanding of the author’s intentions and some of the text’s deeper

implications and the attitudes it                       displays;                                                                                                                                                                                 show some thoroughness in use of the text for support;

make some response to the way language works in the text;

communicate an informed personal response to the text.

Grade E

A Grade E candidate will have demonstrated the ability to:                                                                                                                                                                                                                   make some relevant comments in terms of narrative and situation;

show some understanding of the author’s intentions and the surface meaning

of the text;

make a little reference to the text for support;

make a little reference to the language of the text;

communicate a basic personal response to the text.

Grade F

A Grade F candidate will have demonstrated the ability to:

make a few straightforward points in terms of narrative and situation;                                                                                                                                                                             show a few signs of understanding of the author’s intentions and the surface meanings of the text;                                                                                                                                                                                              make a little reference to the text;

show evidence of a simple personal response.

Additional Comments from Marker:  

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‘Time’ by Allen Curnow

I am the nor-west air among the pines

I am the water-race and the rust on railway lines

I am the mileage recorded on the yellow signs.

I am dust, I am distance, I am lupins back of the beach

I am the sums the sole-charge teachers teach

I am cows called to milking and the magpie’s screech.

I am nine o’clock in the morning when the office is clean

I am the slap of the belting and the smell of the machine

I am the place in the park where lovers were seen.

I am recurrent music the children hear

I am level noises in the remembering ear

I am the sawmill and the passionate second gear.

I, Time, am all these, yet these exist

Among my mountainous fabrics like mist,

So do they the measurable world resist.

I, Time, call down, condense, confer

On the willing memory the shapes these were:

I, more than your conscious carrier,

Am island, am sea, am father, farm, and friend,

Though I am here all things my coming attend;

I am, you have heard it, the Beginning and the End.


Lupins: type of garden flower

Posted in Poems for 2011/12 | 77 Comments

‘Lament’ by Gillian Clarke


For the green turtle with her pulsing burden,

in search of the breeding ground.

For her eggs laid in their nest of sickness.

For the cormorant in his funeral silk,

the veil of iridescence on the sand,

the shadow on the sea.

For the ocean’s lap with its mortal stain.

For Ahmed at the closed border.

For the soldier in his uniform of fire.

For the gunsmith and the armourer,

the boy fusilier who joined for the company,

the farmer’s sons, in it for the music.

For the hook-beaked turtles,

the dugong and the dolphin,

the whale struck dumb by the missile’s thunder.

For the tern, the gull and the restless wader,

the long migrations and the slow dying,

the veiled sun and the stink of anger.

For the burnt earth and the sun put out,

The scalded ocean and the blazing well.

For vengeance, and the ashes of language.

Cormorant, tern,  gull and wader –types of seabirds

Iridescence-a surface of shimmering colours


Dugong-large aquatic mammal

Posted in Poems for 2011/12 | Tagged , | 55 Comments

At Hiruharama by Penelope Fitzgerald (notes)

This short story is about a man and his wife’s life. Mr. Tanner meets with Kitty at a store and they get married. When Tanner learns that Kitty is pregnant, he gets surprised. He starts to do some calculations about the big day. He goes to the doctor and asks him about life statistics. Then he buys some pigeons to call the doctor. When the big day comes, Tanner gets excited and at that time their neighbour Brinkman comes. Brinkman is a man who is very lonely and isolated. He is interested in women also. After that, Tanner manages to born the baby. Unfortunetly, he throws the second baby away. The doctor comes and saves the second baby. and Tanner hangs his motto on his wall, “Throw Nothing Away”.


Mr. Tanner:

  • worried
  • anxious
  • apprehensive
  • distressed
  • restless
  • fearful
  • cautious
  • uneasy
  • loving


  • placid
  • tranquil
  • calm
  • quiet,
  • peaceful
  • strong


  • self centered
  • selfish
  • calm
  • carefree
  • reckless
  • absorbed
  • lonely
  • isolated
  • desperate


Fitzgerald’s narration is very inportant. It is a third person limited narration which we can not understand any deeper feelings of the characters. The narration becomes first person narration because the author wants to explain a story about Tanner and Kitty in a believeable way.

Author’s word choice is very important. Doctor’s movements and characters actions explained with this.

Also the attitudes of the characters are portrayed so well that the reader feels like the story is real.

Posted in Prose, Stories of Ourselves (from 2013) | Tagged | 1 Comment


Mansfield, brought up in New Zealand, was a notable writer of short stories.

Get students to explore the ways in which Mansfield presents Leila’s thoughts and feelings before and during the ball. It would be useful to consider the way in which Leila is different from the other girls and how this affects their (and our) impressions of her. How do they think Mansfield captures the excitement of the ball? Students should pay particular attention to the contribution to the story of the two men who dance with Leila, the odious fat man and then the young man with curly hair. They should examine carefully the words Mansfield uses in the dialogue and description to guide readers’ responses to the various characters.

Wider reading

Other short stories by Katherine Mansfield such as

The Daughters of the Late Colonel and The Garden Party


Students might enjoy the novel

The Getting of Wisdom

(by Henry Handel Richardson) about a twelve year old girl’s experience at a boarding school in Melbourne (which has been popular as a past IGCSE set text).

Compare with

The Yellow Wall Paper

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Destructors

by Graham Greene

The Taste of Watermelon

by Borden Deal

To Da-duh, In Memoriam

by Paule Marshall

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Her First Ball (Student Notes)

It is about a country girl called Leila who has never been to a ball. Her cousins invited her to a ball and she got very excited. She was very unexperienced about city life and balls. An interesting night was waiting Leila with a gorgeous drill hall and some weird partners. Leila was dreaming a beatiful life but she couldn’t find what she expected…

The story starts in cab, then ladies room. It is the introduction of the story. Rising action starts with partners. First and second partners starts to increase tension. When fat man comes to dance with Leila, climax starts. His comments is the part that the tension is the highest. After that, fat man’s leaving and 4th partner is the falling action. The forth partner and Leila’s dancing is very important but we can not call that climax. Finally, when the ball was over the reader comes to the conclusion and the story ends.

The author wrote this story with third omniscient person.(the “eye” of God) We can see everything with this method in the story, Leila’s feelings,the atmosphere etc. Unfortunately there are some things that reader can see but Leila can’t. The author also used an amazing method called stream of consciousness method. This method creates the excitement in the story. Leila was very careful in the beginning then at the end everything become a beautiful flying wheel. The author wanted to explain a lot of themes in the story like naivety, old generation vs. new generation and innocence. Every circumstance has a different tone and theme in the story that the reader can get thrilled easily.

The tone of this story is thrilling,exciting and different. Fat man and Leila’s dancing is very exciting in the story. Unfortunetly, mood is always changing in the story, We can say happy, excited, nervous, sad, disappointed, careful, relaxed, careless, fearful and thrilling for the mood of the story. When we look at the personifications, waltzing lamp posts,quivering jet of gas dancing, flags were talking can be ex. for it. There are a few ironies in the story but they make it stronger. The invisible hairpin can be the best example for irony.

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My Greatest Ambition (Student Notes)

It is about a boy who wants to be a comic-strip artist one day. He explains his friend’s attitudes towards his job in first person narration. He draws his first comic and sent to a magazine for publication with the help of his friend. Magazine likes his comic and offers him some money. Lurie the protagonist becomes very happy and draws his second comic and again sends it to the magazine. Magazine rejects his second work and Lurie gets very disappointed. He grew out of comics after that…

Lurie:(Dynamic Character)

  • dreamer
  • changes his mind quickly
  • hopeful
  • exaggerative
  • 13 years old
  • anxious
  • impatient
  • isolated
  • careless about his father
  • confused


  • cares about only money
  • materialist
  • a great scoffer
  • impatient
  • not sophisticated
  • stubborn
  • humiliates his son

Michael Lazarus:

  • helpful
  • supports Lurie
  • put publication in Lurie’s mind


  • does not respond to Lurie
  • loves gossip
  • loves to brag about achievements
  • not so impressive on her son

Mr Randell

  • dishonest
  • fake behaviours
  • editor of the magazine
  • sees Lurie as a child
  • first person narration
  • the words and phrases used in parantheses
  • father’s weird accent(we see that the family is immigrant)
  • use of dialogues to create characterization and themes
  • good word choice
  • repetition of questions
  • organisation of story and language
  • Lurie’s own childhood memory
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Custody of the Pumpkin (Use of Humour)


  • obsession, Ambition,priority
  • social class difference
  • humuiliation
  • prejudice
  • materialism
  • arrogance
  • sarcasm and humour

Ways that creates the humour:

  • Use of similes:(like an elderly leopard, like a fish, like a setter… etc.)

It helps to understand the characters better by indirect characterization. Character’s actions and emotions are explained. It also creates the tone and mood.

  • Narration: Third person omniscient limited

It is useful for characterization. We can easily understand Lord’s attitude towards son. It creates the protagonist and it helps us to understand Lord’s thoughts and effects on the other characters better.

  • Diction: showing the class difference

It is useful for characterization. The category difference between the characters are outstanding. Repetition and exaggeration is also used to create the humuor.

  • Setting: It changes throughout the story. (Imagery)

With the help of diction and imagery, setting is created. Imagery is used here because ıt helps to understand and think about the story better.

  • Tone/Mood:

As the tone and mood is humorous, it creates the humour. It is created by character’s actions.

  • İrony:

Ironies also help the reader to think about the story, to feel the story and to feel the humour.

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Custody of a Pumpkin (Plot)

This story is about a Lord, who just thinks of his pumpkins, instead of his son. English upper-class society reflects the author’s birth, education and youthful writing career. Lord Emsworth, the protagonist sees his son kissing a girl who is the cousin of his head-gardener. He immediately fires his gardener and the girl. Then he regrets about it and goes to London to take him back. When he goes there he gets humiliated by the crowd. He meets with the girl’s father, MR. Donalson. Mr. Donaldson sais that he loved Lord’s son and want to take him to America to work with him. Lord Emsworth accepts it and he gets happy that his son is going away. After that, his head-gardener Angus comes back and they win a prize in a pumpkin competition.

Posted in Prose, Stories of Ourselves (from 2013) | Tagged | 3 Comments

Custody of Pumpkin (Characterisation)

Lord Emsworth:

  • fluffy minded
  • amiable old gentleman
  • arrogant
  • upper-class
  • Ninth Earl of Emsworth
  • wealthy
  • loves gardening
  • elegant
  • protagonist
  • conceited
  • haughty
  • selfish
  • bossy

Hon. Freddie:

  • son of Lord Emsworth
  • does not like loyalty
  • naughty
  • respectful
  • intelligent
  • young
  • smiling
  • different in morals, appearance


  • medium-height
  • red beard
  • honest
  • intelligent
  • passionate
  • cute
  • has a weird talking
  • respectful
  • faithful
  • helpful
  • patriot


  • servant
  • faithful
  • helpful
  • respectful

Robert Barker:

  • low-class
  • useless
  • gardener

Aggie Donaldson:

  • beatiful
  • young
  • cousin of Angus
  • play the saxophone
  • friendly

Mr. Donaldson:

  • rich
  • lives in states
  • Dog- Biscuits company
  • likes Fredddie
  • friendly
  • modest
  • humble
  • respectful
  • helpful
  • tall
  • handsome
  • keen

Sir Gregory:

  • gentleman
  • sportman
  • upper-class
  • loves gardening
  • kind
  • rival for Emsworth
  • has a brooding look
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