Summer Farm/Autumn Farm -Norman MacCraig

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Looking at your paper copy of ‘Summer Farm’ see if you can change it with the template below to create a different atmosphere.

AUTUMN FARM – (Your Name)

Straws like …………………………………lie about the grass
And hang …………………. on …………. .    …………………as…………….
The water in the…………………………………………………………………..
……………………………………………………….in two straight lines.

A …………. stares at ……………… with one eye,
Then picks it up. Out of a ……………………….. sky
A …………………………… falls and, flickering through
The ………………………………., dives up again into ………………………………

I lie, not thinking, in the cool, soft grass,
Afraid of where a thought might take me –
This ……………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………. .

Self under self, a pile of selves I stand
Threaded on time, …………………………………………..



Visual Representations On 2011-2012 Stories Of Ourselves

Creating a ‘Visual Representation’ of the short stories is an excellent way to get involved in the spirit of the story and makes a great starting point toward analysing the plot, characters, theme/s and structure. It’s also a fantastic way of reminding ourselves of the stories when the time comes for revising. I would like to thank the teacher and his students for blogging the work samples, and I am sure that he will not mind if I share them with you.


“Secrets” by Bernard MacLaverty

I will describe an episode from a “Secret” by Bernard MacLaverty. The Narrator of the story is a man, who thinks back and remembers very important, defining episode from his childhood. This part of the story is image that I’ve chosen.

We can see a boy (narrator as a child next to the big wooden shall who found some letters which were addressed to his aunt Mary from John Aug’15 Ballintoye. They were written with black spidery ink. You could see that letters are old because they were yellowish on the sides and you could find several holes on the paper. Reading letters was probably hard because some letters were fade and almost invisible. The boy was reading letters on the floor on the big fluffy carpet which was the size of the room floor. Letters were all around the boy and they smelled like old books from the library.

Windows were wide open and you could feel fresh wind which was blowing into the white transparent curtains. On the table where boy found bureau with letters you could see an old quill with dark blue ink on it and unfinished letter to person whom boy didn’t know. Between letters the boy could see a photograph of the soldier in green uniform and on the back was written with the same black spidery ink “Brother Benignus”. On the picture that I imagine the boy is wearing a clean white t-shirt, bright shorts, white shoes and socks. His hair is dark-dark black colour and eyes are brown. He is following each line of every letter very carefully.

I chose this scene because it’s mysterious part of the story “Secrets”. Also because it represents the climax is the most important scene in the plot of the story.

“The Lemon Orchard” by Alex La Guma

I am going to take the moment when all the men are leading the man in pajamas in the darkness. They are walking on an empty orchard with lemon trees alongside them. The moon is high up in the sky hidden by a few clouds. The men who kidnapped him are all wearing thick clothes because of the cold night weather. They are wearing hood to cover their dark faces with hateful looks towards the victim while he stands out with his striped, blue and white pajamas. He as well has a panicked look on his face. One of the men has a serious face and is holding a lantern as well as a gun. The leader is a big guy with an evil smile on his face holding a gun pointed at the victim.

This image is supposed to represent the main scene of the story. The dramatic scenery inspired me to describe this image, as the full moon and dark trees give a sense of drama to what was happening in the story. The guns express the terror and seriousness of the situation the poor man is in. The themes of this image I would say are terror, panic, darkness, death, and misery. As the story’s theme it is supposed to show, through the man’ s face, what South Africa has suffered with the huge segregation of educated, native, dark-colored men going on in the country at the time.

“The Taste of Watermelon” by Borden Deal

My Visual Storytelling Project is a picture of a watermelon field, with the huge watermelon at the front of the field, and a shed with a gun sticking out the window, filled with salt. This image was taken from the story “The Taste Of A Watermelon” by Borden Deal. The Picture Has lots of rows of normal sized watermelons in the field because that’s what the story is like, and then in the middle of the field (the full field isn’t shown on the picture) there is a giant watermelon compared to the rest, and it’s almost the same size as the boy trying to push / roll it towards the flood plains by the river.
At the top right hand corner of the page, I chose a wooden-shack like building, with a window to be placed there, because in the story it describes how the man used to sit there, night and day guarding this prize winner watermelon, with a shotgun and it’s full of salt. The boy is trying to push it, with his back towards the shed, because it was too large and heavy to pick up, and the only way he could get it out of the way was to roll it down the hill towards the flood fields. The field was well looked after since the rows were so strait and perfect, it tried to make this imply that he was very serious about his farming. This picture was made by several pictures, cropped and edited into each other, and then I found it easier to print it off, add some touches to it by hand and then re-scan it.

“There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury
The moment I have chosen is from “There will come soft rains” when the nuclear bomb explodes and leaves the silhouettes of the people enjoying themselves behind. The moment is about even though it is in the past what was there still is like it have left an imprint of its existence so anyone passing by that sees it knows what was there before. Little pieces of the past are always left behind; it is just like a photograph of that moment in time.

The impact it has is quite saddening because the people in the Silhouettes look like they were having so much fun, then something terrible happened and all that’s left is their silhouettes.
The silhouettes are of a man mowing the lawn, a lady picking flowers and a girl and a boy playing with a ball. I chose this scene because even though it is a small detail in the story it is still important it shows us that tragedy came for the family when they were enjoying themselves.

I chose to make the picture in black and white so it would have a saddening feel to it. I made the wall grey. There is also grass in the picture to show that even though the people have died that life goes on. The picture is like it is pause sort of but in reality time is still going by. I did not add in the sprinkler so that is also why I put the grass instead.

“How It Happened” by Arthur Conan Doyle
My visual Storytelling is from How it Happened. I know I’m not the best artist haha but I tried 😛 . I took the part just after the crash, when the ghost of the friend is standing there looking at the scene and the other ghost lets it sink in what really happened and becomes distressed. I found that great picture of the crashed car and I added a few adjustments to it and then printed it out. I thought it would be quite neat if I added the white outline where the body had been. The ghosts I drew are quite midgets because as I said I am not the greatest artist. I tried to draw a gun at the back of the friend’s shirt but I don’t think its very clear. I chose this image because I thought it had so much emotion to offer. There was the sadness, the fear, the sympathy and the anger. The disappointment and the curiosity. I thought this is one of the moments in the story I liked most because its the point where everything comes together. The ghosts I didn’t color or paste in because I thought it would be quite neat to leave them transparent and no one can see them. I enjoyed doing the project because you get so many good ideas 😀

“The Taste of Watermelon” by Borden Deal

I have taken a moment from “The Taste of Watermelon”. This story is about coming of age and right now I can really relate with that. The main characters and the narrator wanted to prove themselves by stealing the prized watermelon. My favorite is when the three boys are sitting on a bridge and looking over the moon lithe lake, talking about stealing the watermelon.

I have displayed this moment by presenting two boys with their backs visible. Two of the boys are sitting down and the narrator is standing up looking inspired. In the image you will be able to see a large moon and the lightened lake. The boys which are sitting down will have. The two boys sitting down are looking down at the lake talking. The shadows will give the image more depth.

The mediums I will be using are soft pencil and watercolor to give the image softness. The image looks like a child has drawn it, I tried to make it seem that way to illustrate that the boys were still children in that moment.

I’ll called the image “Moon Hanger” because the moon will be a focal part of the image and “hanger” because of the inspiration hanging in the air.

“How It Happened” by Arthur Conan Doyle

My visual storytelling is basically just a picture of the car being ‘driven’ quickly down the hill, from the story HOW IT HAPPENED by Arthur Conan Doyle, non-stop and at high speed, seeing as how the breaks don’t seem to work. The picture is drawn in just black and white, or grayscale, on purpose to add a gloomy effect. And the writing at the top is written in an (attempted) chaotic way.

At the top of the page I have added some of the characters’ thoughts as they roll down the hill towards their death. Words such as ‘confusion’ (because of the broken brakes) ‘questions’ (as to who broke them) ‘rush’ (as in the rush of the moment, and how fast they made their way down the hill), and more. They were supposed to be written faintly, as if blending in with the sky, so that it would look more ghostly, but instead I made it look like their actual thoughts (in a thought bubble). The angle the car is situated in doesn’t even look potentially dangerous, and I could have made the hill much more slanted, but then the picture would look a little more distorted. I’ve also made the slope look darker and grimmer than actually described in the book, but not by much, and I tried to make it look steep as if crossing it would lead to a huge drop. This story also lets the viewer think about possible endings to the story described in the one picture.

 “How It Happened” by Arthur Conan Doyle

The choice that i have made for a visualisation is the moment in ‘How it Happened’ where the car is flying through the air through the estate gates, about to crash into one of the pillars on the mansion. I have decided on this moment as it shows the climax of the story, and what happens after all of the hardships that occur up to the point of the crash. The car is a few feet above the ground, and it travelling at some speed, and it is speeding through the open gates of the estate, and headed straight for a large pillar on the front of the large building in the centre of the estate. The only light is moonlight, coming from the large Moon in the background. The faces of the main character and the butler would be of excitement, but also fear.

The image shows great excitement, and reveals how the story ends, with the horrible car crash, where the main character dies, and the butler is hurt. I chose this image as it seemed to be full of movement, and is a very exciting image. It also gives a good understanding of the main character; liking action and adventure, but sometimes takes things a little too lightly. The image symbolises the dangers of driving quickly, and what can happen to you if you make a mistake whilst at the wheel.

“Meteor” by John Wyndham

I chose an image from the story Meteor by John Wyndham. It represents the moment of the cat’s attack. After the aliens landed on the earth, they left their spaceship to explore the room and they met a cat. They got into a fight and a lot of them died. In the end, the leader of the alien group killed the cat, but he dies as well.

My image shows the fight between the black cat and the ant-like aliens. The cat is in an attacking position, on its feet and showing its claws and teeth. In the picture, I made the cat look very aggressive and evil because in the story, the cat is being described as ‘cold, cruel and non-inteligent’. I drew the cat in the middle of the image, and I tried to make it look very big compared to the aliens surrounding the cat. I tried to put a lot of movement into the picture.

To draw the aliens, I started with drawing normal black ants, but then I wanted to make them look more unfamiliar and ‘alienlike’, that’s why I added colourful stripes on their backs. Next to the cat, I drew the aliens very small, but further in the front, I drew them quite big, so that you can see them in detail. Some of the aliens are already dead and some have weapons (fire-rods) and one of them is even shooting.

I chose this scene because it is most exciting and full of action. It is interesting, how a cat – a cute ‘little’ pet for us – can be so dangerous for other creatures. And it is also amazing, that even though the aliens are so small, they are still really dangerous because of their good technology and knowledge.

“There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury

I chose this particular scene of ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’ because I found the sheer contrast and diversity in the setting fascinating and because the image itself tells a longer tale from its individual parts (and I have a soft spot for post-nuclear holocaust stories). The image shows the modern house with one wall burnt except in places where the shape of a family can be seen. It also clearly shows the irradiated city below, dead from the nuclear explosion. You can also see the dog foaming at the mouth and crazy next to the house that is still reading the poem.

Firstly, as in the story, you have the sleek new house full of technology and modern design seemingly in order (this is represented by the unscortched side of the house) then slowly as the story progresses we start to see that the house is empty. Now this could mean nothing more than the fact it’s a show house, but when you see the image of the house in my picture it is quite clear that something bad has happened, and again when you see the glowing irradiated city below you can see what happened. The image represents the destruction that man is capable of and how in this particular case, life was ended in an instant leaving behind only stencils of the people. However the image also shows Nature’s will to survive after such incidents.

“The Taste of Watermelon” by Borden Deal

Picture where in “The Taste of a Watermelon” three boys are eating a huge watermelon.
It is a dark colour of the sky, with bright stars and full moon shining. At the background you can see some trees, green leaves, red apples hanging, brown stems. The water which is running in front of the boys is calm, dark, reflects the moon. The watermelon is green and black stripped, it is not cut, but very messy all over the place. The flesh of it is bright red, with dark black seeds. Three boys sit around the watermelon, one is fit, blonde, handsome, he is sitting with his legs crossed. The other two are brunette, one is slimmer than the other one, all are eating watermelon and all are very dirty. All of them are wearing shorts which are dirty because they are sitting on the ground, and different coloured shirts, yellow, red and white, and all of their faces are in watermelon juice. Their shirts are messy too, they all have short hair and they seem to be full of the watermelon, but happy.
I decided to choose exactly this moment of the scene because i think that it is very strong, athe whole story is just about this moment where boys are finally eating this watermelon. For me it is a key scene in the story, i also decided to choose it because the watermelon is very nice, and that would be nice to picture it, like to show how huge it is.

“The Signalman” by Charles Dickens

My picture is my perspective of the scene from ‘The Signalman” where the woman jumps out of the train.

The centrepiece of the picture is the train that is coming out of the tunnel. As the story is set in the 1850s/ 60s, I have drawn a steam train. Just before the tunnel, you can see the front of the first carriage. At the rear of this carriage is the woman jumping out. The door is open behind her. The other person in the picture is the signalman. He is watching the events unfold.

Behind the train are the jagged hills. There is where the signalman’s house is located. It is a basic looking one made out of wood. There is a path leading from the entrance of the house to the tracks.

There are a few shrubs on the hills, but not many. I decided not to put too many things on the hills, as it would complicate the scene. Next to the hills is a bit of blue sky and some dark grey clouds. This symbolises the sad scene. Below this is the tunnel, which has a stone covering; the red light is on the left hand side.

I chose this scene as it is a very important one in the story and can be shown in many different ways. I have drawn what I think the scene should look like.

“Meteor” by John Wyndham

My picture shows the moment the meteor hits the ground, and everyone is shocked, and everything in the room is shaking from the force of the meteor.

The basic picture is the meteor is hitting the ground outside and you can see the fire trail and the earth flying as it hits the soil and the smoke behind it. There is a cat outside that looks very surprised because the meteor hit the ground very close to it. Inside, there is a dog that barks in surprise, a man that is surprised but more calm, and a woman that is really shocked and screams very loudly. Everything in the room is shaking, including the people and the animals.

To give the effect of the meteor flying very fast and violently, I tried making it look like a real meteor. I put streaks of fire on it to do this. Also, the soil on the ground flying out when the meteor hits the ground also gives an effect to how fast the meteor is going. I put smoke behind the meteor to show that it is on fire, and it is not just a rock. I put big eyes and a sad face on the cat to show that he is really surprised and not very happy about the huge bang behind him. I tried making him look like he was walking and just froze, as two of his feet are in the air. With the dog, I put one ear up to show that he heard something very loud, because dogs only seem to do that when they hear something very loud and they want to know what it is. To put an effect of the room shaking, (it’s hard to explain by writing it) I used black lines on curves of objects to show that they are vibrating, as I had seen this in a cartoon and thought it would be a very good idea. To give a greater effect of the room shaking, I made the liquid in the glass on the table look like it’s about to spill out. To show what emotions the people have, I used speech bubbles for all the living things in the room. To make sure people know they are in a house, I used a jar with flowers in it, and a rug.

“The Signalman” by Charles Dickens

I am doing my visual image on a particular part where the Signalman is having a conversation with the narrator about his job and then tells him how he thought he was someone else, he then goes on to tell the narrator what he saw when he looked at the red warning light and then the ghost appearing telling him all manners of weird and unusual things that didn’t make sense to the Signalman at first.

My image will look like the Signalman is looking out towards the tunnel entrance and sees the ghost fading into the picture; the picture is shaded almost completely because I want to show how dark it actually gets down in the dungeon like tunnel as that’s how I feel that the story was depicted through Charles Dickens’s descriptions. I will be making the Signalman kind of scruffy looking as he has been down in the darkness with only a small crevice of moonlight. The ghost however is going to look like it’s just coming into the picture so it makes it looks like he has just saw the ghost appear from the shadows of the tunnel. I make all these choices because I write/draw what I picture the story to be and this is my version of how the Signalman, Ghost, Setting looks like but even if my vision is different to what Charles had in mind it is still the same story and following the same rules.

I think this image will go well with the moment because it gives and understanding of how the Signalman reacted, and how the ghost came into the story. It also gives a sense of fear/horror/spooky whichever you like, because of the way that I have depicted the setting to be.

“The Taste of Watermelon” by Borden Deal

The story I am choosing is ‘The Taste of Watermelon’ and the scene ive chosen is when the boy goes through the field and gets the watermelon. The imagine i get in my head of this scene is, the moon, big and bright up in the sky and the young boy being covered in mud from head to toe as he has been crawling through the dirt, one of his hands is reaching towards the watermelon and one finger is gently placed on it while his hair is in his face. He has a worried look on his face because he is looking upwards towards Mr.Wills who we can see through the window in the distance. He has a long shot gun in his hand and is sitting on a rocking chair looking out with a sort of smirk but serious look on his face mummbling away to himself. So the young boy is very scared looking towards mr.Wills but he is still determined to get that watermelon. The boy then pull’s the root of the watermelon and it budges and he keeps tugging at it while he looks very struggled, then the watermelon comes loose and the boy lays down onto his back, and rolls it down his body and is now smiling. Mr.Will’s closes his eye’s for a moment to rest, as he is sure nobody would steal the melon on such a clear day. The boy feels a sort of adrenaline rush because of what he has accomplished while he is taking through the field to show his friends, and once he reaches the end of the field and his friends are in eye sight, he takes a deep breath and goes ‘ I Told You I Could Do It’ with a smug look on his face.

“The Yellow Wall Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

My project is about the part of the story where in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the mad woman is ripping down all the wallpaper and John, her husband is on the floor. Jennie is trying to lift him us as he has fainted. There is John’s suitcase on the floor as he just came back from work in the city.

In the picture there is a woman, on the right hand side, with her sharp nails and angry facial expression. She is trying to rip the wallpaper as she is trapped behind it. She is imprisoned and cannot escape so she is ripping herself free. Her hair is all messed up as she has totally gone bonkers and she is now in complete madness. On the wallpaper near the door you can see her creeping out over John out of the room. As specified in the book, it says she has to keep on creeping over him again and again. This is what it is representing. Also Jennie, John’s sister is trying to lift John up from the floor as he was fainted at the shock of his wife. Thinking she was cured when she was not and then her ripping up the wallpaper gave him the shock of his life. His briefcase is on the floor behind him, showing that he had work at the city the day before that. Also in the picture you can see the bed she was on and under it you can see the her secret diary that she was writing her notes of the day and how she felt on. You can see it says ‘DIARY’ written on the cover of it. Another important factor is that the wallpaper is being torn down. Also some of it is already torn. The window is also open, but in the woman’s condition it is barred. There is also a curtain on it so that when she was ripping down the wallpaper nobody could see her. There is a lot of detail in the room. This is one of the most dramatic points of the story. It shows that everything they did to try to cure her failed and she became worse thanks to the cursed wallpaper.

“The Taste of Watermelon” by Borden Deal

Description forthcoming.

“The Taste of Watermelon” by Borden Deal

In this visual image I see it as two or three guys rolling away the huge watermelon, a watermelon which is bigger than any watermelon a person has ever seen in his life (the same as it is mentioned in the story). This watermelon looks mouth watering and just ready to eat. The guys are wearing farm clothes, as in some kind of shorts together with a white t-shirt and some shoes. I imagine the owner of this watermelon seeing the guys rolling away this huge watermelon and getting ready to go outside and run after these guys.

I believe it communicates well with the moment as it continues some story however also describes the behavior of teenagers or in other words, teenage guys. I find this image very interesting as you can never for sure know what this story can continue as or if this story is going to end good or bad. It stays as a mystery until the story could continue.

“The Signalman” by Charles Dickens
The idea is the ghost warning the signalman about the train.

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.

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’.


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.

Analysis on ‘Amends’

Amends – by Adrienne Rich


  • A feminist
  • Amends shows how she believed that women went unnoticed (night, sleeping people) and that women are left to make amends for other people’s actions


  • Amends definition =
    • to compensate or make up for a wrong doing
    • moon making amends for faults in the world/environment
    • 1ststanza =
      • “nights like this” = from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice opening lines Act 5
        • helps set the scene
        • automatically links poem with moon

The moon shines bright: in such a night as this,

When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees,

And they did make no noise, in such a night,

Troilus methinks mounted the Troyan walls,

And sigh’d his soul toward the Grecian tents,

Where Cressid lay that night.

  • “cold” =
    • cold atmosphere
    • suggests that it is at night-time
    • harsh word
  • “white star” =
    • further suggests night-time
    • either apple blossoms of tree falling/moonlight reflections
  • “then another” =
    • Repeatedly happening
    • Multitude of either blossoms or moonlight beams
  • “exploding” =
    • Violent
    • Incongruous to the rest of the poem
    • Harsh word
    • Interrupts stanza’s silence
  • “moonlight picking” =
    • 1st proper mention of moonlight
    • Personifies moon = has human qualities
    • Reflecting off some stones more than others
  • “small stones” =
    • Poem starts off at a small level, small range of view
  • Use of colons =
    • Lists/itemises the progression from sky to tree to ground
  • Mood =
    • Busy = moonlight “picking”, “exploding”
  • No rhyming


  • 2ndstanza =
    • “greater stones” =
      • Broader range of view
      • ‘zoomed out’
  • “rises with surf” =
    • Reflection in water
    • Transparent effect
    • Seems to be bobbing up and down with the waves
  • “laying its cheek” =
    • Relaxing
    • Appeals to sense of touch
    • Strongly links moonlight with femininity = nurturing, loving, caring
  • “moments” =
    • longer amount of time than picking
    • Light reflecting on sand more than on stones
  • “sand” =
    • Links with relaxation (beaches = relaxing places)
  • “licks” =
    • Semi-appeal to taste
    • Personifies moonlight as being a caring, feminine, motherly figure (animals lick other animals if they are hurt/young)
  • “broken” =
    • Confirms moonlight’s caring nature = licking it better
    • Shows that moonlight = trying to repair the damages (make amends)
  • “flows up the cliffs” =
    • Flows like water = links back to the surf
    • Lots of reflection on the cliffs
    • Cliffs common near beaches
    • Uncontrolled (liquids take shape of container), yet relaxed (no use of violent language e.g. “exploding” form stanza 1


  • “flicks” =
    • Not much reflection on tracks


  • “tracks” =
    • Common near beaches as well
    • Commonly found in relaxing environments
  • “picks”, “licks”, “flicks” =
    • Rhyme
    • Give the sense that the moonlight is only lightly touching the environment
    • Further link to femininity
  • “it” =
    • Refers to moonlight
    • Makes the reader forget that it is moonlight = adds to personification
  • Mood & rhythm =
    • Relaxed
    • Calm


Stanza 3

‘as it unavailing pours into the gash’

Unavailing means pointless, possibly suggesting it is too weak, although there is a lot of light. Referencing to early feminism movements, with a lot of female support, but at first no power was available. Gash = wound created by humans.

‘of the sand-and-gravel quarry’

Quarry links back to gash = humans are destroying the environment

‘as it leans across the hangared fuselage’

It can lean across the fuselage as the light reflects off the metallic surface. Personification, further reference to women. Lack of balance (leaning as opposed to standing up freely). Light shines off man-made objects in a stunted way compared with how it shines off natural objects. Fuselage = the main body of the plane. Hangared = almost portrays the plane as sleeping/ in bed (links to the later mentioned “sleepers”).

‘of the crop dusting plane’

Good reflection, ability to identify specifically that it is a crop-dusting plane reveals that light is more useful or powerful as it seems, a contradiction to the pouring into the gash. Allusion to gaining force of feminism movement.

Stanza 4

‘as it soaks through cracks into the trailers’

Soaks suggest that the trailer is saturated in light. For it to saturate the trailer in light, it must be very bright and powerful – it is slowly gathering more energy. It is a liquid-like (water = links back to the water in stanza 2) motion, smooth, agile quiet, gentle. Very feminine. May symbolise that feminism is gaining more ground. Cracks = light enters anywhere possible; light cannot be destroyed = breaks through defences (e.g. walls) with ease. Trailers = poor people, suggests the human damage done to nature has also made humans worse off.

‘tremulous with sleep’

Tremulous describes their bodies and minds shaking and afraid. Direct contrast to the moon, whose light and movement is smooth and gentle. The whole place is asleep.

‘as it dwells upon the eyelids of the sleepers’

Dwelling is a gentle verb, the light can be easily imagined as slowly landing on the eyelids. The moonlight is protects the sleepers. Femininity portrayed through the light = women always looking out for others; caring, gentle. Poet also suggests that women do not get credit for this (“sleepers” don’t notice the light on their eyes)

‘as if to make amends’

The light sympathises with the sleepers, attempts to comfort them. No reference to feminism at all, suggesting that the well-being of mankind is more important than arguments over which sex is superior. “as if” = uncertain about the true motives behind the moons doings. First time the moon is described as being inanimate/not in control of itself.

8. Explore the ways in which Adrienne Rich conveys a sense of mood and atmosphere in the poem Amends

In the poem Amends, Adrienne Rich creates a cold, still, clear atmosphere in which the moon tries to compensate for something it has done in the past.

The atmosphere of Amends is influenced by the setting. Being set on “Nights like this” creates a cool, dark atmosphere contrasted all of a sudden with “white star(s)” “exploding out of the bark” in huge numbers, lighting up the sky. The atmosphere is also human free, with the poem mainly dealing with inanimate objects, which is contrasted through the poet personifying the moon.

“Nights like this”, alluded from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, clearly links the poem to the moon, as the line in which it is taken from discusses how very bright the moon was. This accentuates the clear sky in which the moon can shine so brightly.

A prevalent silence falls over the poem, emphasising the still atmosphere. This is suddenly juxtaposed with the stars “exploding”. This silence is predominantly due to the human free nature of the poem. This is because everyone is sleeping. Ironically, the moon comes out almost timidly, “picking at small stones”. In stanza 2 assonance adds to this silence through the repetition of the “-icks” sound in “picks”, “licks” and “flicks” which sound like whispers. The repetitive “f” sound in the words “surf”, “flows” and “cliffs” also adds to the whispers. The atmosphere is also very tranquil and flowing, created in stanza 2, as the moon “licks the broken ledge”, then “flows up the cliffs” and “flicks across the tracks”.

In the poem, stars explode in the sky, and, unlike the moon, appear boldly and bright white in the sky. White light is intense light. This intensity is emphasised by their “exploding out of the bark”. For the stars to shine so brightly the sky must be clear. A clear, cloudless sky accentuates the coldness as all the heat can escape the world. But then, a clear sky also means the weather is good and rainless.

Adrienne Rich creates a sad mood in her poem, implying that the moon has done something wrong to the world, but whatever it does to try to make up for this is obsolete as everyone is “tremulous with sleep”. The moon is also reminiscent that is can’t do more, because it “dwells upon the eyelids of the sleepers”. This sad mood is exemplified with the word “gash” which links to the wound which the moon has created on the earth. Rich evokes this sadness in the reader as everything the moon does is redundant because everyone is asleep, totally unaware and unappreciative.

By personifying and giving the moon human features and emotions, Rich easily conveys to the reader what the moon does on “nights like this”, and the dilemma it is in. It is also made clear that the moon has a close relationship with the sand because it lays “its cheek” on it.

Adrienne Rich touches on the destruction of nature by man in stanza 3 of “Amends”. This is more evidence of the mournful mood of the poem. The moon “pours into the gash” of the “sand and gravel quarry”. The moon is distraught at this gash made in the earth especially because it is a sand quarry, linking to it “laying its cheek on the sand” the stanza before. This relationship is emphasised as the moon “pours” its light into the quarry, showing the rush to get light into it as quickly as water pours over a waterfall. The moonlight is also likened to water when “it soaks through cracks into the trailers”.

Therefore, Adrienne Rich creates a still, cold, human free atmosphere; with a sad, regretful mood as the moon attempts to make amends.

Analysis on ‘Full Moon And Little Frieda’

Explore Ted Hughes’ writing in ‘Full Moon and Little Frieda’, showing how he creates a striking atmosphere.


The change of atmosphere in the poem Full Moon and Little Frieda is controlled by Ted Hughes to create a dramatic atmosphere. With carefully chosen words, Hughes builds up tension and brings it up to climax.

Tension is built up as a foundation for the astonishing ambience later in the poem. By closely describing stationary, unnoticeable things, the poet is able to create the suspense which helps to amplify the climax. A spider’s web is “tense for the dew’s touch” which presents the stillness of life and gives an idea that the environment is very shrunken up as if in anticipation for a shock. The imagery of a pail full of water adds to the idea of anticipation that it is “still and brimming” which portrays the expectation of an event about to happen. A pail is used well as imagery because when the water is full up to the brim, the water toppling perfectly visualises the tense climate of the poem. Also the “mirror” suggests stillness. A “tremor” is all a pail needs to tip out its content and thus foreshadows some action. Moreover, the help of the repetition of “A” in the beginning of the sentences, the listing tone embellishes tension. In the first two stanzas of the poem the build-up of tension is clearly noticeable.

While the previous stanzas were devoted to creating a strained mood, the third stanza reveals a completely different scene and yet perfects the building of the most intensified atmosphere. “Cows going home” insinuates a normal routine, a shot of an everyday life and that everything is normal despite all the tension that has been built up. The “lane” suggests an unspoilt “pail” because lanes connote evenness and uniformity which contrasts to the spilling of water. The uniformity is emphasised by “balancing unspilled milk”, careful not to spill and break order. Moreover, the sameness is exemplified by a metaphor of “warm wreaths of breath” in which the wreaths connote evenness and arrangement. Also the alliteration of “warm wreaths” holds some significance as it is a soft pronunciation and does not have any accents. This reinforces the idea of tranquillity which is an anticlimax to amplify the actual climax of the poem. While the climax is magnificent, grand and stunning, the anticlimax holds values for its antonymic behaviour. A “dark” atmosphere is adopted to hide what is coming shortly, the climax, and is given a sinister tone to add to that effect. The “dark river of blood” insinuates hardship and ominousness which is supported by “many boulders” to add to the idea of hardship. However, these boulders can be seen differently as stepping stones to help cross the “dark river of blood”. This ambiguity is used nicely to create a confusing, chaotic atmosphere which will be broken heroically. Furthermore, the whole stanza is a case of enjambment; reading the lines separately will give different meanings aforementioned, and reading it as a whole gives a contrasting idea. On seeing the stanza as one sentence, it is deducible that this stanza denotes Hughes’ rough past. Although Hughes went through various hardships and suffering, he managed to balance the “milk” and be with his daughter. Therefore, figuratively the “milk” could be his daughter which is an example of metonymy. Would he have spilt it on his course, he wouldn’t have his daughter with him at the point of writing. Hughes creates the most intense anticlimax before the pinnacle of the poem.

In contrast to the third stanza, the fourth stanza is the site of climax. This shock which the poet has to present is helped with the use of several punctuations and words. “Moon” is repeated three times to emphasise the presence and each is followed by exclamation marks to supplement the unexpected action. The word “suddenly” adds to the shocking effect. Simile is used to create a pertinent imagery to describe the shock “like an artist gazing amazed at a work” which depicts the surprise. This surprise is because of the fact that the little Frieda is so innocent and pure such that she cries out “moon” as if it was a scientific breakthrough. It is almost as if the moon is jealous of her purity, because moon itself connotes purity and is quite taken back to find a more innocent person which is suggested by the repetition of “amazed” which shows the extreme consternation of the moon. The last stanza finishes off the poem without proper ending to the climax by which creates a reverberation of the climax and also leaves an ambiguous notion. With the uses of exclamations, repetitions and simile, the climax is successfully managed to finish the poem without dissatisfaction.

Hughes creates the astonishing climax by focusing on the anticlimax which is built up from the beginning, which in the end builds up the climax itself. By closely describing objects linked with movement and intensifying the moment just before the climax, the poet built up tension and used it effectively to hit the climax with full power.

Choose moments in two [‘Amends’ by Adrienne Rich and ‘Full Moon and Little Frieda’ by Ted Hughes] poems where the language the poet uses has particularly excited you, and explain in detail why you have found it so exciting.

In the poems ‘Amends’ and ‘Full Moon and Little Frieda’, by Adrienne Rich and Ted Hughes respectively, the poets use language to excite the reader. Their language also helps them to convey their message, and to make their poems more compelling and interesting.

Repetition of the phrase “as it” in the poem ‘Amends’ sets out the actions of the moon like a list; and is exciting in that it builds up an apprehension for every action. The repetition also shows that the moon goes through these cyclic actions every night, and can be accurately predicted in such a way that the echoing makes this seem like a story being told. The repetition also makes the poem sound gentle and flowing, increasing the reader’s excitement.

In ‘Full Moon and Little Frieda’, there is also repetition that helps to make the poem exciting. The repetition of the exclamation “Moon!” three times shows the youth and innocence of the child shouting this, as well as their sheer wonder at the sight. It also helps the sudden entrance into the poem of the moon, which has gone unnoticed until this point. Thus, this shows the amazement of the child at this sudden appearance. Another example of repetition in the poem is that of “amazed”. This shows that there is mutual wonder and admiration, and helps to show the high degree of amazement in the “artist gazing” and his work that “points at him”.

The personification of the moon and the verbs that describe its actions form an integral part of the poem ‘Amends’. The rhyming words “picks”, “licks” and “flicks” are soft words that show how very light the moon’s touch is – some would say a feminine touch. “Rise”, “laying” and “flow”, also from the second stanza, are light, calm and smooth verbs as well. The image of the moon “laying its cheek” is a very soothing, and possibly motherly, gesture that cements this nurturing persona of the moon.

However, in the next two stanzas, more weighty and active verbs are used. “Pours”, “leans” and “soaks” are much more than just the light touch the moon gives before; perhaps this is because in Stanzas 3 and 4 it is doing these actions to man-made, artificial objects rather than the natural features she was touching lightly, as if there is a mutual awareness between the moon and the earth, but not with humans. These words achieve a personification that pinpoints the exact character of the moon, which helps to make the poem powerful.

Personification achieves a similar goal in ‘Full Moon and Little Frieda”. The “spider’s web, tense for the dew’s touch” builds up an anticipation of an event, as if even now inanimate objects can sense that something is about to happen. The image of the moon “stepping back” gives it not the matriarchal character of the moon in ‘Amends’, but that of an artist who is taking in the pleasure of what he has created. Thus, the moon develops a distinct identity, and the way the poet used language to do this makes it compelling to readers.

 One possible interpretation of ‘Full Moon and Little Frieda’ concerns the physical and sexual maturation of a girl, and the poet uses exciting language where he is possibly giving us this message. The “clank of a [empty] bucket”, then the “pail lifted, … brimming” conveys the image of a bucket being filled, a metaphor for the growth of the girl’s body. The “cows” are allegories for women and mothers, and the importance of “blood” and “milk” as symbols of female maturation goes unspoken. The final product of the transformation leads to the “artist gazing amazed at a work”, like a parent who has watched their child grow to womanhood. These hints towards this possible interpretation are exciting uses of language in their own right.

The first stanza of ‘Amends’ contains exciting language that makes it both an appropriate and effective introduction to the poem. It opens with the phrase “Nights like this”, which is taken from the opening lines of Act 5 of Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’. This quote introduces the setting of night-time, and immediately links the poem to the moon, which is also central to that part of ‘The Merchant of Venice’. “The cold apple-bough” establishes the natural scene that starts ‘Amends’, however ‘”cold” is a harsh, cutting word that indicates the icy chill of the night. The “white star” cuts through the night, and brings the moon into the poem suddenly and violently, described as “exploding” out of the bark. The “small stones” help to link this stanza to the “greater stones” of the beach setting of the second stanza. Thus, this stanza contains powerful language that introduces all the key elements of the poem, and establishes a gripping scene within the stanza while linking to the next.

Ted Hughes’ opening to ‘Full Moon and Little Frieda’ also conveys the setting of the poem with intriguing language, such as the opening line. The “cool small evening” presents a calm setting that expresses the mellow and tranquil tone of the poem. Furthermore, the notion of the already “small evening” shrinking is interesting; it may mean the level of activity dropped. The word ‘night’ goes unspoken, as the only noises are “a dog bark and the clank of a bucket”. This reinforces the idea that “shrunk” refers to the level of activity dropping, and is the first thing to break through the “cool” setting of the poem. The only sounds being that of a dog barking and a bucket dropping hint at a rural milieu, which agrees with the stillness of the night: in addition, the presence of cows strengthens this argument. This first sentence of the poem gives us a mundane setting, possibly that of a farm, and leads into Stanza 2, which build tension of later events. In such a tranquil setting even happenings like dogs barking seem exciting to us, and this shows the effectiveness of an opening that is only one sentence.

The second stanza of the same poem builds apprehension and foreboding for event to come, with all four lines creating some kind of tension. “And you listening” is a completion of the first sentence that gives us questions about the scene: for example, we want to know whom the speaker is addressing, although one presumes it is Little Frieda, from the title. The image of the “spider’s web, tense” shows the serenity of the environment, backed up by the “still and brimming” pail. The possibility of this pail spilling creates an apprehension, as if things are balancing carefully in fear of perturbation. “Tempt” and “tremor” in the fourth line are words that invoke feelings of tension. Thus, this stanza brings about a sense of apprehension, like everything awaits an approaching phenomenon.

These two poems both use exciting language to achieve their purposes. The poets employ gripping language to achieve repetition and personification, to establish setting and build tension, and to provoke different interpretations of their work. ‘Amends’ and ‘Full Moon and Little Frieda’ give us all these uses of exciting language, and both poems are powerful for this reason.

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,


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 on Wednesday 27th April