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GCSE English Literature

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GCSE English Literature Poetry Pre-1914 Duffy Armitage The Man He Killed Salome November Song of the Old Mother Havisham Kid On My First Sonne Stealing Hitcher – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: GCSE English Literature


1
GCSE English Literature Poetry
Pre-1914
Duffy
Armitage
The Man He Killed
Salome
November
Song of the Old Mother
Havisham
Kid
On My First Sonne
Stealing
Hitcher
Elvis Twin Sister
My Father Thought It
The Laboratory
2
The Man He Killed
  • Thomas Hardy

3
  • Hardy reduces a killing on the battlefield simply
    to two innocent young men who have arrived at
    their present circumstances by trying to do the
    right thing. The narrator does not condemn the
    two young men in the poem for attempting to kill
    each other

4
Explanation "The Man He Killed"
  • Lines 1-4
  • The poem is being set up the action in the poem
    has already taken place and the narrator of the
    poem is ruminating on this action. This is a
    technique that in contemporary literature would
    be considered a flashback. He imagines himself
    near "some old ancient inn," not a specific inn,
    but a cozy imaginary place. The diction of the
    poem (particularly "right many a nipperkin")
    suggests that the speaker is not a high brow
    sort, but a common bloke and this diction is
    important in establishing the persona of the
    narrator an educated philospher he is not.
    "Nipperkin" is a half-vessel that is filled, in
    this situation, one suspects, with alcoholic
    drinks.

5
  • Lines 5-6
  • The speaker locates both himself and the other
    fellow on a battlefield, a far cry from the
    ancient inn he imagines in retrospect. The men
    are not distant from each other, but close enough
    to look into each other's faces.

6
  • Lines 7-8
  • These lines are as jarring and sudden as a
    gunshot. Two people on opposing lines shoot and
    one is left dead and the other still enjoys the
    ability to be able to reflect on the actions.
    This is the plot of the poem and its climax.

7
  • Lines 9-10
  • In these lines there is a justification for the
    killing and it is a simple justification, without
    deliberation.

8
  • Line 11
  • The repetition of the concept of "my foe" and the
    "of course" in this line signify a need for the
    speaker to convince himself of his justification
    for the killing. The "Just so" which prefaces
    the repetition is similar to the modern phrase
    "That's it that's the ticket."

9
  • Line 12
  • The "although" in this line serves as the pivot
    point for the following lines, in which the
    speaker deliberates his justification.

10
  • Lines 13-16
  • In these lines the narrator begins deliberation
    speculating about the man he has just killed, and
    he begins to attribute his own motives to the
    dead man. Remember that in line 7, they shot at
    each other, and the narrator could just as easily
    have been the dead man. In fact, he imaginarily
    becomes the dead man. We as readers know this is
    a imaginary life he has placed the dead man
    within, but we learn something about the
    narrator's life that he enlisted ('list) in war
    because he was out of work, and had sold his
    "traps" which we can read as "possessions," not
    because of a cause he believed in, but as
    something to do. He did it off-hand, without much
    thought about the possible the consequences,
    including the situation he has just encountered.

11
  • Line 17
  • Now the speaker gives some thought to the
    condition of war. The word "quaint" is an unusual
    one to use here. One can think of it as a word
    which describes antique shops, not a war, but it
    can also be taken to mean cunning. Still, the
    explanation point suggests a tone that is not
    dire but almost ponderingly wonderous and the
    word "curious" while suggesting perplexion does
    not suggest despair that another speaker in the
    same situation might have voiced.

12
  • Lines 18-20
  • Here the narrator defines the curious nature of
    war you shoot a man, who under other
    circumstances you would act kindly toward, a man
    who could possibly become your friend.
    "Half-a-crown" is roughly about sixty cents, and
    it is probably not so much that the narrator
    imagines the fellow as a beggar as it is that he
    feels that his own character in a different
    context is one which would be willing to do a
    stranger who needed it, a kindness, and so by the
    end of the poem he has also arrived at a kind
    assessment of himself. He has done so with the
    presumption that his actions are universal,
    saying, "You shoot a fellow down / You'd treat"
    in lines 18-19, rather than using the first
    person as he did in "I shot at him..." in line 7.
    This movement from individual accountability to
    universal justification leads the speaker to a
    distance within himself and perhaps causes the
    use of the second person when the poet may still
    be speaking of himself.

13
  • The Song Of the old Mother

14
  • I rise in the dawn, and I kneel and blowTill the
    seed of the fire flicker and glowAnd then I
    must scrub and bake and sweepTill stars are
    beginning to blink and peepAnd the young lie
    long and dream in their bedOf the matching of
    ribbons for bosom and head,And their days go
    over in idleness,And they sigh if the wind but
    lift a tressWhile I must work because I am
    old,And the seed of the fire gets feeble and
    cold.

15
  • The poem is about a hard-working, poor old woman
    who compares herself to the young women of the
    house who spend their days dreaming of love and
    worrying about their appearance. It is not clear
    whether these young women are her own children or
    the children of people she works for as a maid.
    The poem is written in the ,first person, as if
    we are listening in to the woman's own thoughts.

16
Form and Rhyme
  • FormThe poem is just ten lines long, with most
    lines exactly ten syllables long. So the poem is
    almost like a square - ten by ten. Perhaps this
    reflects how limited the Old Mother's life is
    she cannot break away from the rigidity of her
    life.

17
  • I rise in the dawn, and I kneel and blowTill the
    seed of the fire flicker and glowAnd then I
    must scrub and bake and sweepTill stars are
    beginning to blink and peepAnd the young lie
    long and dream in their bedOf the matching of
    ribbons for bosom and head,And their days go
    over in idleness,And they sigh if the wind but
    lift a tressWhile I must work because I am
    old,And the seed of the fire gets feeble and
    cold.

18
  • RhymeThe poem is written in rhyming couplets
    the rhyme scheme isAA BB CC DD EE. A half-rhyme
    between the first and last couplets (blow and
    old) helps to 'round off' the poem, which both
    starts and finishes with the seed of the fire.
    Rhyming couplets are a traditional rhyme scheme
    scheme for simple songs and nursery rhymes, so it
    is poignant that this sad song about an old woman
    who feels left out of life rhymes as lightly as a
    child's nursery rhyme.

19
  • If you say the poem out loud you can hear that
    there are four stresses or beats in each line.
    Each group of stressed and unstressed syllables
    is called a metric foot, and verse which has 4
    feet per line like this is called tetrameter
  • I rise in the dawn, and I kneel and
    blowTill the seed of the fire flicker and
    glow

20
Language
  • The Old Mother uses very simple language. It is
    ordinary polite English (not colloquial) with few
    words more than one syllable in length. This
    suggests that the woman has had a simple,
    straightforward life and that the things that
    occupy her now are basic I must scrub and bake
    and sweep.

21
  • However, the young women have nothing to do but
    worry about the colour of their ribbons. The
    contrast Or JUXTAPOSITION between the idleness of
    the young - who are more suited to physical work
    - and the old woman, is harsh.The young sigh or
    complain (line 8) if the wind merely disarranges
    their hair, but the old woman does not complain -
    at least, not explicitly. Do you feel that the
    final line is a veiled complaint?

22
  • The title indicates that the woman is a Mother,
    but it is not clear whether the young whose
    idleness she describes are her children or not.
    It is possible that the word Mother is merely an
    affectionate name for an old woman, and that she
    has no children - or that her children have grown
    up and left her alone. If so, is she perhaps
    reminded of her own daughters when she sees the
    young women?

23
Sound
  • There is some effective use of repetition in the
    poem - The I must scrub and bake and sweep in
    line 3 is echoed by the I must work in line 9,
    reinforcing the repetitive, unending nature of
    her work. - Line 10 mirrors line 2, giving a
    feeling of finality and enclosure to the
    poem.The strong regular rhythm emphasises the
    physical side of the woman's work the beat falls
    on rise, dawn, kneel, blow in line 1, for
    example, as if hammering out her tough routine.

24
  • There is a lot of alliteration and assonance in
    the poem. For example- The repeated b and k and
    p sounds in scrub and bake and sweep (line 3)
    emphasise how hard and physical the woman's work
    is- The long l sounds in lie long (line 5) help
    to convey the laziness of the young women.- We
    can hear the girls sighing in the assonance of
    line 8 - sigh if the wind but lift a tress -
    while the soft rhyme in lines 7 and 8 - idleness
    / tress emphasises the gentle way in which they
    spend their days.

25
Imagery
  • Each morning she blows at the seed of the fire
    (line 2) until it flickers and glows, and she can
    get on with the rest of her work. The seed
    metaphor suggests that the fire is alive and
    growing.
  • However, when the seed of the fire is repeated at
    the end of the poem (line 10), it refers to the
    'fire' within herself. She is dying, so her own
    seed is not glowing/growing, but becoming feeble
    and cold. (And what about her own seeds - her own
    children?)

26
  • The Old Mother's day is dictated by the stars -
    she starts work at dawn and doesn't stop Till
    stars are beginning to blink and peep. The
    burning stars echo the seed of the fire, glowing
    in the dark sky like coals in the hearth.

27
Attitudes and ideas
  • Tone
  • The dominant tone of voice we hear is that of
    resignation - but there is certainly a hint of
    resentment, even bitterness, in her attitude to
    the young. The degree of sympathy we feel toward
    her will probably depend on whether we think the
    girls in the poem are the daughters of the Old
    Mother's wealthy employers, or her own children.

28
  • ideas

Yeats wrote a great deal about the passage of
time, and of youth and beauty giving way to old
age and death. The Song of the Old Mother is a
meditation on this theme. The poem contrasts two
types of human endeavour the young women's
dreams of love and obsession with appearance and
the hard, grinding, thankless work that is the
Old Mother's lot.
29
  • An interesting cross-current is set going by our
    uncertainty about who the young women are.
  • Are they the Old Mother's own children? If so,
    their idleness is easier to forgive. Perhaps in
    her youth the old woman herself dreamed of love,
    lay late in bed, and obsessed about whether her
    ribbons matched. Perhaps, as old people often do,
    she has forgotten what it's like to be young!
  • Or are they the children of the old woman's rich
    employers? If they are, we are more likely to
    view them as spoilt and selfish young people
    whose idle lives are made possible only by the
    drudgery of poor servants like the Old Mother.

30
Comparison
  • Little Boy Lost / LIttle Boy Found
  • Before You Were Mine
  • Mother, any greater distance -

31
  • The poem is a simple monologue in rhyme - an old
    woman describes her daily routine and contrasts
    it with the easy time that young people have. She
    gets up at dawn to light the fire, wash, prepare
    food and sweep up. Meanwhile the young people
    sleep on and pass their day "in idleness". More
    than a century later, few old people in the west
    will live quite such hard lives - but the poem

32
The Laboratory
  • Robert Browning (1812 1889)

33
(No Transcript)
34
Simple summary
  • A woman is about to kill her rival, in the
    presence of her lover.
  • She consults an apothecary to obtain poison.
  • She takes great pleasure in watching the poison
    being prepared.
  • She is determined to enjoy her revenge.

35
THE LABORATORY - ANCIEN REGIME NOW that I,
tying thy glass mask tightly,May gaze thro'
these faint smokes curling whitely,As thou
pliest thy trade in this devil's-smithy--Which
is the poison to poison her, prithee?He is with
her and they know that I knowWhere they are,
what they do they believe my tears flowWhile
they laugh, laugh at me, at me fled to the
drearEmpty church, to pray God in, for them! --
I am here.Grind away, moisten and mash up thy
paste,Pound at thy powder, -- I am not in
haste!Better sit thus, and observe thy strange
things,Than go where men wait me and dance at
the King's.That in the mortar -- you call it a
gum?Ah, the brave tree whence such gold oozings
come!And yonder soft phial, the exquisite
blue,Sure to taste sweetly, -- is that poison
too?
Dramatic monologue
A woman is to be poisoned!
A relationship gone wrong
36
Had I but all of them, thee and thy
treasures,What a wild crowd of invisible
pleasures!To carry pure death in an earring, a
casket,A signet, a fan-mount, a
filligree-basket!Soon, at the King's, a mere
lozenge to giveAnd Pauline should have just
thirty minutes to live!But to light a pastille,
and Elise, with her headAnd her breast and her
arms and her hands, should drop dead!Quick --
is it finished? The colour's too grim!Why not
soft like the phial's, enticing and dim?Let it
brighten her drink, let her turn it and stir,And
try it and taste, ere she fix and prefer!What a
drop! She's not little, no minion like
me--That's why she ensnared him this never will
freeThe soul from those masculine eyes, -- say,
'no!'To that pulse's magnificent come-and-go.
37
For only last night, as they whispered, I
broughtMy own eyes to bear on her so, that I
thoughtCould I keep them one half minute fixed,
she would fall,Shrivelled she fell not yet
this does not all!Not that I bid you spare her
the pain!Let death be felt and the proof
remainBrand, burn up, bite into its grace--He
is sure to remember her dying face!Is it done?
Take my mask off! Nay, be not moroseIt kills
her, and this prevents seeing it closeThe
delicate droplet, my whole fortune's fee--If it
hurts her, beside, can it ever hurt me?Now,
take all my jewels, gorge gold to your fill,You
may kiss me, old man, on my mouth if you
will!But brush this dust off me, lest horror it
bringsEre I know it -- next moment I dance at
the King
38
Structure
  • The poem has an AABB rhyme scheme. This makes it
    sound rather jaunty and cheery. Browning does
    this deliberately to create antithesis with the
    chilling subject matter. The effect is to make
    the woman seem all the more cold hearted and
    intimidating.
  • Each verse ends with a full stop. There is no
    doubt in any of the statements - it creates a
    terrible remorselessness.
  • There is also a deliberate attempt to subvert
    pleasant things. The pretty phials actually
    contain poison, a dance will be a place of murder
    and the beautiful ball gown has to be cleaned of
    incriminating dusts.

39
Themes
  • Hatred
  • Madness and paranoia
  • Killing

40
Possible links
  • Story telling and killing - The Man He Killed
    (Hardy).
  • Love - Sonnet 130 (Shakespeare)

41
Salome
  • by
  • Carol Ann Duffy

42
Who was Salome?
  • Salome from the New Testament, the book of
    Matthew, chapter 14. Salome danced for Herod on
    his birthday and he was so pleased by her
    performance that he promised to give her whatever
    she wished for. She was prompted by her mother,
    Herodias to ask for the head of John the Baptist
    on a plate. John the Baptist had been preaching
    about the coming of Jesus and had baptised Jesus.

43
Images with quotes
Id done it before woke up with a head on the
pillow beside me -
44
Good-looking, of course, dark hair, rather
matted the reddish beard several shades lighter
45
- hungover and wrecked as I was from a night
on the batter.
46
I needed to clean up my act, get fitter, cut out
the booze and the fags and the sex.
47
it was time to turf out the blighter whod
come like a lamb to the slaughter to Salomes
bed .
48
Carol-Ann Duffys Salome' in a nutshell!
  • Salome has become a serial remover of heads.
  • Having woken up with a severed head on the
    pillow, she cannot even remember the owners
    name!
  • She calls for the maid, has breakfast and decides
    to clean up her life.

49
Initially there doesnt seem anything amiss. Many
people wake up in bed with a stranger in the
modern world. However, knowledge of the original
Salome makes the words profoundly shocking.
Casual almost indifferent voice. Sex is casual.
I'd done it before (and doubtless I'll do it
again, sooner or later) woke up with a head on
the pillow beside me -whose? what did it
matter? Good- looking, of course, dark hair,
rather matted the reddish beard several shades
lighter
Serial killer
Free verse. The narrator is just awakening.
Red theme
An arrogant voice. Sounds almost boastful. They
only have good looking partners.
Lots of detail.
The Godfather
50
with very deep lines around the eyes, from pain,
I'd guess, maybe laughter and a beautiful
crimson mouth that obviously knew how to
flatter... which I kissed Colder than pewter.
Strange. What was his name? Peter?
The mouth is cold because he is dead. Kissing the
decapitated head is depraved and shocking.
Red theme
Cant remember his name! The murder is told in a
very matter of fact way. Her lack of interest in
the individual suggests she might be a psychopath
51
She is now more awake so the tempo picks up.
Simon? Andrew? John? I knew I'd feel better for
tea, dry toast, no butter, so rang for the maid.
And, indeed, her innocent clatter of cups and
plates, her clearing of clutter, her regional
patter, were just what needed - hungover and
wrecked as I was from a night on the batter.
Names of the disciples. Link to the biblical
roots of the poem.
A very simple breakfast sits in juxtaposition to
the scale of her depravity.
Hard c sounds
Colloquial language. This makes it seem chatty
and friendly which is at odds with the violence
and the madness.
52
Doesnt include murder in her list of things to
cut back on.
Casual about these things. But also casual about
killing
Never again! I needed to clean up my act, get
fitter, cut out the booze and the fags and the
sex. Yes. And as for the latter, it was time to
turf out the blighter, the beater or biter,
who'd come like a lamb to the slaughter to
Salome's bed.
Hates the male sex. Misandry.
Simile
Use of the 3rd person. She is a force to be
reckoned with.
53
Red theme
In the mirror, I saw my eyes glitter. I flung
back the sticky red sheets, and there, like I
said -and ain't life a bitch - was his head on a
platter.
Is she referring to herself? Or is it ironic
sympathy for her victim?
Poem culminates in the decapitation. Echoes the
original biblical story.
54
Havisham
  • Carol Ann Duffy

55
  • Beloved sweetheart bastard. Not a day since then
  • I havent wished him dead. Prayed for it
  • so hard Ive dark green pebbles for eyes,
  • ropes on the back of my hands I could strangle
    with.

Oxymoron shows combination of feelings hatred
and love
Enjambment
Metaphor
Her means of revenge.
Metaphor used to emphasise strength of hands.
56
One word sentence is what society sums her up as
She sees her life as decay and memories
  • Spinster. I stink and remember. Whole days
  • in bed cawing Nooooo at the wall the dress
  • yellowing, trembling if I open the wardrobe
  • the slewed mirror, full-length, her, myself, who
    did this

Makes her sound like an animal
cliché of madness
With age
Turning or twisting
Sounds like she no longer recognises what she has
become
Unstable? Self aware? Wondering?
Disgusted with herself
57
Suggesting that at night she is able to dream
Purplish-red
  • to me? Puce curses that are sounds not words.
  • Some nights better, the lost body over me,
  • my fluent tongue in its mouth in its ear
  • then down till I suddenly bite awake. Loves

The man she might have married
She asks who has made her this way
What is the effect of bite awake?
Abstract not personal
58
Suggests celebrations that did not take place.
What else might red suggest?
Use of oxymoron to show unstable mixture of
Havishams feelings.
  • hate behind a white veil a red balloon bursting
  • in my face. Bang. I stabbed at a wedding-cake.
  • Give me a male corpse for a long slow honeymoon.
  • Dont think its only the heart that
    b-b-b-breaks.

Masks hate not blushing bride
Wedding party burst metaphor of what happened
Combines both love and revenge
Stammered words to suggest a kind of collapse
Mind broken as well
59
Stealing
  • by Carol Ann Duffy

Imagery
Analysis
60
Stealing Carol Ann Duffy

61
The most unusual thing I ever stole? A snowman.
62
Midnight. He looked magnificent a tall, white
mute

63
beneath the winter moon. I wanted him, a mate

64
with a mind as cold as the slice of ice

65
within my own brain. I started with the head.

66
Better off dead than giving in, not taking

67
what you want. He weighed a ton his torso,

68
frozen stiff, hugged to my chest, a fierce chill

69
piercing my gut. Part of the thrill was knowing

70
that children would cry in the morning. Lifes
tough.

71
Sometimes I steal things I dont need. I
joy-ride cars

72
to nowhere, break into houses just to have a look.

73
Im a mucky ghost, leave a mess, maybe pinch a
camera.

74
I watch my gloved hand twisting the doorknob.
75
A strangers bedroom. Mirrors. I sigh like this
Aah.

76
It took some time. Reassembled in the yard,
77
he didnt look the same. I took a run

78
and booted him. Again. Again. My breath ripped
out
79
in rags. It seems daft now. Then I was standing
80
alone amongst lumps of snow, sick of the world.
81
Boredom. Mostly Im so bored I could eat myself.

82
One time, I stole a guitar and thought I
might

83
learn to play. I nicked a bust of Shakespeare
once
84
flogged it, but the snowman was strangest.
85
  • You dont understand a word Im saying, do you?

86
Stealing
87
  • The speaker in the poem states that the most
    unusual thing they ever stole was a snowman. They
    describe how they did so and how enjoyable it was
    to know that 'children would cry' as a result of
    the theft.
  • They also tell us about other things they've
    stolen, often pointlesslySometimes I steal
    things I don't need.
  • The speaker then tells us how they destroyed the
    snowman, by kicking it to bits, because they were
    'sick of the world' and 'bored'. Finally the
    writer admits this account of what they have done
    sounds strange and that people 'don't understand'.

88
Structure
  • Although the poem is written in five equal
    Stanzas, there is no regularity in the lines.
    Sometimes the end of one line runs into the next
    line (enjambment). What is the effect of
    enjambment in these examples?
  • I joy-ride cars / to nowhere
  • I took a run / and booted him again
  • My breath ripped out / in rags
  • In each case, the line breaks 'act out' what is
    being described.

89
Language
  • Although the poem is about I, it is not the poet
    herself who is talking to us. Do you think the
    poem is told in the voice of a man or a woman, a
    boy or a girl? There is no way of telling - it is
    deliberately ambiguous, a mystery voice.
  • The poet appears to be responding to a question
    someone has asked. 'The most unusual thing I ever
    stole?' S/he continues to 'talk' to the reader
    throughout the poem and so the language of the
    poem sounds like natural speech. S/he asks us to
    respond ('You don't understand a word I'm saying,
    do you?') and so we feel directly involved.

90
  • The speaker glamorises themselves and what they
    have done, almost as if they are imagining
    themselves as the star of a film. At times s/he
    even seems to be speaking lines from a script 'I
    sigh like this - Aah.'
  • Some of the language is violent and destructive.
    'The slice of ice within my own brain.''My breath
    ripped out in rags.''I'm so bored I could eat
    myself.' It shocks and surprises us. Is this
    perhaps to emphasise the lack of order in the
    speaker's life?

91
Imagery and sound
  • The central image is that of the snowman alone in
    someone's empty yard in the middle of the night -
    an image of dark and icy cold .. beneath the
    winter moon .. .. a mind as cold as the slice of
    ice / within my own brain .. .. frozen stiff,
    hugged to my chest, a fierce chill / piercing my
    gut ..

92
  • How does this image add to the impact of the
    poem?
  • Well, there is an obvious parallel between the
    ice-cold snowman, alone in his yard, and the
    speaker, '.. standing / alone among lumps of
    snow ..'

93
  • The parallel is underlined by the speaker
    themselves when they describe the 'ice within my
    own brain', and the 'chill piercing my gut' - as
    if the snowman is inside them, as well as on the
    outside. The snowman, in other words, stands as a
    Symbol for the cold and loneliness of the
    speaker's own situation. Because the speaker
    smashes the snowman up ('booted him. Again.
    Again') it is also symbolic of his or her
    self-destructive behaviour.

94
Sound
  • The poem replicates natural speech, so that we
    can 'hear' the voice of the speaker talking to us
    - especially since s/he asks us direct questions.
    We can even hear the pauses as s/he adds details
    to the story. 'A snowman. / Midnight.'

95
Ideas
  • What the poet is trying to say in this poem? All
    the following ideas are contained in the poem
    it's down to you to decide which you think are
    the most important.
  • She is sympathising with the speaker - who is
    obviously lonely and bored and needs someone to
    pay attention to him/her.
  • She is trying to understand why anyone would want
    to commit a senseless crime. If there is enough
    snow for someone to have made a snowman, surely
    there is enough snow for the speaker to have made
    one too, so why steal one?

96
  • She is examining someone else's attitude to life
    - 'Better off dead than giving in.'
  • We are shown the speaker's loneliness (s/he needs
    the snowman as a 'mate' s/he is 'alone'.
  • We see how the writer regards him or herself as a
    failure - 'I stole a guitar once and thought I
    might learn to play' - who cannot succeed in an
    'ordinary' way.
  • We see the speaker's pessimistic attitude
    although they'd like their life to be glamorous,
    they are reduced to getting kicks from stealing a
    snowman and 'things I don't need'.

97
Comparison
  • Armitage Kid and Homecoming - All three poems
    are written in the first person, but I've made
    out a will seems to be Armitage's own voice,
    while in the other two he adopts a persona.
  • Duffy Before You Were Mine Duffy's poem is
    personal. Like Armitage's poem, it contains her
    own thoughts.
  • Yeats Song of the Old Mother Yeats' poem also
    uses the first person, but here Yeats adopts the
    persona of an old woman he is not writing about
    himself..
  • Clare Sonnet Both poems use the sonnet form and
    both write from their own point of view. Clare's
    poem is less obscure than Armitage's.

98
Elviss Twin Sister
  • Carol Ann Duffy

99
Picked on at school for being different he
stuttered and was very quiet
Born January 8 1935, died August 16 1977
King of Rock and Roll
Elvis
Died as a result of overdosing on prescription
medication
Gyrating hips
His music mixed black and white influences
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, to a very religious
family
The second of two identical twins (the first was
stillborn and named Jesse Garon)
100
Are you lonesome tonight? Do you miss me
tonight? Elvis is alive and shes female
Madonna In the convent, yall, I tend the
gardens, watch things grow, pray for the immortal
soul of rock n roll. They call me Sister
Presley here. The Reverend Mother digs the way I
move my hips just like my brother. Gregorian
chant drifts out across the herbs Pascha nostrum
immolatus est I wear a simple habit, darkish
hues,
a wimple with novice-sewn lace band, a
rosary, a chain of keys, a pair of good and
sturdy blue suede shoes. I think of it as
Graceland here, a land of grace. It puts my
trademark slow lopsided smile back on my
face. Lawdy. Im alive and well. Long time since
I walked down Lonely Street towards Heartbreak
Hotel.
101
Are you lonesome tonight? Do you miss me
tonight? Elvis is alive and shes female
Madonna In the convent, yall, I tend the
gardens, watch things grow, pray for the immortal
soul of rock n roll. They call me Sister
Presley here. The Reverend Mother digs the way I
move my hips just like my brother. Gregorian
chant drifts out across the herbs Pascha nostrum
immolatus est I wear a simple habit, darkish
hues,
a wimple with novice-sewn lace band, a
rosary, a chain of keys, a pair of good and
sturdy blue suede shoes. I think of it as
Graceland here, a land of grace. It puts my
trademark slow lopsided smile back on my
face. Lawdy. Im alive and well. Long time since
I walked down Lonely Street towards Heartbreak
Hotel.
Epigraph in form of rhetorical question
Madonna is female Elvis or a quote from Madonna?
Colour imagery
6 stanzas of quintrains
Highly punctuated
Enjambement
Another monologue taken from the collection The
Worlds Wife
Italics
102
Are you lonesome tonight? Do you miss me
tonight? Elvis is alive and shes female
Madonna In the convent, yall, I tend the
gardens, watch things grow, pray for the immortal
soul of rock n roll. They call me Sister
Presley here. The Reverend Mother digs the way I
move my hips just like my brother. Gregorian
chant drifts out across the herbs Pascha nostrum
immolatus est I wear a simple habit, darkish
hues,
a wimple with novice-sewn lace band, a
rosary, a chain of keys, a pair of good and
sturdy blue suede shoes. I think of it as
Graceland here, a land of grace. It puts my
trademark slow lopsided smile back on my
face. Lawdy. Im alive and well. Long time since
I walked down Lonely Street towards Heartbreak
Hotel.
Song by Elvis Presley
American drawl
Completely contrasting / contradictory statements
Where Elvis lived
Religious symbolism / Elvis was thought to be the
devil (the twin is the opposite of him)
As twins, they share the same characteristics
His gyrating hips got him banned!
What many of his fans believe
Original songs of the church
Latin meaning Or Lamb has been sacrificed
(Christ)
103
Summarise what you now know about the poem
  • What is it about? The imagined other story to
    Elviss Twin from a feminist perspective
  • What themes are covered? Love, religion, chastity
  • What tone does the poem have? Light, Admiring,
    reflective
  • What literary devices have been used?
    Enjambement, metaphor, occasional rhyme,
    religious imagery, epigraph
  • How effective is the poem for the reader?

104
November
  • by
  • Simon Armitage

105
Content the Story
  • The speaker and a man named John (probably a
    friend) have taken Johns grandmother to a
    nursing home. They know she will not come back
    out of the home.
  • When they leave the old lady, they drive back to
    Johns house and drink alcohol, to cope with the
    emotions of the situation.
  • The poet tries to lift John out of his depression.

106
Analysis
  • November

Title is very significant. This is a damp, cold
month of the year and is often considered
depressing. It is also at the tail end of the
year and so is near the end.
107
Walking very slowly the effects of aging
We walk to the ward from the badly parked car
with your grandma taking four short steps to our
two. We have brought her here to die and we know
it.
Brutal honesty. The words are all monosyllabic
and simple emphasising the terrible truth told.
108
Mementoes of her life. Taking care of emotional
as well as physical needs.
You check her towel, soap and family trinkets,
pare her nails, parcel her in the rough blankets
and she sinks down into her incontinence.
109
A play on words. It is time to leave. However, it
also signals the passage of time that has led the
old woman to this point.
Poet fears that he is also growing old.
It is time John. In their pasty bloodless smiles,
in their slack breasts, their stunned brains and
their baldness, and in us John we are almost
these monsters.
The alliteration of b and s emphasises the poets
disgust and bitterness.
110
Emotionally exhausted
You're shattered. You give me the keys and I
drive through the twilight zone, past the famous
station to your house, to numb ourselves with
alcohol.
Encroaching darkness actual and metaphorical.
Also name of famous T.V show where terrible and
macabre events took place.
They use alcohol to overcome their emotional
trauma.
111
Inside, we feel the terror of the dusk
begin. Outside we watch the evening, failing
again, and we let it happen. We can say nothing.
They have to face the inevitable there is no
point getting upset about it.
112
There are positive things to look forwards to.
Ends on a positive note.
Sometimes the sun spangles and we feel alive.
One thing we have to get, John, out of this
life.
Ends with a positive affirmation of life. Carpe
diem.
Repeating these words emphasises the positive. It
also is the exact opposite of Line 3.
113
Structure
  • The poem is constructed of six stanzas, the first
    five of three lines each, the last of only two
    lines.
  • The first three stanzas focus on the nursing
    home, leading up to a crescendo at the end of
    Stanza 3 with these monsters. Throughout
    these stanzas, the poet is reassuring John,
    despite feeling repulsed by the images of the
    elderly in the home.

114
  • Stanzas 4 and 5 concentrate on the aftermath,
    emotionally, of leaving the grandmother in the
    home, no doubt Johns main feeling being one of
    guilt, and the final stanza is an attempt to lift
    the emotions of the reader and of John by giving
    a message of expediency, but one which is
    positive for the younger men.
  • The poem is written in free verse and contains
    little rhyme.
  • The irregular number of beats in different lines
    perhaps reflects the emotional turmoil felt at
    the subject of the poem.

115
Overview
  • The poem is effective in its exploration of the
    emotions of sadness and guilt felt by relatives
    and friends when the passing years lead to a
    loved one losing all sense of dignity and quality
    of life.
  • It provides an insight into the poets sense of
    horror about how society preserves life of the
    elderly, once it has become devoid of meaning and
    quality.
  • The poem stands useful comparison with others in
    the collection from the following points of view
    death strong emotions sadness
    inter-generational relationships (loss of)
    independence.

116
Kid
  • by Simon Armitage

117
Repetition of er sound
Batman, big shot, when you gave the order to
grow up, then let me loose to wander leeward,
freely through the wild blue yonder as you liked
to say, or ditched me, rather, in the gutter
...well, I turned the corner.
Lines 1-5 describes events in the past
Sarcastic use of cliché
118
Adventure but also a pun on cape
Now I've scotched that 'he was like a father to
me' rumour, sacked it, blown the cover on that
'he was like an elder brother' story, let the
cat out on that caper with the married woman,
how you took her
Batman has a sordid secret - scandal
119
downtown on expenses in the motor. Holy
robin-redbreast-nest-egg-shocker! Holy roll-me
over-in-the-clover, I'm not playing ball boy any
longer
Parody of the television series. Takes
on a tabloid newspaper expose style.
Batman is corrupt
120
Self-ridicule
Batman, now I've doffed that off-the-shoulder
Sherwood-Forest-green and scarlet number for a
pair of jeans and crew-neck jumper now I'm
taller, harder, stronger, older.
121
Batman seems a lonely pathetic figure. Or is this
just Robins imagination of what he is like now?
Batman, it makes a marvellous picture you
without a shadow, stewing over chicken giblets
in the pressure cooker, next to nothing in the
walk-in larder, punching the palm of your hand
all winter,
Robin seems to enjoy Batmans reduced state.
Robin used to do all the shopping.
122
He has outgrown Batman he is now confident on
his own.
you baby, now I'm the real boy wonder.
Pun on boy wonder.
123
Structure
  • Monologue
  • The poem is made up of 12 rhyming couplets
  • There are a number of internal rhymes as well
    e.g. elder, gutter rumour etc.
  • There are ten syllables on each line they are
    pentameters
  • The rhythm is crated by using a trochaic meter.
    The stress is on the first syllable e.g. yonder.

124
Themes
  • Failure of heroes and icons to live up to their
    reputation.
  • Tension between generations.

125
Hitcher
by Simon Armitage
126
Content the Story
The poem is about a person, who is stressed out,
at work. He hitch-hikes to a car he has hired.
Somewhere near Leeds the narrator picks up a
hitcher who is a hippie. He takes out all his
frustration on the hitcher by hitting him with a
krooklok and then throwing him out of the
moving car to his death. He jokes that the
hitcher can walk the rest of the way.
127
Hitcher
The narrator also hitches a lift. Emphasising a
connection with the hippie.
I'd been tired, underthe weather, but the
ansaphone kept screaming.One more sick-note,
mister, and you're finished. Fired.I thumbed a
lift to where the car was parked.A Vauxhall
Astra. It was hired.
The narrators obsession with brands is the
opposite outlook to the hippie.
Personification. This highlights the stress of
the narrator.
The rhyme reminds the reader of how the
narrators needs his work.
128
Poetical language contrasts with the violent
outbursts of the narrator.
Romantic and carefree existence.
I picked him up in Leeds.He was following the
sun to west from eastwith just a toothbrush and
the good earth for a bed. The truth,he said, was
blowin' in the wind,or round the next bend.
Short and long lines reflect the narrators
uneven thought process.
A dream like attitude. Also echoes the Dylan song.
Has no possessions opposite of the earlier
materialism demonstrated by the narrator.
129
The enjambment between the stanzas keeps the tone
calm and relaxed making the report of violence
even more chilling.
This should be used to prevent crime. Armitage
inverts the middle class order.
I let him have iton the top road out of
Harrogate -oncewith the head, then six times
with the krooklokin the face -and didn't even
swerve.I dropped it into third
Extreme and shocking violence. It is unprovoked
and comes out of nowhere.
He boasts about his skill at the wheel during the
murder.
Savage and sustained. Intended to kill.
130
Ironic tone almost as if he is being helpful.
and leant acrossto let him out, and saw him in
the mirrorbouncing off the kerb, then
disappearing down the verge.We were the same
age, give or take a week.He'd said he liked the
breeze
Another connection but the narrator feels no
empathy.
Disturbing imagery he seems unconcerned about
the horror of what he explains.
131
Making fun of the hippies outlook on life.
to run its fingers through his hair. It was
twelve noon.The outlook for the day was moderate
to fair.Stitch that, I remember thinking,you
can walk from there.
A weather forecast seems mundane after what has
happened. Also an irony the forecast is good
but not for the hippie.
Colloquial language almost if he is telling it
to a friend.
132
The Structure
  • Monologue
  • 5 Stanzas and 5 lines
  • Short line, Longer, Longest, Shorter and Shorter
    again Visual Impact not aural impact
  • Only two rhymes Fired/Hired - Fair/There

133
Themes
  • Violence and death
  • Troubled relationship with others
  • Hatred of others

134
(No Transcript)
135
My father thought it
  • Simon Armitage

136
Assonance
Shows fathers down-to-earth attitude. Double
meaning.
  • My father thought it bloody queer,
  • the day I rolled home with a ring of silver in my
    ear
  • half hidden by a mop of hair. Youve lost your
    head.
  • If thats how easily youre led
  • You shouldve had it through your nose instead.

Starting with these words shows focus is on
relationship with father and his reaction, not
just the event of the piercing.
What is he comparing his son to?
Alliteration
137
  • And even then I hadnt had the nerve to numb
  • the lobe with ice, then drive a needle through
    the skin,
  • then wear a safety- pin. It took a jewellers gun
  • to pierce the flesh, and then a friend
  • to thread a sleeper in, and where it slept
  • the hole became a sore, became a wound, and wept.

Contrasts his feeble approach with that of others
who pierced their own ears. Makes fun of himself.
Is he also ashamed of his cowardice? Its not a
very successful teenage rebellion
What do these words imply?
Alliteration
138
Assonance
  • At twenty-nine, it comes as no surprise to hear
  • my own voice breaking like a tear, released like
    water,
  • cried from way back in the spiral of the ear. If
    I were you,
  • Id take it out and leave it out next year.

This is his voice but it sounds like what his
father might have said. Has he come to share his
fathers values? Is removing the earring a sign
of maturity? Or a sign that he is now ready to
conform?
He couldnt admit the mistake he had made at the
time. Why?
139
Themes
  • Son trying to be independent, father disapproving
  • Humorous tone and rhymes, but shows pain in
    remembering his adolescence
  • Could be a trivial subject, but shows how his
    attempt at rebellion was not very successful

140
Structure
  • 3 part structure first 2 stanzas show what
    happened in the past, last stanza brings poet up
    to date with what the event means to the poet
    when he is 29
  • Conversational style, with very frequent
    irregular rhymes, which emphasize key words
    queer/ear, hear/year

141
Comparisons
  • Relationship between parent/child figures
  • On My First Sonne, Kid.

142
On my First Sonne,by Ben Johnston
  • LO to understand the poem, using TSLAP.

143
Ben Jonson (1572-1637) was an actor, playwright
and a poet. During his day he was a very highly
regarded playwright, even more so than his
contemporary, William Shakespeare! He lived
through many traumas not only did his son die
at a young age but he was also convicted of
murdering a fellow actor, Gabriel Spencer! As
well as writing plays he also wrote two
collections of poetry.
144
About the poet
Name
b.1572 d.1637
Ben Jonson
Occupation
Actor, playwright and poet
Education
The young Jonson attended Westminster School, a
rigorous, classics-minded grammar school. He did
not go to university, probably for reasons of
money, training instead in his step-father's
trade as a bricklayer. However, at some point in
the 1590s he chose to try his luck as a soldier
in the Low Countries where English troops were
involved in the continuing wars between the Dutch
and the Spanish.
Other
The records of the Tylers and Bricklayers'
Companies seem to indicate that Jonson worked in
their trade from 1595 to around 1602 the same
years which saw Jonson establish himself as both
actor and writer.
145
What is an elegy?
An elegy is a mournful poem or song, a lament for
the dead.
What does lament mean?
Lament means to express sorrow, remorse or
regret. A poem or song in which a death is
lamented.
146
  • On My First Sonne
  • Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and
    joyMy sinne was too much hope of thee, lov'd
    boy.Seven yeeres tho'wert lent to me, and I thee
    pay,Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.O,
    could I loose all father, now. For whyWill man
    lament the state he should envie?To have so
    soone scap'd worlds, and fleshes rage,And, if no
    other miserie, yet age?Rest in soft peace, and,
    ask'd, say here doth lyeBen. Jonson his best
    piece of poetrie.
  • For whose sake, hence-forth, all his vowes be
    such,As what he loves may never like too much.
  • On My First Son Modern
  • Goodbye, you child of my right hand, and joy
  • My sin was hoping too much for your future,
    beloved boy.
  • Seven years you were lent to me, and I pay you in
    my grief,
  • Caused by your fate on that just day.
  • O, could I loosen all fatherliness now.
  • Why
  • Will people feel sad about death when they should
    envy it?
  • To have escaped the world and unhappiness of the
    world,
  • And to have escaped the misery of age?
  • Rest in soft peace, and, if asked, say here doth
    lie
  • Ben. Johnsons best piece of poetry.
  • For my own sake, from now on, all my vowes be,
  • To never love something too much.


147
On my first Sonne Farewell, thou child of my
right hand, and joy My sinne was too much hope
of thee, lovd boy. Seven yeeres thowert lent to
me, and I thee pay, Exacted by thy fate, on the
just day. O, could I loose all father, now. For
why Will man lament the state he should envie? To
have so soone scapd worlds, and fleshes
rage, And, if no other miserie, yet age? Rest in
soft peace, and, askd, say here doth lye Ben.
Jonson his best piece of poetrie. For whose sake,
hence-forth, all his vows be such, As what he
loves may never like too much. Ben Jonson 1616
148
Farewell,
thou child of my right hand, and joy
What kind of a statement is this? Who is he
speaking to?
149
Thou second person singular pronoun. used
here rather than you to express closeness of
relationship.
Religion was really important in the 17th
Century. Who sat at the right hand of God? Is
there a connection?
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy
In Hebrew, Benjamin means "son of the right
hand. Jonson is playing on the name.
How did he feel about his son?
150
The church had very strict rules in the 17th
Century. Your relationship with your loved ones
should have been seen as second to your
relationship with God. Maybe Jonson feels that
his relationship with God was not as it should
have been and that as a result, God has taken his
son away?
My sinne was too much hope of thee, lovd boy.
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy
Jonson believes that he has sinned by loving his
son too much. He feels responsible for his sons
death.
151
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy
Seven yeeres thowert lent to me, and I thee pay,
My sinne was too much hope of thee, lovd boy.
Why use this word?
How is he paying?
152
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy
My sinne was too much hope of thee, lovd boy.
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
Seven yeeres thowert lent to me, and I thee pay,
That had to be paid back with the boys life
just means morally right and fair. Jonson
believes his punishment to be fair.
153
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and
joy My sinne was too much hope of thee, lovd
boy. Seven yeeres thowert lent to me, and I thee
pay,
In the first four lines of the poem, Jonson forms
the beginnings of an extended metaphor. His
childs life has been a seven year loan. The day
that his son died is the day that he paid back
the loan.
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
Did you know that Jonsons child was called
Benjamin and that child of my right hand is the
English translation of this Hebrew name?
154
The boy is in heaven - why grieve about this
I wish I could give up acting like a father
O, could I loose all father, now. For why Will
man lament the state he should envie?
Father is him GOD. What could this statement
be suggesting? (Who has his son gone to be with?)
155
O, could I loose all father, now. For why Will
man lament the state he should envie?
Wanting what his son has got.
Father is him (Jonson) GOD. What could this
statement be suggesting? (Who has his son gone to
be with?)
Be sad about something
156
Escaped
To have so soone scapd worlds, and fleshes
rage, And, if no other miserie, yet age?
O, could I loose all father, now. For why Will
man lament the state he should envie?
There is a real CONTRAST to his feelings in the
first part of the poem. Why do you think he uses
the phrases escaped worlds and fleshes rage?
His son has managed to escape the earthly misery
of ageing.
The misery is on earth
157
To have escaped the demands of passion
O, could I loose all father, now. For why Will
man lament the state he should envie?
In the first part of the poem we saw Jonson blame
himself for his sons death. He created the
image that his son had only been lent to him. In
the next four lines we see a contrast to his
earlier feelings. He now displays a little
jealousy at the fact that his son has escaped the
miseries of earth and found the peaceful and
envious place of Heaven.
To have so soone scapd worlds, and fleshes
rage, And, if no other miserie, yet age?
And the misery of age
Jonson is trying to convince himself that the
boy is better off dead
158
This contrasts withfleshes rage in the
previous couplet
An Epitaph?
Rest in soft peace, and, askd, say here doth
lye Ben. Jonson his best piece of poetrie.
Is he talking about this poem or something else?
Poetry is a creation.This is a metaphor for
something he created. What?
Who is he talking about here?
159
promises
Rest in soft peace, and, askd, say here doth
lye Ben. Jonson his best piece of poetrie.
For whose sake, hence-forth, all his vows be
such, As what he loves may never like too much.
He got too close to his son and was hurt badly.
He promises never to get that close to the ones
he loves again!
160
Rest in soft peace, and, askd, say here doth
lye Ben. Jonson his best piece of poetrie.
In the final four lines of the poem, Jonson says
farewell to his son rest in peace. He says
that his son was the best thing he ever had a
hand in creating. He has also learnt that
getting close to the people you love can cause
immense grief something he vows to avoid in the
future.
For whose sake, hence-forth, all his vows be
such, As what he loves may never like too much.
161
For whose sake, hence-forth, all his vowes be
such, As what he loves may never like too much.
Hes telling himself not to like, too much, the
things he loves
Because loving them too much is a sinne and
could cause their death
what he loves could refer to people or to
his poetry
Why?
Because its painful when you lose the things
you love
162
The final couplet picks up on idea earlier in the
poem
This suggests that loving too much could have
caused the death of the boy
My sinne was too much hope of thee
This links with
For whose sake, hence-forth, all his vowes be
such, As what he loves may never like too much.
163
Iambic Pentameter
Iambic pentameter consists of one short syllable
followed by one long syllable these pairs are
Iambs. There are five groups of Iambs hence
pentameter.
When read aloud such verse naturally follows a
beat, similar to that of a human heart beat at
rest. In written form it looks like this
da-dum da-dum da-dum da-dum da-dum
So Jonson's work would follow the pattern
Fare-well thou-child of-my
right-hand and-joy
164
On my first sonne  Farewell, thou child of my
right hand, and joy My sin was too much hope of
thee, loved boy. Seven years thou wert lent to
me, and I thee pay, Exacted by thy fate, on the
just day. Oh, could I lose all father now. For
why Will man lament the state he should
envie? To have so soon 'scaped world's and
flesh's rage, And if no other misery, yet age!
Rest in soft peace, and asked, say, Here doth
lie Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry. For
whose sake henceforth all his vows be such As
what he loves may never like too much.
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