Yr 9: Studying Poetry Assignment

Introduction

This is quite a long assignment on poetry. You can use this assignment either by going through each task per lesson, or just give the student the entire assignment to do over 1 month.

This covers:

  1. Techniques
  2. Symbols
  3. Short answers
  4. Exposition (essay)
  5. Creative

Task 1: techniques

Match up the poetry techniques with their examples in this worksheet.

NOTE: some techniques may have more than 1 example.

Task 2: symbols

Match up the symbols with their connotations in this worksheet.

NOTE: some symbols may have more than 1 connotation.

Task 3: short answers

Song of the Humpback, by Michelle Williams

I am the keeper of the deep

In watery warmth and calm,

Where peace lies still and undisturbed

On ocean’s wrinkled palm.

I have seen the shadows dance

Round campfire’s amber glow

And heard the yearning in their songs

As embers crackled low.

I have been the red of blood

On stained and virgin sands

And tasted salty, dying tears

That crusted white man’s hands.

And so once more without the fear

I watch a white-washed shore

And see a thousand flickering eyes

Light darkness as before.

You call me now the gentle giant—

The wisdom and the key;

Secrets of the restless deep

Mankind, you’ll learn from me.

Questions:

  1. Name the figure of speech in the first line.
  2. Why is “on ocean’s wrinkled palm” a personification?
  3. In the 2nd stanza, there are images of a particular race of people. Who are they?
  4. There is a metaphor in the 3rd stanza. What are the comparisons being made?
  5. What is the figure of speech in “And see a thousand flickering eyes”?
  6. What is the figure of speech in the first two lines of the 5th stanza?
  7. What are the sound words in the 2nd stanza?
  8. There is alliteration in the 3rd stanza because the ____ sound is repeated.
  9. Comment on the figure of speech that gives sound to the 4th stanza.
  10. What is the name given to the last two lines?
  11. Explain what the poet intended by the last two lines.

There’s also a few multiple choice questions on this website.

Task 4: exposition

Read the poem Gulf War by Bruce Dawe and the newspaper article “Gulf war ‘friendly fire’ killed 35”.

Then write an extended response in the form of an exposition (essay). The question to the essay is:

We must accept war like an everyday phenomenon, that’s the right thing to do.

Discuss with reference to the two texts.

Gulf War by Bruce Dawe

When I looked out and saw

three Navy officers in dress uniform at my door

I knew why they were there.

‘It’s nothing,’ I said quietly to our two

children crowding close, the way young children do:

‘Some friends of Daddy with some time to spare.’

‘Beg pardon, ma’am,’ said the first,

‘We have bad news for you, I’m afraid–the worst…

May we come in?” he said.

‘Of course,’ I told him, and my mouth went dry.

They were so kind, I could not let them see me cry.

‘You’ve come to tell me that my husband’s dead…?’

‘Yes, ma’am. He was, unfortunately shot down

by a SAM missile over an Iraqi town

–for security reasons, we cannot say which on.’

‘I understand,’ I said, although

of course I didn’t altogether, but I know

all our lives are on a vast loom spun.

I’ve told the children Daddy’s on a cruise

–they’re getting used to that (and why refuse

the white lie that must cover the black fact?)

His graduation photo smiles are me;

friends help me learn to smile back, and to see

his memory honoured with each future act.

On a cruise…And in a sense that’s true

–from the Saratoga’s flight-deck to the blue

infinity of all our unspent years.

No gulf of loss can separate me still

from you, my love, who did your country’s will

–out of the well of duty spring these tears….

Task 5 and 6: Creative

Read the poem, When You Are Old by WB Yeats.

  1. Write a diary page about:
    1. Your life as it is “today”
    2. Any part of your life that you think you will like to remember when you are old. It can be an incident, a person, a thing, a place, a holiday, an event etc.
  2. Select a photo of you, a friend or a younger family member. Make the person in the photo look old. You may use a computer to assist you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *