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.
- Short answers
- Exposition (essay)
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.
- Name the figure of speech in the first line.
- Why is “on ocean’s wrinkled palm” a personification?
- In the 2nd stanza, there are images of a particular race of people. Who are they?
- There is a metaphor in the 3rd stanza. What are the comparisons being made?
- What is the figure of speech in “And see a thousand flickering eyes”?
- What is the figure of speech in the first two lines of the 5th stanza?
- What are the sound words in the 2nd stanza?
- There is alliteration in the 3rd stanza because the ____ sound is repeated.
- Comment on the figure of speech that gives sound to the 4th stanza.
- What is the name given to the last two lines?
- 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.
- Write a diary page about:
- Your life as it is “today”
- 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.
- 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.