II – Imagery III – Setting + Themes
-Free bird : Written by Maya Angelou, a black
Metaphor : “dips his wings in the sun’s orange rays” color orange suggests the female writer in the ’50s – this poem
warmness of the sun’s rays / the word “dip” suggest a light, swift and free movement denounces segregation of black
Vocabulary : “a free bird leaps” “leaps” suggests a joyful and happy movement people at that time.
-Caged Bird : This poem shows the situation of the
Metaphor : “bars of rage” the caged bird turns his anger at the cage, which he blames black people : disadvantaged,
for his captivity and sadness secluded, not accepted within the US.
Vocabulary : “a bird that stalks” as opposed to the free bird leaping, the caged bird Its aim is to change the situation by
“stalks” – suggests a clumsy, sad and desperate movement denouncing it.
Metaphor : “grave of dreams” the caged bird is said to stand on the grave of dreams –
his cage is a limit to his dreams, their end, their “grave”
Visual image : “his wings are clipped and his feet are tied” emphasizes on the
harshness of the bird’s life, creating a strong image in the reader’s mind
IV – Techniques used
I – Structure The techniques Maya Angelou uses to convey her political message,
6 stanzas (7/7/8/4/4/8 lines) and to convince :
3rd and 6th stanzas exactly similar – a Caged -Comparison between free bird and caged bird stronger feeling of
refrain? Black people sang songs to injustice than if only the caged bird was described – makes free
forget their pain Bird bird’s happiness almost insolent
Structure which repeats itself = things -Small stanzas + almost regular rhythm + refrain a sense of
will never change. repetition – gives an ironical sense of banality to the poem’s
RHYMES : almost none – exception : apparent signification, while the hidden meaning is extremely
2nd, 4th and 6th lines in stanzas 3 and important. Seems like a song contradictory to Angelou’s goal.
6. Emphasizes the effect of surprise and the shock it produces on the
V – Links to other studied poems: Carpet Weavers – lack of freedom
-Song to the Men of England both poems denounce an injustice within a society (in Song to the Men of England, inegality between
workers / peasants and nobles / aristocracy is denounced)
-Spectator ab Extra again, an injustice is denounced (the same as in Song to the Men of England, through irony this time)
Structure He remembers his schooldays =
7 stanzas: 3 lines SETTING When he was a child
19th century poem « joyful » tells us it was happy time
each and a Individual experience = strong emotions for him
refrain and feelings « I have had » tells us they are
Past memories now over
He also remembers a woman:
« closed are her doors » = the
Closed doors represent the end
Of the relationship. Note use of
Techniques Inversion to emphasise the word
« All, All, the old familiar closed.
faces » = a refrain The Old Familiar Faces
This repetition creates
a mournful tone. « fairest » = shows his love for her
Use of a superlative to emphasise
« ghost-like » = simile to compare
his life now; as if he were dead +
memories haunt him.
Memories of childhood + teenage times (first two stanzas) He revisits old places in order to
Links with Famhand and Little Boy Crying try and have happy memories
Life cycle = from childhood to death is linked with Plenty Again
And Rising Five
Missing people around him is linked with Plenty « Earth is a desert » = metaphor
Memories of first love = She dwelt and Muliebrity to show that his life seems barren
References to nature = Before the Sun and hostile + unwelcoming to him.
1 stanza, 18 lines, no rhyme
Visual: « the way she moved
Repetitive « I have thought » adds
her hands and her waist » like
to sense of melancholy
1-4: memory – thinks of what she
Images which appeal to smell:
5-6: description of the girls’ moves
« freshly washed clothes »
7-12: description of the smells
« road-dust »
13-14: girl inspires poet BUT she
« cow dung »
won’t use her as a metaphor
« monkey breath »
15-18: how happy she is to find the
« wet canna lilies »
Repetition – « I have thought so much about
the girl = shows how insistent the memory is. Links
Carpet Weavers: similarities are poverty,
Smells – repetition of « smell » and contrasting child labour, difficult working conditions.
smells like « monkey breath » and « lilies ». Sense of hope (paradise in carpet) +
Both pleasant and unpleasant. here girl smiles
No call for revolution
Metaphors – girl represents India (poverty, and Emphasis on memories (link with Plenty)
how they have to work, hardship) Caged Bird: idea of social injustice
She is also a metaphor for innocence and hope
as she smiles at the cow dung
Punctuation – no full stops from line 5 to end Settings
= memory is uninterrupted – flows freely Second half of 20th century
Dashes = allow for pauses and to reflect on India – near temple
the memory or image conjured up poverty
Character: thinks highly of himself, proud, pleased
By money, self-satisfaction, wants to sound sophisticated.
Setting Repetition of “I” and “my” = shows he is self- centred.
In a café –sitting at the table Repetition of word “money” shows he is superficial +
A place only for the rich at this time Interested in activities like eating + drinking
19th century – class divide in England Repetition of “they” = emphasises the division between
Allows us to picture this rich character
He is idle and does not seem to work The nobles/upper class and the poor / working class
Use of “pelf “– a negative derogatory
term for money
Use of “sneer” = lower class mock him
Ab Extra but he does not care about their reaction
Teaches us a moral lesson Use of “throw a crust” = disrespect
Creates a rich character to shock and and he does not want to touch them + it
repulse us + to question such a compares them to animals
society which allows a divide
Repetition of the refrain “Heigh –ho” =
Denounces arrogance of rich people
+ criticises gap between classes
The watcher makes the poem sound light-hearted
but contrasts with serious nature
from Simple rhyme scheme adds to sense
Use of an “I” character allows us to
get closer to him and inside his mind
outside. of a light-hearted song
Makes us ask ourselves if we are like
him or not.
Techniques: Forest, England – “untrodden
Exclamations: “oh” in stanza 3 = Ways” and “by the springs of Dove” Structure: 3 stanzas, 4
sound of sadness at what he has lost Natural setting Lines, and ABAB rhyme scheme
= simplicity of the structure
“the difference to me!” = personal Romantic Movement – the loss of a loved contrasts with author’s complex
loss and the exclamation shows how one and description of personal feelings feelings.
much it means to him. Wants to express a pure feeling
of love = simple poem reflects
Caesura in stanza 2 = makes us stop that purity.
and think about how beautiful she is
Lexical field of loneliness: She Dwelt Among the
“unknown”, “few could know”,
“untrodden ways” , “none to praise”
= adds to sense of her being alone Links:
and isolated Mid-Term Break – discovery of death
at the end of the poem
Innoncence of brother
Point of view is child – here it is an
Metaphor = “a violet by a mossy stone / Half hidden from the eye” Farmhand: both misunderstood –
Mossy stone = people or society him by women, Lucy by society
Violet = Lucy, her beauty and the fact she is different; being by the Loneliness – close to nature
Stone makes her stand out even more
Half-hidden = makes us realise she is special / she was shy / wild Before the Sun: links to nature +
A violet = flower / nature / purity / innocence / fragile Innocence
Mention of death + boy is lonely as
Simile “fair as a star” = extraordinary / something rare / to be looked at he talks to the sun
Romantic poems – personal loss
“assorted heights would make a melodious
chime” = (metaphor) compared to bells =
Emphasises different ages of children Setting
20th century factory in Morocco =
“school of days” = factory life is compared Contemporary problem
to a school = ironic as they probably do not Story of child labour and theme of
have the chance to go to school exploitation
“Garden of Islam” = carpet and image of a Structure
Better life / paradise 4 stanzas + 3 lines each + no rhyme
Simile: “they watch their flickering knots like Suggests a rigidity in the structure =
television” = reflects speed of their work + Carpet Weavers, reflects the rigidity of children’s work
Ironic as they do not have televisions
“Garden of Islam grows” + “the loom of
another world” = reference to another world
and idea of a frustrated childhood
Contrast idea of the carpets which will Muliebrity: theme of child labour (note in this poem only one girl)
travel in the “merchant’s truck” and end Foreign setting – Morocco and India
up in the mosque whereas the children Muliebrity seems to be more optimistic – in this poem, no sense
making it will not have the chance to of positive change to come
Song to the Men of England: workers’ difficult lives BUT in 19th
century and concerns adults + calls for change and revolution
Structure: Metaphor – “settle down in showers on the
Stanza 1+2 = cutting wood Dewy grass” = chips are compared to rain,
4-6 = making afire shows their graceful movement /
7-9 = cooking corn and eating abundant as well
Setting: Long sentences – “for some distance through the
Zimbabwe – 20th century air” = mirrors the long movement of the chips
Poet = farmer’s son
Respect for nature Lexical field of religion – prayers, spiral of smoke,
Nostalgia for a lost time when man / sacrificial = shows his respect for nature and for
nature were closer the sun
Powerful adjectives – “intense blue morning”
= day starts beautifully / metaphor for life
which hides difficulties (the rain)
Before the Sun
“big log” = he wants to be like an adult =
Metaphor for adulthood / body changing
Personification = “the wood hisses” and “the
sparks fly” = emphasises the way they move
+ their speed + graceful
The sun = as if sun was alive “winks” and “I
tell the sun” and “winks like a grown up”
Life cycle / passing of time / a day = Rising Five
= boy feels linked to the sun / has great
Relationship between humans and nature = Farmhand
respect for it
Sense of harmony and respect “till the cobs are just two
Sun is also invited to a feast and offered a
little skeletons” = metaphor for death of that way of life
Social classes – links with role of women Men/Women Techniques:
and jobs they do = Plenty Enjambment: - creates pauses
“useless” = male viewpoint
Held / breath = mirrors the way
versus women’s view
Idea of personal achievement – she is good in which they held their breath
that these stories were
at telling stories just as the Farmhand is and so shows suspense
good at farming: “To tell the stories was her Women’s work: busy in the
work.” Onomatopoeia – “tongue clacked”
kitchen – verbs “scoured” and
mirrors sound of tongues moving
“swept” and”stitched corn”.
Muliebrity: women working and the pleasure and noise they make
they take from their work even when it is
difficult “spinning” – simile of telling tales
and spinning cloth = both creative,
add to them, build them up
Colour – “thin grey washed over the
fields” = visual image of dull colours
Storyteller of day after excitement at night
Metaphor – bats for the stories =
shows how stories came alive at
night + were also frightening /
Scotland + 20th century
Sibilance – “s” sound repeated = the
Woman’s point of view – and domain – the kitchen
buzz of the background noise and of
Lower class society
4 stanzas – no regular rhyme scheme
Contrast: day and night
Irregularity – mirrors the way the stories grow and
Day = household chores seems
are unstructured - reflects free flowing speech – not
Night = relaxed, shared moment, joy
Simile – “He lay in the four foot box as in his
Links: cot” = compares coffin / cot and it makes it
Little Boy Crying – child discovering the seem as if he’s sleeping / at peace
difficulties of life – from innocence to Shocking as it reminds us he should be asleep
experience like a baby not dead
Child’s viewpoint Personification – “whisper” highlights the fact
that these are anonymous voices – emphasises
Rising Five – portrayal of a child + mortality his feelings of isolation
“poppy bruise” = metaphor which appeals to
She dwelt – pain of losing someone + sense of colour – it is a flower which is
poem which dwells of personal feelings linked to remembrance
First person narrative – a child’s viewpoint
Alliteration – classes to a close = makes the
word close stand out – sense of something Structure:
ending 7 stanzas of three lines – and 1 extra line
“s” sound = creates a soft and peaceful, almost which stands alone = emphasises
hushing sound = sad atmosphere shock ending that the boy who is
Euphemism for death – “heavy blow” and dead is just 4
“my trouble” = adults find it hard to say Setting:
Contrast – adults who cry and suffer and baby 20th century – Ireland
who “cooed and laughed” - innocent School / home / bedroom = intimate
Relationship between adults and children –
Interpretations: Mid-Term Break = it explores diverse expressions of
The last stanza stands alone as if the author wanted to grief and sadness after the death of a child. A child’s
teach us a lesson. viewpoint
a) Don’t use your tears to use your father Plenty – the author understands reasons for her mother’s
b) Don’t mess around in the rain or you’ll get slapped Behaviour when she was younger.
c) Don’t mistreat your child – don’t ignore his tears
= shows the ambiguity of the ending and different
a) Monosyllabic words – stanza 1 “the quick
slap struck” = imitates the rhythm of the father
hitting his child
Little Boy Crying b) Use of verbs in continuous form – verbs in ing
“swimming”, “splashing” and “angling” = it makes
the reader feel the scene is unfolding before his
c) Use of you – it suggests a universal
experience for all adults and children + it makes
Images: the reader feel involved in the scene OR it seems
In stanza 2: reference to fairytale, Jack and the to be a dialogue between the poet and the
Beanstalk = used to show how the boy feels. reader.
He sees his father as the “ogre” in the story. Boy’s feelings of anger towards his father are
Lexical field of height: “giant”, “ogre”, “colossal” Created by the following:
and “towers” = to show how mean and horrible Onomatopoeia = “chopping” – emphasises the
The child feels the father is, and to show that the violence of the action.
child presents himself as the innocent one. Caesura = “you hate him.” draws attention to those
Feelings expressed through a fairytale. words. We pause and consider the boy’s feelings.
Metaphor – stanza 3 – the mask = “nor guess the Enjambment = “dead / At last” = this placed at the
wavering hidden behind that mask.” He has to End of the lines reflects his anger.
pretend to be strict and firm.
Lists: “aspirin, porridge, petrol, bread” – shows that
everything was dear and counted Structure:
Tub – “pocked” like skin so personified which shows it is 8 stanzas + 4 lines
old. Repetitive structure mirrors the life
Smile = “a clasp” compared to the fastener on a bag; her of the family
need to keep a control on her emotions – not allow her fear Stanza 1: “When I was young”
and worries to show takes us back in time. First 6
“Her lips stretched back and anchored down” – this stanzas describe this childhood
emphasises the control on her face – her tight look where she did not understand.
“the shower’s a hot cascade” = emphasises the abundance Stanza 7 and 8 – today. She now
of water and contrasts with the past –”drought” understands better and misses her
family: “my scattered sisters. “
Old Familiar Faces = idea of Plenty
memories and thinking of
old times, missing people
Link with childhood – here
she does not realise at the
time why her mother behaves
like this = gap between
Parents / children Born in 1969 in South Africa and brought
same can be found in Mid-Term up in Karoo grasslands area which is a dry area.Winter is
Break as boy does not know nearly completely dry.
what is happening.
Imperative – “watch him” = orders us to
Onomatopoeia – “Ah” = word which Structure:
suggests the admiration we should feel 5 stanzas - 4 lines each
for him No regular rhyme scheme
Use of adjectives – “effortless”, “strong”, First 4 stanzas describe this awkward man.
= emphasises his physical prowess Last stanza – change in tone as we are told
and how good he is at his job to look differently at this man and admire him at
Simile – “like a lover to the song” = work.
shows the close relationship he has
with his tractor
Dash/hyphen = wants us to stop and
admire the farmer.
Metaphors – “the earth wave breaking”
= as the earth is turned it is compared Farmhand
to the waves – creates a visual image
“An open wound” = suggests a painful
memory which has not healed
Description of the farmer:
He smokes, “tells jokes”, + seems “careless”
Hairy hands + red face = suggests
Someone who works outdoors and who is manly
Muliebrity – someone who takes pride in “crops slow-growing as his mind” = does this mind he is
his work like the young girl. Contrast with simple-minded, slow to react, uneducated?
how masculinity is portrayed here and
femininity in Muliebrity. Seems more at ease with his tractors than with girls – only
Description of one character as observed looks at them.
by another. Has hopes and dreams but these are “awkward” and
Closeness to nature – Before the Sun “envious”.
Factory – working class Links:
New Zealand Carpet Weavers = low social class,
Hard working conditions + social
Voice: first person narrative Injustice
Ironic? At the end when he says: “in
case an earthquake breaks out” = in Muliebrity = hard work, social
order to be positive. Injustice, low social class.
Personal reflection – see abundance of
Words such as “I like” or “I am” or “I can”
“These thoughts I push away” etc
Poetic inversion – “The look on the faces of the
Unlucky I know also” + “These thoughts I push Images:
Away” = draws the reader’s attention to these “before the axe falls” – to be sacked – a violent image
Images + shows the emotion of the narrator + which mirrors the violence of being sacked
places emphasis on them “strangers who drift” – like boats on a river = suggests
Enjambment – “in the / summer” = last word of they arrive by accident and perhaps in large numbers
line is emphasised and without much hope of finding a job.
“…” = pause and so makes us think about dying.
Perhaps he stops as it is too painful to go on.
One of the great Romantic poets.
Shelley belonged to the aristocracy but
rebelled against his class.
This poem was written in 1819.
It seems to call for the working class to
rise up and rebel against the tyranny
Techniques used in the poem: of the landed gentry.
Metaphors: « Bees of England » =
The workers which suggests they
Do all the work whilst the « drones »
Reap all the benefits. Song to the Men
A « drone » is a parasite who lives
Off others. of England
The rich are also said to « drink your by
Blood » = vampires = a creature
that lives off others. Percy Bysshe
Direct address: « wherefore » and
« Have ye leisure » = speaks to the
reader and calls for action. Stanzas: 8 stanzas with 4 lines each.
There is a sense of mounting anger in this poem.
Stanza 5: look at use of caesura to The questions add to this sense of fury.
create a contrast between what the Note the pessimistic ending which suggests
workers do and who benefits. the working class are building their own grave:
The comma shows this division « And weave your winding sheet. »
between the classes.
Called a song = call to arms
A rousing hymn to rebellion.
Rhyme/ Rhythm adds to this sense of a song.
Themes: key idea of passing of time and that we spend our time looking
to the future instead of living for the moment.
Stanza 1: little boy wants to be older « not four / But rising five. »
Stanza 2: nature used to reflect the cycle of life and the idea of
things dying and then being reborn.
Stanza 3: Day turning into night.
Techniques: The three stanzas can also be seen as representing the life cycle:
Simile: « we drop our youth » = Childhood – middle age and then death.
Treat life as something unimportant The 4th stanza seems to be a summing up if this main idea: an
and don’t realise how precious it is. Explanation of the three metaphorical stanzas.
« rot in the fruit » = suggest the
coming of old age.
« new buds » and « old leaves » =
reflects life passing
Stanza 2: full of assonance +
Rhyme which seems to imitate how by
alive nature is and growth. Norman Nicholson
Look at use of enjambment and
commas: « not May, / But rising
The pause and gap in the lines
may imitate the passing of time.
Born in the Lake District,
Look at the description of the little
boy = innocent child with glasses
and curly hair and mouth full of Love of nature found in his
Dates: 1914 - 1987