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					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
                                                                                 her beauty

                                                                                 « 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.
  Structure                                                                       IMAGES
  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
                                                                                  a dance
  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
                                             From Spectator
                                                                              Use of “sneer” = lower class mock him
                                                Ab Extra                     but he does not care about their reaction
Didactic Role
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”
                                               Untrodden Ways
 = 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
                                                                                        and feelings
“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
                                                                                        people talking
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
 admire him
 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”.
20th century
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
                                           Rising Five
  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
             June. »
 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

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