Archivo de la categoría: poetry

“My Parents” by Sir Stephen Spender

In class we were given this task after reading a new poem called My Parents. These are our answers and analysis. I worked with Lucia Do Carmo.


Task 1: The kid probably felt oppressed because of the bully kids and how mean, violent and threatening they were. Moreover, at school he must have felt lonely due to the fact that he had no friends, and we can infer this because he even tried to be friendly and smile to those who bothered him.


Task 2:

It was written by Stephen Spender, who worked a lot with

There is imagery to describe the bullies. It is also mentioned the fact that the child and his family are from a higher class, as the voice looks down on them, which can be related to the fact that his parents did not want him to be with them. There are differences between classes. Boys are rough with him and probably violent towards him.

Imagery: Gives the idea of how different they were to the person.

Simile: Shows how rough the children were, and somehow a feeling of admiration. The fact that they are compared to animals also supports the point of the social differences.


  • Childhood experiences
  • Social Differences
  • Loneliness
  • Admiration and envy


Tone and Mood:

  • Casual
  • Relaxed
  • Informal
  • Admiration


Task 3:

 Stanza 1: “My parents kept me from children who were rough” This proves everything said in the summary, from what the parents said to how the bullies were. A literary device found in this stanza is Simile when the author writes “Who threw words like stones” portraying how harsh and strong what they said was, and how hard it affected him.


Stanza 2: “Their muscles like iron” This  summarizes the stanza as it talks about the admiration the boy has towards the bullies physical appearance. The literary device that we can find in this stanza is symbolism, “I feared more than tigers” , this shows

how as the bullies are from different classes, the voice looks down on them and

portrays them as animals, wild. It is not that the child thinks that, but as we can see in the beginning, his parents taught him to think like that.


Stanza 3: “I longed to forgive them but they never smiled.” This shows that he is willing to forgive them and tries to be friendly with them, but they do not accept that. A literary device for this stanza would be Simile, “Like dogs to bark at my world.”, here the boy is once again comparing the kids to animals and portraying them as rough. With “world” he probably means his social position.


Because I Could Not Stop For Death

With Mora Petrella and Azul Sequeira

Task 1

Emily Dickinson was born the 10th of December of 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts. She was an excellent student, and attended to Amherst Academy, which had been founded by her grandfather years before.  In 1848 she dropped school for unknown reasons, although it is said that her father pulled her out because of her vulnerable emotional condition. She discovered the art of poetry thanks to a poetry book of Ralph Waldo Emerson, that a family friend sent her as a gift. All throughout her life, she wrote in secret, hiding from her family, and it wasn’t till her death when her sister found her poems.

As for her family and friends, her closest one was Susan Gilbert, who later on married Emily’s brother. She did not have many friends as she spend most of her life isolated in her house, since the moment she left school. In 1882 her mother passed away and Emily and her sister, Lavinia, continued living together, without any of them getting married in their lives.

What people found weird about her was that she never joined a particular church, which was not common in those times, and showed how she went against the rules and system.


Task 2

The American Realism movement began in the mid 18th century and it extended up to the 20th century.

Characteristics :

  • Omniscient Narrator, meaning that the narrator is some kind of superhero and he knows everything about everyone.
  • Characters. Realist writers are really into describing, analyzing and dramatizing personality. They went deep into their character’s ‘ psychologies and dig into their motivations, actions, and emotions.
  • The novel is the one genre that is most associated with the rise of Realism as a movement. There are a lot of novels Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, Middlemarch, The Brothers Karamazov and so on.
  • Realist writers are all about criticizing the social and political conditions of the worlds that they write about. They also talk about social and economics inequalities.
  • Detail. Each realistic writer used this technique of applying a lot of detail in every piece of writing.


Task 4

In “Because I could not stop for death” The voice speaks in first person. A woman relates her close encounter with death and inmortality by portraying a metaphoric carriage which drags her far from life. She seems to have accepted her departure by describing how she has already given up all her life to drive along with death.

 In this piece of writing, she addresses death by personifying it, describing it as a “he”, which whom she seems to have a close relationship with. ‍‍


Task 5


Stanza 1: During this paragraph, she applies a pleasant tone in which she welcomes death by saying how he/it “kindly stops for her”. The author seems to be comfortable with what awaits her.


Stanza 2: The author is now describing how she is willing to go in the symbolic carriage along with death. She has settled down and accepted her destiny.


One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

What do you think the poet means by “the art of losing” and how serious is she about this idea?

We think that by «the art of loosing» she means loosing something and be able to move on from it. She starts with silly things to more complex subjects and so as the poem progresses she gets more serious.

How important is the poem’s form to your reading of it?

It affects you differently depending on who or what you have lost. It affects you differently the fact that Elizabeth Bishop starts talking about less severe things to loose and then she moves to more important ones, as a continent or even a person, this structure shows that one can get over loosing whatever they loose.

What effect does the refrain have upon your understanding of the poem’s tone? How does the meaning of this single line change throughout the piece?

The refrain is «The art of loosing isn’t hard to master», it means that it is not difficult to loose

What are we actually meant to believe about the poet’s reaction to her losses?

That, no matter what we lose, it’s size, shape, significance, we have to get over it, because we need to keep on with life. Because we all lose something, we all remember that one thing that makes us sad every time we remember, and think to ourselves that we should have kept it more safe. So, we have to get over the losses, getting through it and striving through the situation like a champion, in a a way we end up as the bigger person.

How honest is the poet with herself? With her readers?

The writer, Elizabeth Bishop, in our belief, isn’t being completely honest with herself, she is telling herself that it is easier to get over over someone, while it sound that she is trying to convince herself more that us, readers. At the end, she can’t keep on lying to herself, she decides to admit, and says that, indeed, losing something or someone, is hard.

The poem follows a villanelle structure , here you can see how those structures are!

«Elegy for my Father’s Father» by James K. Baxter

In literature we read our second poem on «Songs of Ourselves» . Below the poem you can find the activity we have to do.

He knew in the hour he died
That his heart had never spoken
In eighty years of days.
O for the tall tower broken
Memorial is denied:
And the unchanging cairn
That pipes could set ablaze
An aaronsrod and blossom.
They stood by the graveside
From his bitter veins born
And mourned him in their fashion.
A chain of sods in a day
He could slice and build
High as the head of a man
And a flowering cherry tree
On his walking shoulder held
Under the lion sun.
When he was old and blind
He sat in a curved chair
All day by the kitchen fire.
Many nights he had seen
The stars in their drunken dancing
Through the burning-glass of his mind
And sober knew the green
Boughs of heaven folding
The winter world in their hand.
The pride of his heart was dumb.
He knew in the hour he died
That his heart had never spoken
In song or bridal bed.
And the naked thought fell back
To a house by the waterside
And the leaves the wind had shaken
Then for a child’s sake:
To waves all night awake
With the dark mouths of the dead.
The tongues of water spoke
And his heart was unafraid.

Task: Write an obituary for the dead man- use the details from the poem ( and invent others based on evidence ) 

You should:

-Be formal/ factural/ respectful

-Focus on achievements

Poem : Mirror by Sylvia Plath

Today in literature we analized a poem called »Mirror»,  and together made this presentation using the interactive board.

Here it’s a presentation that Pat shared in her blog, that analizes the poem. 


Then we were asked to answer some questions about it. Here are my answers!

1- We all have mirrors and know how important  they are, because if not we couldn’t see ourselves perfectly. The fact that we all accept that mirrors »tell» the truth, gets us closer to what the author wants to transmit to the reader.

2- To have two different points of view and talking about this poem, two different ways to see yourself. In the mirror you are refected just as you are, perfectly. But in the lake your figure is more abstract and curved, if you don’t like what you see you may touch the water and change your shape. Maybe a pimple is seen in the mirror, but clearly, not in a lake.

3- Women care more about their appearence than men, so the story wouldn’t have so much sense if it was the other way round. Women come and go from the mirror, we use makeup to cover or imperfections, but men just don’t care as much as we do.

4- I think she is 50 years old because maybe the woman that looks at herself in the lake is her, so she feels she is growing up and so she reflects her depression in the poem.

5- I don’t like the idea of aging, it’s scary. When you are an old person you can not do as many things as you could when you were young. You have lots of responsabilities and things to achieve, work and then kids, so different scheudles.

Writing assignment! 

Draw the an object. Write a poem giving your drawing human qualities with personification. Use at least two literary devices and highlight them. Your poem must be at least eight (8) lines long. It does not have to rhyme, but each line must be at least five words or more.


Unlike mirrors I am

I play hide and seek with the person who wears me

And hide what they really are

When they grow up, I grow up too

I know all about them, they take me everywhere they go

When they try me, a new person grows

They feel more confident when they use me

But they actually show how insecure they are of themselves

They can love themselves by who they really are

Or create a new person and change their features

But at the end it’s their choice!

(By Valentina and Sofia)