The Deserted House. Mary Coleridge 1861-1907. The Deserted House There's no smoke in the chimney, And the rain beats on the floor; There's no glass in the window, There's no wood in the door; The heather grows behind the house, and the sand lies before. No hand hath trained the ivy,
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The Deserted House
There's no smoke in the chimney,
And the rain beats on the floor;
There's no glass in the window,
There's no wood in the door;
The heather grows behind the house,
and the sand lies before.
No hand hath trained the ivy,
The walls are grey and bare;
The boats upon the sea sail by,
Nor ever tarry there;
No beast of the field comes nigh,
Nor any bird of the air.
tarry = wait
nigh = near
Exploding a poem
What is the poem about?
Who is speaking in the poem? To whom?
How does the poem convey its message?
Why do you think the poet has written the poem?
What is your personal response to the poem?
Try to picture this house in your mind using all the descriptions in the poem.
Imagine that a letter is discovered hidden under
rotten floorboards! It was written years ago by
the previous owners who left the house. In the
letter, the secret mystery is revealed.
Write the letter as if you are the owner, just about to leave the house.
In the letter:
q Describe why you have to leave the house.
q Describe what life has been like in the house and how you feel about leaving.
q Reveal the secret behind the lack of wildlife in the area.
q Leave a comment/warning to the next owner or to whoever finds the letter!
Address the letter:
To whomever it may concern…
Imagine that you have stumbled across this deserted house.
Perhaps you’ve been hiking and wanted to shelter from the rain, or maybe you were just curious!
Imagine that you have gone through the open doorway and that you are standing there, listening to the noises of the ocean.
You look around you and notice all sorts of things, on the floor, up the walls, on the ceiling.
You can also hear a variety of noises. Some might be far off in the distance and some are close by.
How do you feel? Perhaps the wind is blowing through the doorway or broken windows.
What can you smell?
Draw a senses chart like the one below and fill it in.
Now write in a suitable adjective which describes the noun. (You can use a thesaurus to help you!)
Now you are ready to begin your description!
Avoid writing I could see or I could hear… Instead put the noun or subject of the sentence at the start. Look at this example:
I could see mould on the walls.
This is not descriptive or interesting, so instead, put
the noun at the beginning and add some adjectives, like this:
Green mould grew up the slimy walls.
instead of writing,
I could feel air coming through the door,
you could write:
Chilly air blasted through the rotten doorway.
Write 5-10 lines of description.
Check your spellings in a dictionary
Write up your description.
Design a page with spooky illustrations
and an eye-catching border!
(Seashells, dangling spiders…)