LEARNING OBJECTIVE . Read and interpret a wide range of poems. Think of as many silver things as you can in thirty seconds. SILVER – WALTER DE LA MARE. SILVER – WALTER DE LA MARE.
Think of as many silver things as you can in thirty seconds.
Slowly, silently, now the moonWalks the night in her silver shoon;This way, and that, she peers, and seesSilver fruit upon silver trees;One by one the casements catchHer beams beneath the silvery thatch;Couched in his kennel, like a log,With paws of silver sleeps the dog;From their shadowy cote the white breasts peepOf doves in silver feathered sleepA harvest mouse goes scampering by,With silver claws, and silver eye;And moveless fish in the water gleam,By silver reeds in a silver stream.
What images can you see in your head?
That it was a moonlit scene?
That everything is still and calm?
That it is set in the countryside?
There is some difficult language in this poem. In pairs, underline words that you don’t understand and discuss what they could mean.
Fiercely, brightly, now the sun
Climbs the sky in his golden cloak;
This way, and that, he glares and sees
Golden fruit upon golden trees;
What would the mood of the poem be?
What time of day would it be?
Would it be a town or country scene?
The poem begins with the reader seeing things from the Traveller’s point of view and, at the end, leaves the reader with the listeners’ point of view:
‘... the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone’.
The poem does not explain everything about the mysterious situation. Readers have to use their imagination to fill in the gaps.
‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.
Whose house is it? Who are ‘they’?
Who is the Traveller and why did he come?
Who are the listeners?
Where does the Traveller ride away to?
To write a short recount of the story of the listeners.
To write a diary entry from the perspective of the traveller.
To write a short newspaper article of what happened at the old inn door.
The Listeners is a poem that they have to listen to very carefully, because it uses sounds very effectively.
What can you tell me about the rhythm?
What can you tell me about the rhyme?
What do you think ‘soft sounding’ words are?
What do you think ‘hard sounding’ words are?
Hard sounding words
Soft Sounding words
This man can be found sitting on the platform of this train station. He sits and he waits and waits, always glancing towards the clock, but never getting on a train. He never speaks, he never smiles, he just waits and waits…
What is he waiting for? Why?