Shooting Stars Carol Anne Duffy
We are learning to: • Convey our immediate impressions of a poem • To be a successful learner: • I must understand “connotations” and how it applies to language.
Connotations (Title) • Remember: Connotations are the ideas related to certain words / concepts. • Make a list of the connotations of the title of this poem. “Shooting Stars”
Reading the poem • We will now read the poem and see if the connotations associated with the poem change or remain the same.
How would you prepare to die, on a perfect April eveningwith young men gossiping and smoking by the graves?My bare feet felt the earth and urine trickleddown my legs. I heard the click. Not yet. A trick.After immense suffering someone takes tea on the lawn.After the terrible moans a boy washes his uniform.After the history lesson children run to their toys the worldturns in its sleep the spades shovel soil Sara Ezra…Sister, if seas part us, do you not consider me?Tell them I sang the ancient psalms at duskinside the wire and strong men wept. Turn theeunto me with mercy, for I am desolate and lost. • After I no longer speak they break our fingersto salvage my wedding ring. Rebecca Rachel RuthAaron Emmanuel David, stars on all our browsBeneath the gaze of men with guns. Mourn for our daughters,upright as statues, brave. You would not look at me.You waited for the bullet. Fell. I say, Remember.Remember those appalling days which make the worldforever bad. One saw I was alive. Loosenedhis belt. My bowels opened in a ragged gape of fear.Between the gap of corpses I could see a child.The soldiers laughed. Only a matter of days separatethis from acts of torture now. They shot her in the eye.
Connotations of title: Change or Remain? • Have your ideas regarding the title changed? • Why?
Poem Context • ‘Shooting Stars’ by Carol Ann Duffy was written by the poet as a plea to humanity not to repeat the horrors of the past.
The poem is a recount of a Jewish woman as she waits for her death. • The woman describes the first hand horror of the violence that she witnesses.
The Holocaust • The systematic, bureaucratic state sponsored persecution and slaughter of 6 million Jews by the Nazi’s and their collaborators.
Not just Jews: • Communists • Socialists • Gypsies • Homosexuals • Disabled – physically and mentally.
Racial Superiority • The Nazi’s believed that anyone who could be labelled as ‘racially inferior’ needed to be cleansed in order to protect the ‘Ayran race’
Einsatzgruppen • These were mobile killing units that carried out mass murder operations in Eastern Europe. • Large groups of people were rounded up and force to dig trenches. They would then stand on the side and where shot. • They literally dug their own graves.
Gas Vans • Victims were herded into converted lorries and vans and taken for a drive • The carbon monoxide produced by the engine was then pumped into the van killing all the people inside. • A long slow death.
Gas Chambers • The introduction of Zyclone B gas (prussic acid) allowed the Nazi’s to murder vast numbers of inferiors in a relatively short time.
Total estimated victims • 6 million Jews • 3 million Soviet POWs • 2 million ethnic Poles • 1 million others • Estimated over 12 million victims
Shooting Stars • The star of David is a symbol that is representative of the Jewish faith. • Also, think of the mark a bullet would leave on a forehead?
Shooting Stars • The word “shooting” represented the treatment of the Jews during WWII as many of them were shot at the hands of Nazi soldiers.
Group Analysis – 10 minutes • You are going to be given a stanza to focus on. • In your groups, make notes of: • Any techniques used: similes, metaphors, personification, alliteration, sentence structure etc. • Any images that are created • How characters are described • How you feel about the content of this stanza