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Australian Poetry. Yr 11 ENGLISH Ms Paine. Modern Australian Poetry. We will study a range of Australian poets You will required to analyze and comment on poems individually and in comparison. Use the Poetry Grid (supplied) to guide your thinking. Poetry Grid.

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Australian Poetry


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    1. Australian Poetry Yr 11 ENGLISH Ms Paine

    2. Modern Australian Poetry • We will study a range of Australian poets • You will required to analyze and comment on poems individually and in comparison. • Use the Poetry Grid (supplied) to guide your thinking.

    3. Poetry Grid

    4. Poetry Analysis – Using the Grid • ‘Suburban Sonnet’ • Poet: Gwen Harwood (1920-1995) • Pg. 299 Lines to Time

    5. “Suburban Sonnet”by Gwen Harwood She practises a fugue, though it can matter to no one now if she plays well or not. Beside her on the floor two children chatter, then scream and fight. She hushes them. A pot boils over. As she rushes to the stove too late, a wave of nausea overpowers subject and counter-subject. Zest and love drain out with soapy water as she scours the crusted milk. Her veins ache. Once she played for Rubinstein, who yawned. The children caper round a sprung mousetrap where a mouse lies dead. When the soft corpse won't move they seem afraid. She comforts them; and wraps it in a paper featuring: Tasty dishes from stale bread.

    6. Poetry Grid10 Step Process for Successfully Analyzing a PoemUsing “Suburban Sonnet”

    7. “Suburban Sonnet” textual references(Gwen Harwood) “fugue”: (musical term) A composition in which a short melody/ phrase is introduced by one part and successively taken up by others…(OED) She practises a fugue, though it can matter to no one now if she plays well or not. Beside her on the floor two children chatter, then scream and fight. She hushes them. A pot boils over. As she rushes to the stove too late, a wave of nausea overpowers subject and counter-subject. Zest and love drain out with soapy water as she scours the crusted milk. Her veins ache. Once she played for Rubinstein, who yawned. The children caper round a sprung mousetrap where a mouse lies dead. When the soft corpse won't move they seem afraid. She comforts them; and wraps it in a paper featuring: Tasty dishes from stale bread. “Rubinstein”: famous concert pianist in 1950s & 60s

    8. Question: What event, situation, or experience does the poem describe or record? Answer: A suburban mother living an ordinary life eg. Children fighting, pots over boiling etc Step 1: Subject Matter • “Beside her on the floor two children chatter, • then scream and fight. She hushes them. A pot • boils over…”

    9. Questions What is the poet’s purpose in writing this? What message does Harwood want to communicate? Answer Communicates despair & disappointment in being a suburban ‘desperate’ housewife rather than living an extraordinary life as a concert pianist. Step 2: Purpose/ Key Ideas/ Message Title: “Suburban Sonnet” A sonnet is a famous traditional poetic form associated with Shakespeare What does the juxtaposition with the word “Suburban” indicate? “She practises a fugue, though it can matter to no one now if she plays well or not.” Musical reference to the career she could have had.

    10. Questions What is the predominant emotion, tone, or mood of the poem? Does the mood change during the poem? What emotions or feelings does the poet seek to evoke in the reader/ hearer? Answer: Despair & disappointment For the housewife whose life has not turned out like she had hoped for Step 3: Emotion/ Mood/ Feeling/ Tone …Zest and love drain out with soapy water as she scours/ the crusted milk.

    11. Step 4: Techniques Including (some might be more evident depending on the poem being studied): • Step 5: Structure • Step 6: Sensory Appeal • Step 7: Language • Step 8: Imagery • Step 9: Movement & Rhythm • Step 10: Sounds

    12. How is the poem structured? Does it have conventional structure such as a sonnet or ode? Does it have stanzas with regular number of lines, or any other features of structural design? Step 5: Structure The poem fits the structure of a sonnet, which is ironic, considering it is about domestic life and disillusionment. Sonnets especially those by Shakespeare are usually used to profess love and other profound emotions.

    13. The structure of “Suburban Sonnet” She practises a fugue, though it can matter A to no one now if she plays well or not. B Beside her on the floor two children chatter, A then scream and fight. She hushes them. A pot B boils over. As she rushes to the stove C too late, a wave of nausea overpowers D subject and counter-subject. Zest and love C drain out with soapy water as she scours D VOLTA – turn of thought/ change of rhyme pattern occurs at after eight line. the crusted milk. Her veins ache. Once she played E for Rubinstein, who yawned. The children caper F round a sprung mousetrap where a mouse lies dead. E When the soft corpse won't move they seem afraid. E She comforts them; and wraps it in a paper F featuring: Tasty dishes from stale bread. E • A Sonnet is usually compromised of formal rhyming couplets and has 14 lines.

    14. Questions Is the poem designed to appeal to one or more of the five senses – touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight – through description? How does this impact upon the reader? Answer Yes, but not in any way that significantly effects the poems meaning. Step 6: Sensory Appeal

    15. Questions How would you describe the poet’s use of words –vivid, striking, arresting, effective or colourless and predictable? Is the language appropriate to the subject and/ or theme? What effect does the language have on the reader? Step 7: Language Answers: Striking imagery of the dead mouse. (Unexpected) …The children caper round a sprung mousetrap where a mouse lies dead. When the soft corpse won't move they seem afraid. She comforts them; and wraps it in a paper featuring: Tasty dishes from stale bread. Irony (Tasty/ Corpse)

    16. Questions Are there any striking examples of similes, metaphors, personifications or symbols in the poem? What is their effect? Metaphor: pot boiling over like vomiting & musical reference back to fugue Step 8: Imagery ….A pot boils over. As she rushes to the stove too late, a wave of nausea overpowers subject and counter-subject. Zest and love drain outwith soapy water as she scours the crusted milk… Metaphor: positive emotions draining away in the kitchen

    17. Questions (Movement) Does the poem have a regular (slow or fast) rhythm? What is the effect of any rhythmic/ kinetic qualities on the poem’s meaning or tone? What kind of energy does the poem have? Answer (Movement): Rhythm = slow Tone = depressing Energy = lacklustre Step 9 : Movement & Rhythm “Beside her on the floor two children chatter, then scream and fight. She hushes them.” These words are phrased to be read slowly and reflect the energy and tone of the poem.

    18. Questions: Does the poem have any significant sound features? Is it musical? Does the poet use onomatopoeia, alliteration, or assonance? Does the poem rhyme? What are the effects of these features of sound on the meaning of the poem? Answer: Yes deliberate rhyme scheme that is part of a sonnet structre. Step 10: Sounds Perhaps the lack of language adornment is deliberate? Does this fit with mood and message of the poem?

    19. Critical Reading Questions “Suburban Sonnet” (p. 299) • What is the irony in the title “Suburban Sonnet”? • What kind of activities and routines are described in this poem? What is the poet’s attitude to them? How does the reader know this? • What is the message of this poem? How does Harwood communicate it?