Cold Knap Lake

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  • Created on: 23-05-11 17:06
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Cold Knap Lake ­ Autobiographical
Themes ­ Nature, Death, Parent/child relationships, Danger, Love, Memory
Language
The poem is written in the past tense because it is a narrative.
The language is dramatic in the first three stanzas and philosophical in the last two.
"The crowd stood silent" ­ This is very dramatic and sounds almost too amazing to be
true which suggests that the event didn't actually happen. Alternately, they were helpless.
The characters are anonymous. We hear about the "crowd" and the "child" but we know
little more about them they are strangers to us, as they were to Clarke.
Alliteration: "Drawn by the dread of it" ­ This adds dramatic flair to the poem and prolongs
the excitement and anticipation of the reader as they wait to discover the fate of the girl.
"Dressed in water's long green silk" ­ This suggests that the girl is covered with
pondweeds after being rescued from the lake she has been in the water for a while. Also
`silk' could represent the sheet you put over a coffin, relates to death. Part of the lake has
taken over her.
Extended metaphor ­ 4th stanza, talking about the water being rippled
Structure
Rhetorical Question ­ `Was I there?' trying to recall her memory. The use of questions
echoes the poet's confusion as to whether the event was real or fictional. The shortness of
this line makes it seem that Clarke has stopped to think.
Rhyming couplet ­ `water' and `daughter' ­ like a sonnet to summarise the point of the
poem perhaps Clarke chose this structure because, in a way, it reflects what the poem
suggests about memory the main points are fixed but the details are looser. The rhyming
couplet brings the poem to a neat conclusion. It also echoes the form of a fairytale.
Enjambment ­ show that the poem is the poet's train of thought, especially in the 3rd stanza
as she is confused. Shows her confusion and how she has to think hard
Stanza length ­ The stanzas alternate 4,6,4,6 in a fixed pattern. This emphasises the theme
of memory because the main points are fixed and the details are looser.

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