English Nature Poems

2011 English poetry - All of the nature poems 

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  • Fish catching his dinner
  • Compares trout (harmless) to a weapon (deadly)
  • admiration and delight in skill of fish yet fear power of the fish. 
  • Similies - 'darts like a tracer-bullet'
  • Seamus Heaney (poet) - ' I am a different kind of animal to Hughes but i will always be grateful to Hughes'
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The five students

  • dark he, dark she, fair he, fair she
  • explores theme growing older and changing 
  • reveals poets own attitude to ageing
  • recounts growing old as group of friends
  • poem is allegory- literal and symbolic meaning
  • thomas hardy - 1840-1928 a victorian poet
  • each verse/stanza represents a different age of man
  • all die before otential dreams
  • 5 stanzas
  • rhythm- smoothness-rhythm time
  • first 3 lines seasons/time on nature different aspects
  • poems-irony... we strive for an end no one desires death. it is the way we run the race rather than the goal that is important.
  • 1 alive, 4 dead
  • natures life follows seasons, mans life outside of seasons cycle.
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A blade of grass

  • brain pattern- born 1946 "one of many things poems can do is remind us of what we forgot we knew"
  • mourns the adult loss of ability to find beauty in a blade of grass
  • funny, thoughtful,sacasm,irony,wit
  • ironically by refusing to write a poem- a poem is formed!!
  • it is the effect the poem produces more important than the poem itself. poem conveys a message rather than being an object
  • simplicity of style
  • 6 stanzas, 4 lines per verse...except last 3 lines
  • where real reason for non-acceptance of grass revealed " cynicism in old age"
  • not as accepting as we age...as we get older harder to accept 'natural' want something more- would have accepted it in youth
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  • compares tough weed liek plant to generations of warriors...rising again and again.
  • thistles fighting back despite mans effort
  • 1st stanza - cows eating thistles- man hoeing them. animal amd man trying to rid of thistles in respective way.
  • 2nd stanza- thistle remain determine to seek revenege- rise up- prepared and ready.
  • 3rd stanza- rising up through dead thistles- each extracts "plume blood"
  • 4th stanza- "grow old like men" (thistles) too weak too fight therefore 'mown down'. sons appearing- cycle of thistle
  • folly + futility of war fathers and son lose life over same ground, cycles of ear over generations
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The stag

  • Stag natural side- innocent 
  • humans- unnatural action - for what purpose hunting 'screwed up'  'choatic'
  • simplicity, naturalness of stag, in charge, master of habitat- nature in charge-man doing the chasing.
  • nature being pulled apart in search/hunt for stag
  • being stalked hunted down man-horses-hounds
  • stag tiring
  • hounds on top of stag
  • caught and down in alien area of the country side to him
  • anticlimatic compared to destruction of this majestic anaimal
  • mans absence respect for nature
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The flowers

  • selima hill- born 1945
  • told from mothers perspective and recounts visit to fathers grave led by daughter
  • suggestion of rift between mother and father
  • visit iniated by daughter
  • mum- reluctant and awkard resistant, uncomfortable clumsy at graveside
  • mum looking on not helping- 'like a little dog, i followed
  • daughters role active
  • symmetry 8-10-8 ... free verse... 3 stanza 'narrative'
  • active verbs cleared, arranged,scraped,piled,picked and rode
  • union of mum and daughter on bikes spiritual and mental life is like a trip to the grave
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  • vernon scannell- (1922-2007) fought in ww2-' war language'
  • father wages war on nettles that have stung his 3 yr old son
  • nettles compared to army soliders tengages bottle with them
  • wins but... shortlived nettles reappear
  • son- young and innocent
  • father- narrating
  • MY SON - start and end
  • emotive language
  • humans ongoing battle with nature- nettles living soldiers
  • keep sending soldiers - keep fighting
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  • sylvia plath- born 1932 boston USA- suicide 1963
  • plath metaphorically compares the progression and growth and development of several subjects with the growth of mushrooms.
  • feminism- search identity- struggle womens liberation in 1960s
  • nature re-taking its place in the world
  • plath- with child at the time
  • 11 stanzas- resembles haiku- 17 syllables in 3 unrhymed lines of 5 + 7 + 5
  • the struggle of women through world male domination. growth women vs growth mushroom
  • personification central device- women qualitites of a mushroom
  • mushoom slowly pushing through soil
  • human qualities ' start to breath'
  • quietly, slowly making an impact on the male dominated world. assert discreetly . 'we' = women group
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The thought fox

  • process of thinking, contemplation, inspiration and creation of a poem
  • fox is metaphor
  • night/dark- poets imagination
  • the fox- poem coming into existence
  • fox becomes clear- poem becomes clear
  • verse 1- writer room late at night- being disturbed
  • verse2- fox entering into writers lonelines, idea now entrering into his mind
  • verse 3- foxes tracks prints. between tress- sheets of paper. 'body that is bold to come'- work/words emerging
  • verse 4- coming about its own business - flow of writing
  • verse 5- the page is printed- poem completed- for entered poets head. imagery of fox being lured into hunters trap (into mind).
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Keeping orchids

  • jackie kay- met her own birth mother in 1991 and she was clutching a plastic bag, so was her dad (real one).
  • anguish,termoil and suffering of being adopted
  • present tense-keep moment alive- 14x2 line stanzas. 1x 1 line stands alone..incomplete= poets own feelings. free verse allows thoughts to form and flow
  • old, hold,fold,unfold,cold= internal rhyme
  • word 'close x5 - deep sense of isolation from her mother, shut out. 
  • flower failed to open- her own life not blossom or develop
  • orchids= mother
  • mother gives her the orchids
  • 'twice'- 2 children given birth to or her and brother or mother and daughters bind-no connection-been broken-unmendable 
  • sombre and mysterious tone
  • poet dissappointed
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The Storm

  • STORM in control- no control of it
  • narrative poem detailing storms destructive path. nature fighting itself
  • man- animals-insects run for cover
  • onamatopeia language- whines,whistling,slamming,sloshing, crack
  • free verse- no visible structure- haphazard nature of storm
  • fast moving- gathers momentum of storm
  • imagery- sound of storm-destruction
  • present tense- suspense of impeding storm
  • even a spider hides, humans hiding indoors, 'cat & child' innocent.
  • storm wrecks homes and landscapes
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  • thoughtfully + imaginatively + symbolism and reality
  • Ted hughes = 'see it , live it, just look at it, touch it, smell it,listen to it, tun yourself into it'
  • dawn dirty= aliteration
  • car=unnatural form
  • seperate lives, every now and then happening into our dimensions
  • man sees it through the un-natural car. man=hughes. as the deer symbolism for nature, as he access to things than man doesnt,as from where the deer is.
  • nature coming to man- on nature termss- as quick as it comes..it chooses to go.
  • man powerless
  • magical and mystical language
  • he doesnt know the password to enter the world of nature
  • 'back to the ordinary'=human
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Break of the day in the trenches

  • world war 1- futility of warfare- not glorified at all- grim reality
  • poet in trenches as a front line solidier
  • poem reflects outlook+feelings of poet to war
  • bitterness and pointless
  • poppies= war and remembrance...symbolic images of war- still grows whilst mens bdies/through bodies
  • live comes from a rat-moves freely
  • man is dead/dying
  • rat is usually viewed as a scavanger and men superior- wordly sympathies no alegiance (would tough german/england hand)
  • sterotypical view turned over in this poem as a rat is a survivor of war not man= change in hierachy rat is survivor and victor of war
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Iguana memory

  • Grace Nichole- born 1950 home is guyana spent first 8 yrs of life living in a small coastal village. "i am a writer across 2 worlds. i just cant forget my caribbean culture +past.constant interaction caribbean +british"
  • structure- childlike= no punctuation, no formal structure,incomplete lines.
  • big like big big lizard - child like simily
  • personal memory of poet when she was a child
  • personal recollections of her youth
  • clever similies capturing iguana ability to camouflage itself
  • her reaction, she is innocent, she is interested, an adults reaction would brush it away. seperate fro mtwo main stanzas both refer to creature- seperate between man and humanity 
  • 'rustling'- onomatopoeia is evocative (strong images) of the moment caught in the poem 
  • brief + split= tautology here mean the same thing- split second when human and animal nature meet on a level of understanding 
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  • ted hughes 1930-1998 west yorkshire "for a few years my parent lived in a house on top of a ridgein W.Yorkshire. this is a poem about a gale that went on for a few days+ if you have ever been in one it gets into your head +affects your life"
  • colour adjectives used to draw attention to landscape
  • force of nature- reader can feel,hear,seen +sense the terrific wind storm
  • power of nature + destructive potential physical power of nature
  • present participles-ongoing action-observers do not know when storm stope/abate
  • birds at mercy of wind
  • metaphor- tent..guyrope
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The horses

  • structure- free verse, confessional narrative, 2 sections = pessimistic and optomistic
  • horses used throughout centuries (ww1-romans-biblical terms)
  • biblical references to creation-  god made world in seven days yet here man destroys it in 7 days...gives spiritually and mysticism to poem
  • fear and dislike of radio...radio has failed man. it has contributed to nuclear war. even if it did work man no longer respond to it as it is reminder of "bad old world"
  • no signs of life - death destruction- after nuclear catastophe compared to when god first created earth.
  • euphernism=technique that uses a softer tone to poem ...."put world to sleep". "nations lying sleeping" 
  • 2nd part- arrival of horses-positive turning point
  • horse-loyalty,strength,hope..been there throughout history
  • horses arrival is new start man-grattitude to horse-nature
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