SMILEPoem - Flag
How is this piece organised?
How does the poem look on the page?
How many stanzas?
How are the ideas developed?
Line length, rhyme scheme?
Is there any rhythm, repetition or enjambment?
Five regular stanzas of three lines – opening line is always a question – next two are answers – two voices in the poem – 1st four stanzas are answered in a similar way which shows an echo throughout the poem – it becomes more personal as the poem develops – could be on a journey as the flag is in a different place every time – there is repetition and rhyme – half rhyme in second and fourth stanzas.
What is the poem about?
Does it have a message?
What is the poet discussing? Why?
Is there an overall theme or idea in the poem?
Poem is about the colonialism of countries and taking over of nations – the message is that nationalism is only abstract – man’s lust for power is corrupting our species and causing unnecessary bloodshed – a flag is a symbol of power – dangerous symbol made by mankind that is killing mankind.
What pictures do you get in your mind when you read the poem?
Does the poem contain similes/metaphors/personification?
Why do you think the poet has included these images in the poem?
Contrasts positive poetic words with harsh heavy words – the ‘dull’ piece of cloth is the source of energy in the poem – its effects on people and nations are also active – it also has negative effects – the defeat is shown clearly in a final, violent image – it is very simple to get a ‘flag’ but not as easy to control its power.
What words has the poet used to create an image?
What literary devices are being used (metaphor, simile, etc.) and why?
How does the diction contribute to the effect of the poem?
He uses ‘just’ repeatedly to lessen the flags power – uses a lot of sound – rise and fall of questions – first voice naturally rises but is brought down by the second voice in their clear answer – repetition of middle shows an echo which could be the poet denying the flags power no matter what – last two lines sound like a defeat.
What does the poem make you feel/think about?
What lines in the poem best convey its mood?
What opinion does it show about the subject?
What is the poet trying to say about their subject?
Who might find this particularly effective?
Views countries as imagined communities which are groups bound together by myths, stories and flags – nationalism is abstract – admits the flag is a powerful symbol – but it is only a symbol – he wants to lessen the power of the flag – an army or nation that takes control of another land has no sense of right or wrong.