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    Notes for English poetry HL Cantstudyformylife

    Hi! I don't really have a good teacher and she doesn't give us good notes. Does anyone know where I could get notes on 'He wishes for the cloths of heaven' 'digging' 'the early purges' 'mid term break' 'the lake isle of inisfree' 'but you didn't' or 'base detail'. Any notes on any of them would be a great help! Thanks :)

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      The Lake Isle of Innisfree - William Butler Yeats

      Stanza 1: - Yeats longs to return to the island of Innisfree and live there by himself

      - He wshes to live a simole and selfsufficient life where he will build a small cabin "from clay and wattle made" and grow his own food and keep bees for their honey.

      Stanza 2: - He describes the tranquility of the island.The mornings are peaceful and filled with the sounds of crickets chirping.In the evenings he hears the flapping of the linnet's wings as they fly around the island.

      - At noon the purple heather glows in the sunlight while at night the glittering stars are reflected in the water.

      Stanza 3: - The island of Innisfree is always in his mind and in his heart : "I hear it in the deep heart's core"

      - He is always imagining the pleasant sounds o fit's waters : "for always night and day I hear it lapping with low sounds by the shore"

      - The thoughts of Innisfree is especially important to the poet when he is living in the city.The cold, grey concrete makes him long to return to the tranquility the island has to offer.

      Nature: - The poem celebrates the beauty of the island.It's alive with the sounds of nature.The poet refers to the chirping of the crickets, the buzzing of the bees, the flapping of the linnet's wings and the peaceful lapping of the water by the shore.

      - The poem also celebrates the visual aspect of the islan'd natural environment.The poet describes the glitter of the starlight and moonloght reflected in the water and the purple glow of the heather in the sunlight.

      Sound Effects: The use of sound effects enhances the sound and meaning of the poem.Sound effects mirror the beautiful sounds of the island.


      - "a hive for the honey bee"

      - "live alone in the bee loud glade"

      - "lake water lappig with low sounds by the shore"


      - "I will arise and go now and go to Innisfree"

      - "cricket sings"

      - "noon a purple glow"

      - "and evening full of the linnet's wings"

      - "nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee"

      - "a small cabin build there of clay and wattles made"

      - "low sounds by the shore"

      - "I hear it in the deep hearts' core"

      - "and live alone in the bee loud glade"

      - "for peace comes dropping slow"


      - "dropping"

      - "lapping"

      - sound dominates this poem.

      - Rhyme- use of end rhyme, regular rhyming pattern

      - All of these sound effects add to our enjoyment and understanding of the poem.

      - Through the use of these sound effects and the sounds of the usland, nature is presented as magical, mysterious and powerful in it's appeal.

      What kind of person is the poet?

      - loves and appreciates nature

      - longs for solitude and a peaceful existence

      - private person who doesn't like the limelight

      - man of independence

      - resourceful and self-sufficent

      - proud

      - wants to escape modern living and return to a primitive lifestyla in a pre-industrialised age

      - tranquility and serenity appeal to him

      - ceative/imaginative

      - day-dreamer.

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      Mid-Term Break

      Seamus Heaney

      A personal first person account

      His first personal experience of death, is relayed to us, the reader

      Use if the word “I” throughout = personal

      Stanza 1-2

      A shocked sense of sadness surrounds these stages

      Stanza 3-4

      The young boy (the speaker) is sympathised with by neighbours

      -he is almost forced to grow up

      -he is almost treated as an adult and a support to his parents

      Stanza 5

      Highly emotional

      -mixed emotions described

      Stanza 6

      Peaceful, calm feeling

      -tender and intimate moment

      Heaney wrote this poem as a reflection on the death of his infant brother.

      The title has multiple meanings – literal meaning (school break) and metaphorical meaning (a break within the family).

      Heaney brings the reader with him as he has to walk into his house, through the porch to meet his father, big Jim Evans, the baby in the pram, the old men and finally his mother.

      There is a notable contrast between the way the mother and father react to their son’s death: the mother is angry, trying to restrain her emotions while the father is filled with tears, unable to control his emotions.

      Heaney feels embarrassed; he was treated like an adult by old men standing to shake his hand.

      In losing his four year old brother, Heaney also lost his own childhood innocence, as he discovered the brutal and harsh reality of life.

      The effect of the isolated final line is to allow the reader to focus on the tragedy of the young boy’s death.

      This poem has an overwhelming and powerful effect because the emotions are so understated and restrained.

      Heaney describes only what he sees, not commenting, never letting any real feeling of his own reach the surface.

      Heaney requests the reader to import the sorrow from themselves after reading this sorrowful, poignant poem.

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      Base Details

      By Siegfreid Sassoon


      Anti-war poem. The poet is angry at the officers, (majors, generals, colonels) the higher reanks in the army who had privileged lives,

      “guzzling and gulping in the best hotels”

      While the young soldiers fought at the front line and lost their lives, in World War 1.

      “Reading the roll of honour; poor young chap”

      Thousands of young men lost their lives, while the officers,

      “Toddle safely home and die - in bed”


      Sassoon is bitter and angry at the officers. He mocks them, their appearance.

      “fat”, “bald”, “short of breath”, “puffy petulant faces”

      The tone is extremely ironic. He speaks in the tone of an army major, or pretending he wants to be one. This allows him to show us what the army majors are like.

      “speed glum heroes up the line to death”


      ‘Base’ Details. There is a pun on the word, ‘Base’. Base can mean ‘army base’, ‘headquarters’ or base also refers to something that is inferior, unworthy, low standard. Sassoon is suggesting that the army majors are base, base in character, unworthy people.


      Regular end of line rhyme pattern. Every second line rhymes - breath/death, base/face, dead/bed, chap/scrap.

      Rhyme adds to the meaning of the poem.


      Reading/Roll/ - rolling sound - indicates all who died in the war.


      “guzzling”, “gulping” indicates that the officers are only interested in drinking, only having a good time.


      Unattractive visual images of the majors.

      “scarlet majors”, “puffy petulant face”

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      The Cloths Of Heaven

      By W.B Yeats



      In this short sweet lyric poem, the poet W.B Yeats expresses his deep love for Maud Gonne. Yeats fell madly in love with Maud Gonne, and he was in love with her, all his life. However, it was not a happy love story for Yeats.

      In this beautiful poem, Yeats points out that if he had all the riches (money) in the world

      “Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths”

      He would give them to her, because he loves her so much.

      “I would spread the cloths under your feet”

      However, Yeats points out to his beloved that he is just a poor poet, who does not have any material wealth.

      “But I being poor”

      Because he is not rich, he offers to give her, his dreams instead.

      “Have only my dreams”

      In many ways, giving her his dreams,

      “I have spread my dreams under your feet”

      Is far more significant, more important than giving her material wealth, or gifts. In giving her his dreams, he is giving her a very IMPORTANT PART OF HIMSELF. Therefore, he is showing how much in love she is.

      “I have spread my dreams under your feet”

      I think it is more important that Yeats is prepared to give his most important wishes, hopes(dreams) to Maud Gonne.

      It is worth noting that W.B Yeats is also afraid that Maud Gonne may hurt him, or reject his offer.

      “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”

      He warns her to treat him, and his dreams with care, because he realises she has the power to hurt him.

      This is interesting because we know that Maud Gonne did not return Yeats’ love. She did not feel the same way about him.

      This is called UNREQUITED LOVE (one person doesn’t return the love). Perhaps Yeats was aware of this, when he wrote this love poem.

      In the last line of the poem, he is not very confident about this love.


      The poem is very emotional and Yeats expresses his love.

      At the opening of this short lyric, Yeats is in a wishful mood. He wishes (hopes) that he had the ‘heaven’s embroidered’ cloth.

      His tone changes to one of acceptance, when he realises that he is “only poor” and could never afford to give her anything expensive.

      “But I being poor”

      The poet is in a very loving/romantic mood when he offers to

      “Spread my dreams under your feet”

      His tone dramatically changes again in the final line, when he becomes afraid, insecure, and warns her, not to treat him badly.

      “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”

      He accepts that he is very much in love but that she can hurt him.


      The title of this poem, and indeed the image of “heaven’s embroidered cloths” is a metaphor for the wealth, material riches of this world, money, gifts.

      Extended Metaphor:

      The metaphor of the cloths is spread throughout the poem.

      Line 1 - “cloths”

      Line 3 - “dark cloths”

      Line 5 - “spread the cloths”

      Line 7 - “spread my dreams”

      Visual Imagery:

      The poem is rich in vibrant visual imagery. The poet creates a beautiful vivid picture of the “embroidered cloths”

      He uses colour, light and shade to suggest its brilliance. He refers to;

      “golden and silver light”

      “blue, dim, dark cloths”

      “night, light, half-light”

      End Of Line Rhyme:

      The poet creates a very effective and striking end of line rhyme with repetition of the SAME WORDS at the end of the lines

      Line 1 & 3 - “cloths”

      Line 2 & 4 - “lights”

      Line 5 & 7 - “feet”

      Line 6 & 8 - “dreams”

      Internal Rhyme:

      The poet uses internal rhyme and assonance (vowel rhyme) very strikingly in the line,

      “Of night, light, and the half light”

      Run On Lines:

      Line 3 runs very effectively into line 4.


      “dim” “dark” (D sound)

      “softly” “dreams” (S sound)


      There is a dominant use of a broad ‘o’ sound throughout the poem.

      “cloths” “of” “poor” “only” “softly”

      This slows down the rhythm of the poem.

      Also ‘I’ sounds - “night” “light” “I”

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      ''I was six when I first saw kittens drown''

      A harsh, grim opening. The young child is traumatised when he witnesses the killing of helpless, innocent kittens. He is shocked at the heartless, cruel attitude of Dan Taggart, the man who kills the kittens with no emotion, no conscience. The imagery is very vivid and emotive.

      The kittens are portrayed in a sympathetic way. We feel sorry for them when we hear the ''frail metal sound'' of their ''soft paws, scraping like mad''. We imagine their fear and their panic as they desperately try to escape from the bucket. The image of the water being pumped in and the dead kittens floating ''like wet gloves'' is a disturbing one. Dan Taggarts attitude is very callous and hard. He seems to feel no emotion and calls them ''scraggy wee s***s'' and he says ''sure isn't it better for them now'' . The six year old child is disturbed and frightened by what he has seen and heard. He can't understand how the kittens could be better off now - He can see that they suffered greatly.

      In stanza 5 Heaney says that ''''the fear came back'' any time he saw Dan killing an animal. As a child, he felt that this was wrong.

      In stanzas 6 and 7, however, his attitude changes. We can see an adults view point here. As he has grown up, he has changed his mind. His attitude is now the same as Dan's. ''I just shrug, 'Bloody Pups'. It makes sense'' Heaney says that people from the town don't understand farm life '''they consider death unnatural''. But Heaney now knows that ''on well run farms, pests have to be kept down'' .Heaney has shown in this poem that different people from different backgrounds often see things in a different way . Your beliefs depend on your background and your childhood experiences.







      Growing Up




      * This poem is lyrical and musical. The assonance, alliteration, sibilance and rhyme make it sound smooth, easy and natural. This reflects the farmers attitude. Death is natural, it is part of life.

      * In stanza 5, there is no end-rhyme. This indicates a change. Time has passed, Heaney is growing older and his attitudes are changing. This lack of rhyme jolts us and makes us stop to think

      * There are harsh sounds in stanzas 1,2 and 3 which convey the harsh fate of the kittens. These T,K,D and G sounds are also known as cacophony/

      * The assonance draws the poem out. This is evident in stanza 1.

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      ^ The Early Purges

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      Thank you so much :) I haven't started studying yet and the mocks in February :0 this helps so much though :) thanks

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      how many poems should you learn before sitting the mocks/jc

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      Sarah go through past papers (whether HL or OL, you should do both) and list each different theme or thing (i.e. a POET you have studied) then write the poem beside each of which you studied fits into that.

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      There can be multiple themes with the same poem.

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      ok thanks will do!

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      This helped me so much as well. Thank you all:)

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