Answer key

Answer key

Best Books Study Work Guide: Poems From All Over for Grade 11 Home Language Answer key Compiled by Lynne Southey Answers to discussion questions A...

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Best Books Study Work Guide: Poems From All Over for Grade 11 Home Language

Answer key Compiled by Lynne Southey

Answers to discussion questions

Answers to discussion questions They Flee From Me by Thomas Wyatt 1. “that” refers to the “they” (woman/women) who is/are now fleeing from him. (2) 2. It implies that she so badly wanted to be with him that she was prepared to take risks. (3) 3. He is happy that he experienced what he did, and grateful. The tone expresses this, in contrast to the final stanza, where he is bitter and resentful. (3) 4. The contrast between what he is feeling now with what he felt then is so great that the past might seem like a dream, too good to be true. He is convincing himself and his listener/reader that these things really did happen. (3) 5. Any four: broad waking; thorough; kindely; fain; hath (4)

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Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare abab cdcd efef gg (2) shining brightly, warm, brighter than anything else (3) than the red of her lips (2) Most of the descriptions would make her angry or unhappy – her eyes are not like the sun, her lips are not red like coral, her breast are dun not white, her hair is black, her breath “reeks” and is not like perfume. When he speaks about her voice he does say he loves “to hear her speak” but qualifies it by saying music sounds better, and then he says she doesn’t move like a goddess, she “treads” on the ground, making it sound as if she is a heavy woman. None of this is complimentary. (5) 5. She would understand that he does love her, and values his love for her. She might even understand that the purpose of the sonnet is to mock poets who falsely compare their mistresses to beautiful things. (3) 1. 2. 3. 4.

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A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning by John Donne 1. Mildly, whisper (2) 2. Other, less elevated lovers might make a great fuss when they are parted and cause people to talk about them, just as an earthquake does, but their parting will be like the trembling of the stars, a much bigger event, but without fuss. (4) 3. The stretching of their soul is compared to the thinning out of gold when beaten. Just as gold can change its shape, so can their joined soul. The use of gold, a precious metal, indicates that their soul is precious too. (6) 4. begun (2) 5. He does seem to anticipate that she will be unhappy. He warns her not to make a great fuss with crying and sighs, so perhaps he thought she would. He gives her several examples of how their love is above such things and is lasting and will not suffer from the parting: virtuous men dying, earthquakes and stars trembling, physical as opposed to a higher form of love, how their souls are one and will stretch to still link them, and finally he compares them to a compass. The feet may be apart, but the whole is always joined. He ends up convincing her that she is the more powerful one in the relationship; she signifies home, and he will come back to her. (6)

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The Collar by George Herbert 1. The “No more” refers to the good, moral life and possibly obedience to religion that the speaker has been living. He implies that he will no longer give up on all the earthly pleasures of life that he had before he became a “good” man. He is rebelling against the restrictions and limitations of such a life. (4) 2. The simile is “free as the road”. He is referring to the life of a traveller or vagabond who takes to the road (travels) whenever he wants to. This is compared to the life he could lead if he threw off his “collar”. The simile stresses the difference between a life bound by religious and moral restraints from that of a person who can do whatever he likes. (4) 3. The dictionary meaning is given as withered or blighted; laid waste. This is similar to “wasted”, the repetition emphasising the meaning. (2) 4. load (1) 5. The speaker is telling us what happened by reporting it in direct speech. The first verbs “struck” and “cried” are in the past tense, but what follows in inverted commas, direct speech, is all in the present tense. At the end he goes back to telling us what happened, in the past tense. This tells us that the whole poem relates the events that happened (in the past) to the speaker. He is reporting how he rebelled but then that the Lord called him back. (4) (15)

The Author to Her Book by Anne Bradstreet 1. This question asks for your opinion and has no correct answer. The “mother” in the poem seems to feel embarrassed and guilty about her “child”, as if this is normal. (2) 2. “ill-formed offspring of my feeble …” The repeated “f” sound accentuates the feeling of almost disgust, scorn and rejection. (2) 3. “exposed to public view”; “my blushing” (2) 4. The way the author describes the child as misformed, unable to walk properly, with an ugly face is very severe, if taken in the context of describing a child. Who would describe a little child so severely? That she does is an indication of how dissatisfied she is with her book. (4)

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The Indian Burying Ground by Philip Frenea 1. “His” refers to the “Indian” in line 6. (1) 2. “learned” is linked to “Reason”. The thinkers in the poet’s time had come to believe that the old religious beliefs could not be true, only facts and science could be taken as true. The speaker is saying he knows this, but he doesn’t agree with it. He illustrates this by showing the difference in the way the two cultures bury their dead. (3) 3. The poet uses a listener, the stranger, to whom the speaker is explaining things at the burial site. This person is not important except as a reason for the speaker to speak. (2) 4. Own answer. Must be supported by reference to the poem. (4) (10)

London, 1802 by William Wordsworth 1. abba abba cddece (2) 2. The constraints of the sonnet form that the poet has conformed with are that the lines form the octet have a particular rhyme scheme and rhythm. (3) 3. Milton’s soul is compared to a star: the star is above the earth and alone just as Milton’s soul stands out above the common man and is unique. The capital letter for Star gives it an even more elevated status. The sound of Milton’s voice is compared to the sound of the sea, a mighty roar, powerful and constant in what he said, and “pure, majestic, free” as the sea is.

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Answers to discussion questions

Both of these similes praise Milton by comparing him to elements in nature that are above man’s power to do anything about, they just are. (6) 4. The first part of the line is the run on from the previous line and refers to what men have lost: their “inward happiness”. The pause after this statement gives one a chance to think about the words, it emphasises the words. And then the second half of the line is also emphasised and is a statement almost summing up what has gone wrong in English society. Both halves are thus stressed, which makes their meaning more important. (6) 5. Personal answer, either: It is more about Milton because the speaker is lamenting Milton’s death and the effect it has had on society and calls for Milton to “raise us up, return to us again”. (3) OR It more about the state of the nation, as the poet has titled the poem “London, 1802”, thus foregrounding what London/England/the English have become, and seeing Milton as a remedy, as having had the qualities that are now lacking. (3)

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There was an Old Man with a Beard by Edward Lear Own opinion, e.g. How could it be that the man didn’t notice the birds’ nests in his beard while they were being built? This is nonsensical. (3)

In an Artist’s Studio by Christina Rossetti 1. abba abba cdcdcd (2) 2. The repetition serves to emphasise that the artist has painted the same face over and over, an indication of his obsession or of the limited scope of his work. It is a criticism of the artist’s imagination. (3) 3. A screen can be either the canvas on which the portrait is painted or it can be something in place to hide something else. Both meanings are meant here, as the speaker looks behind the screen (the painting) which is hiding (as a screen does) the real woman behind it. (3) 4. The speaker objects to the artist’s use of the woman as an object to paint. She is not treated as real and equal, and is used by the man. (3) 5. The speaker criticises the artist in that he stereotypes all women (queen, girl, saint, angel) giving them the same face. However, she herself is stereotyping the artist as a man who uses women. (4) 6. The repletion of the “not” and the contrast introduced twice with the “but” emphasises that the speaker means that the artist doesn’t paint the real person, but as he sees her. He is not being true to his model, but is making use of her. She uses this to confirm her criticism of the artist. (5)

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We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar 1. “mouths with myriad” (line 5): the repetition of the “m” sound adds to the idea that the people are holding back on their real thoughts and feelings. (2) 2. Perhaps they think any sign of unhappiness will cause their oppressors to be even more cruel and hard. Or perhaps they do not want to appear pathetic and weak, as some beggars do. It is their pride that sustains them and prevents them from revealing their true feelings. (3) 3. One could say the mask is a lie, and therefore dishonest. It hides the true feelings of the oppressed, which could cause an eventual revolt against the oppressors who will not be prepared for it, as they have been misled. It implies that those wearing the mask gain something in a devious way. (3)

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4. The dream in “Let the world dream otherwise” points to an unreality. The oppressors “dream” that “we” are happy, they do not wake up and see the true state of affairs. This emphasises the idea of the real and the unreal as in the mask and the true feelings. (3) 5. Own answer relating to the oppression of blacks by the apartheid government, the behaviour of the ordinary black person, the calls on religion as source or rescue of some black groups, the suppressing of true feelings. (4)  (15)

The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy 1. The poet uses many examples of sound devices (alliteration: “dregs made desolate”; rhyme: “birth/earth”; assonance (repetition of vowel sounds to create internal rhyme or half rhyme): “growing gloom”) which, when read aloud, emphasise and add meaning to what is being said, the words themselves. (5) 2. One would normally look forward to spring and be aware that new growth will appear. “The ancient pulse of germ and birth” points to this cycle of death and rebirth. (2) 3. Instead of expressing the feeling with a word such as “gloomy”, “dark”, or “tired”, the poet uses a word that means without something, without fervour, without passion. This adds to the sense that something is missing. (3) 4. “full-hearted evensong / Of joy illimited” describes the bird as passionate and full of boundless joy, which is the opposite to “fervourless”, the word given to the speaker and the surroundings. Given the surrounding gloom, such a sound stands out and even accentuates the negative qualities of the earlier description. (3) 5. The speaker at least knows that hope exists and if the bird can find it, perhaps he still can too. (2) 

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In a Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound 1. The poem is brief, only two lines; the insight was sudden, had a brief life. (2) 2. The lack of verbs makes the statements immediate, like captions to a picture, like two pictures themselves. (2) 3. “I saw faces appear in a crowd in the metro. They looked like petals on a wet, black bough.” With verbs a speaker is added and a simile. The comparison is made overt. The lines lose their immediacy and impact. (3) 4. Example answer: The poet, by juxtaposing faces with petals, is saying that faces are beautiful, because flowers are. He might be seeing beauty in people in the midst of the strivings and labour (people use the metro to get to work). However, he might also be thinking of the fragility of petals (flowers) and their short life, and so be seeing this in people as well. (3)

The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats 1. The poet uses the present tense, which gives the description of what is happening an urgency and immediacy. (3) 2. There is a limit to how far falcons can fly away from their handler, and a ritual to flying falcons, with the falcon seeming free, but actually being controlled by the falconer. In this image the falconer loses control of the falcon, the falcon is no longer “tied” to the falconer. (3) 3. Just as the falconer, who is the centre to which the falcon usually returns, has lost control of the falcon, so what has always held mankind and the world together, order, decency, political rule, can no longer control what is happening. Anarchy and chaos have taken over, order and control are lost. (4)

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Answers to discussion questions

4. The words are very carefully chosen to give this effect: “everywhere” leaves nothing out, it includes the whole world; “innocence” is seen as a “ceremony”, something ordered, positive and repeated like a ritual. It also implies that the opposite of innocence is anarchy and chaos. And this innocence is “drowned” as if by an overwhelming flood of evil. The idea of a flood points to the size and volume of the evil that is occurring. (5) 5. The “beast” making its way to the heart of Christendom (Bethlehem, which refers to Christianity and Jesus) is coming to take the place of what Jesus stood for: peace, love, kindness, etc. The poet sees the loss of all decent values and a lack of collective self-control in the chaos in the world as indicating this. (5) 

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Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen 1. ababcdcd effegg. This rhyme scheme is regular. (3) 2. “monstrous”, “stuttering”, “rapid”, “hasty”, “shrill”, “wailing”, “sad”, “holy”, “patient”, “slow”. The first four describe war and its sounds, with “rapid” and “hasty” both indicating speed, the lack of thought involved in war. “Shrill” can apply to both the screams of bullets and the cries of those who lose their young men. “Wailing” and “sad” signify the loss felt by those left behind, while “holy”, “patient” and “slow” could be seen to point to the grieving process. (7) 3. The repetition emphasises that which is missing, the little that is there, the lack of a proper funeral. (2) 4. “Save” here means “except”. Another meaning for the word is “rescue” or “preserve”. The connotations could be with saving the soul or with rescuing the soldiers from death. (3) 5. Own answer, giving reasons for point of view. (5)  (20)

The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes 1. It is slow, drowsy, syncopated, mellow, lazy, sad, raggy (ragtime), melancholy, repetitive and expressed the feelings of African Americans of the time. (3) 2. If he is using all the notes, the white notes, of the piano, the music must be fairly complex. (2) 3. The words all mean more or less the same thing: pale is not bright, dull means not shining, pallor means pale as in a sickly complexion, so not well. All of these used to describe the light extend the meaning to everything and everyone in Harlem, even though the people are black. Their condition is not happy and healthy. (4) 4. Fool has several meanings: stupid, dumb or retarded, an entertainer (think of Shakespeare’s fools in a king’s court) or the meaning as in “I’m a fool for …”: I love, am enthusiastic about. (3) 5. The way the pianist sleeps is compared to the way a rock or a dead person “sleeps”. This seems to mean very soundly and deeply, untroubled, without dreams. The “Weary Blues” echoing through his head might bring him comfort and peace. (3)  (15)

The English Are So Nice! by D.H. Lawrence 1. One understands this through his deliberate overuse of the word. (2) 2. “awfully sorry” meaning very sorry; “awfully kind” meaning very kind; “awfully damaged”; to behave awfully; to speak awfully; to suffer awfully. (2) 3. our/we and they/them (2) 4. “not really nice”/“not nice in our sense of the word”/”one doesn’t have to take them seriously”/”it doesn’t really matter what you say to them”/“they take advantage”. Own reason for the choice. (3) 5. The italics stress the words and show how they would be said when speaking. (1)

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IX. [Funeral Blues] by W.H. Auden 1. aabb ccdd eeff gghh The rhyme is regular and indicates the tight structure of the poem. (3) 2. “dog from barking with a juicy bone”, “moaning”, “Scribbling”, “Pack up the moon”. These imply an ordinary person, everyday things, the common event of someone dying and others mourning. This all shows just how special the person was to the speaker, that he expects the world to share his grief, which of course it doesn’t. (4) 3. A compass is used to steer a course, to guide people and tell direction, where one is and where one is going. Usually this is used by ships, etc. The speaker is indicating that the dead man was all of these things to him, showing how important he was. (3) 

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Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers by Adrienne Rich 1. It is possible that she had an aunt called Jennifer. However, the name has a rhythm in its three syllables that may have suited the poet’s poetic purpose. (2) 2. Needlework is a female occupation, often undertaken for pleasure. The irony lies in the fact that Aunt Jennifer expresses her desire for freedom from constraints imposed by male society by doing something that is so typical of a woman. (3) 3. The tigers “pace in … certainty”, they are sure of themselves and unafraid, while Aunt Jennifer’s fingers flutter, showing nervousness, uncertainty, and fear. This emphasises one of the differences between them, their feelings about their own worth. (5) (10)

Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden 1. He notices that the father is dressed (in fact that he dressed himself before he has warmed the house), that the father’s hands were cracked, and that during the week he went out to work as a labourer. (3) 2. The speaker says the boy feared “the chronic angers of that house”. This means the household was not happy, someone was always angry. The boy didn’t want to go out and face this and so dresses reluctantly, delaying the moment. (3) 3. If the father is usually in a bad mood and angry, it explains why the son would speak to him in an off-hand way. He was also perhaps afraid of provoking further anger with anything he said. (3) 4. The father showed his love in an austere way, not by words or gestures, but by caring for the family. The things he did for the boy were done before the boy awoke, so were in that sense “lonely” for the father, but also because they were not acknowledged, and keep the father at a distance and alone, apart from the boy. (3) 5. The repetition emphasises the speaker’s regret, his anguish at how ignorant he was then, and how unable to recognise the love and acknowledge it in some way. It is as if he is calling out the question. (3)

A Far Cry From Africa by Derek Walcott 1. The Kikuyu fighters are being compared to flies who feed on a dead body. This is particularly apt as the flies that quickly find out a corpse and gather would be many, and there are many fighters whose cause for freedom is fed and supported by having killed so many people. (3) 2. The “bloodstreams of the veldt” create an image of rivers of blood, pointing to the many people that have been killed in the fighting. The alliteration of the “b” sound links with the image and sound of beating and killing. “Batten” also echoes “beaten” and so includes that in the meaning and links to “beater” in line 11. (3)

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Answers to discussion questions

3. In nature, in the lives of bird and beast, it is normal and accepted that they kill, because they kill to live, but humans are not supposed to do this, as they can aspire to higher things, and yet they do, and not for survival but for power. (3) 4. We have the repetition of the “v” sound, and although not alliteration, the sound does add to the imagery and link back to the alliteration (“blood of both”) in the previous line where blood and vein are joined so as to stand for his genetic inheritance. Yet even his veins are divided in that they carry the blood of both races. He feels divided in his very being. (4) 5. The speaker loves the language, the poet himself is a literary giant who expresses himself in English. Language carries the culture of a nation and so this too is included in his statement. (2)

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African Poem by Augustinho Neto 1. One of these using these points in paragraph form: Calm: The tone is matter-of-fact and descriptive, ordinary life continues, people are together, making music, going home with loads, the man thinks about domestic things, the language is simple, the country and its music are described as warm (hospitable, friendly). (3) OR Struggles: Given the date the poem was written and that the poet was a politician, the poem must be seen as political. There are various references in the poem that could be interpreted as relating to colonialism and the fight against it: fire on the horizon, fresh trees burning, the porters leaving the city, groaning, the man’s sleeplessness, the drums, the repetition of “fire” (trouble) “consuming” the country. (3) 2. The effect is to give us the impression that we are being shown the country, having elements of it pointed out to us. “Look at this here, and that there.” We are given a view of the country and are spectators or visitors. (2) 3. Learners’ own opinions. Positive: it allows a person who doesn’t understand a language insight into the poetry and subject of another language/country. It opens up understanding and conveys the culture and preoccupations of another country. (3) Negative: Poetry is not just about meaning but also about its sound, rhythm and rhyme. It is very unlikely that a translation will be able to convey this aspect. Also language itself carries the culture of its speakers, so the different language loses that. (3) 4. It is an ironic title, as at first glance one thinks the poem will describe some rural scene of huts, and mountains or deserts, with people quietly going about their traditional lives. Instead, it is a poem about fighting, wanting to be white, people leaving the city that is on fire. It is an Africa in turmoil that is described. (2)

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Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney 1. The “all” implies that the wait has been long and the morning has passed slowly. (2) 2. Perhaps the words “bells knelling” implies that the speaker knew, because, although the sound of the words carries the impression of bells ringing, a “knell” is a bell linked with funerals and death. (2) 3. As in a church, one doesn’t talk loudly in the presence of grief, mourning and death: that is why they are whispering. Also they are talking about the speaker in his presence and don’t want him to hear. (2) 4. She could be angry at the driver of the car, or angry with the child for running out into the road, or angry with herself for not taking better care of him, or angry with her God for allowing this to happen. (2)

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5. The boy looks as if he is asleep, sleeping as usual in his cot. Perhaps the speaker is wishing that this was true. (2)

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Eating Poetry by Mark Strand 1. The poet is expressing his love of poetry. (2) 2. The poem is striking so that one looks at it to decipher its meaning and then realises that the bizarreness is there to emphasise just how much the speaker loves poetry. (3)

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The child who was shot dead by soldiers at Nyanga by Ingrid Jonker 1. The poem was translated from Afrikaans (“Afrika”), but the blacks also spelt the country of their birth with a “k”. The second version refers to the continent in English. (2) 2. Yes: otherwise too much is not understood. Why was the child shot? By whom? Why is the child now not dead? Etc. (2) OR No: these events could have occurred in any country where the population is opposed to the government of the day. The scenes are universal. (2) 3. The child is innocent, all he wanted was what any child wants. The “just” highlights this. (2) 4. The government at the time of apartheid was Afrikaans. One has to remember this when reading the poem in English. If we read it in Afrikaans, the language of the oppressors, the unjustness of the system would have seemed even more apparent, given that one of their own was so against it that she wrote a poem to protest. (4) (10)

Amagoduka at Glencoe Station by Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali 1. “ultimately” (1) 2. Perhaps it’s a way of saying the journey was long and difficult; or the train’s anger stands for the anger at the migrant labour system. (2) 3. The train is being compares to a horse (“snort” and “charge”), a beast of burden here, transporting people and baggage. The image of an overloaded horse, not happy about its burden, adds the reasons for the train’s anger, as discussed in answer 2. (2) 4. That the faces are “sucking” warmth reminds of a child sucking milk from its mother. They are getting some comfort from the fire, actively drawing the warmth out. (2) 5. Here hungry babies are sucking their mothers’ “festering fingers”, also attempting to get comfort (milk, in this case). Not only do the mothers not have milk in their breasts, a sign that they, too, are undernourished, but the fingers are “festering”, infected from sores. Not a healthy idea. The first use where it means seeking comfort is emphasised here. (3) 

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Reggae Sounds by Linton Kwesi Johnson 1. The language of the poem points to a dialect of English spoken by the inhabitants, who are black or of mixed race. This points to the lack of identity of the inhabitants (a mixture of African slaves, the original American Indian inhabitants of the island and the British who eventually colonised the island). They use English as their language, but they are not “English”. Their history is a painful one of slavery and poverty (“hurting black story”), they were building towards a revolt against the political conditions (“time for bombs”) and “violence”. The people found expression of their condition in a unique musical form. (5)

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Answers to discussion questions

Hanging Fire by Audre Lorde 1. She is mostly worried about dying young and about being isolated from her mother. She mentions these two things three times, which stresses them and shows how important a concern each is to her. (3) 2. As an adult her teenage worries will no longer be worrying her, but the racism (“my skin has betrayed me”) and the sexism (“my marks were better than his”) will probably remain concerns in adulthood. (3) 3. The structure is almost that of a list, the ideas seem unconnected and in random order. There is no punctuation except the full stop at the end of each stanza. This makes one think of a teenager, thinking of all her problems, and just pouring them out in a stream-of-consciousness way. Her ideas jump from the mundane (“how come my knees are / always so ashy”) to the serious (“what if I die / before morning”) as if they are equally important to her. (4)

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A Martian Sends a Postcard Home by Craig Raine 1. Books, mist, rain, a car, a watch or clock, a telephone, a bathroom (going to the toilet), sleeping couples in a bedroom at night, dreams. (7) 2. The car travels so fast that one might miss some of the things it passes, but one can look in the review mirror (the film) to see it if one does. (2) 3. Time is seen as a living thing, an impatient thing, wanting to move on. It is something that can be tamed (tied or boxed). We think we are time’s masters, but time moves on regardless. Time is really our master. (3) 4. One hides if one is afraid or vulnerable. Perhaps he is commenting on the need for privacy, in keeping one’s introspection (“read about themselves”) private, or perhaps he is commenting on fear of crime or exposure of some kind. Or maybe he is saying they seek privacy. (3)

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Da Dame, Da Same by Sipho Sepamla 1. He is indicating his situation as a non-mother tongue speaker writing in English so that everyone, including the whites responsible for apartheid, can understand. And it makes the poem seem informal, spoken, one person to another. (3) 2. We know the poet is a black South African man living during apartheid; he mentions the race classification of the time; he mentions South Africa; he refers to the “big terrible terrible”; he objects to humans being divided according to skin colour. All these point to apartheid. (4) 3. The effect is to tell us that he knows he is right. And so do we: we all have red blood (the blood of all races is interchangeable when it comes to blood transfusions). And he is certain that it is possible for all of us to see each other as one human race, all “da same”. (3) 

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Home News by Ahmad Tidjanei-Cissé 1. Seeing that he had fought against his government and been imprisoned by it, and then fled the country, he must be opposed to the Guinean government. This means he probably feels that he was right in being against them, because it is a bad government. However, he is probably also concerned about his family, and wishes he could do something about the situation. (3) 2. Muslims observe a “forty-days’ wake” after a death, and his uncle hopes he will be able to attend that of his father, so he must be Muslim. (2)

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3. “Tumble” means to fall in an uncontrolled way. This is what happens when he reads about what is going on at home. It can be said that he also feels as if he tumbles emotionally when he reads the letters as he says “my soul shrivels a little”. (3) 4. He imagines (thinks up) a boat that contains letters from home, “sees” it setting out, and then waits for it to arrive. (2) 

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Making Our Clowns Martyrs (or, Returning home without chauffeurs) by Jack Mapanje 1. It’s as if the speaker is saying “don’t think you can hide from us what has happened to you and why you’ve come home without the glory of your former position”. This is meant to show scorn for the man and lack of respect. (2) 2. “Hard luck my friend”. This phrase is sarcastic as the speaker is not friendly towards the man and neither does he sympathise with his downfall. (3) 3. “mosquitoes of this morass”. The repeated “m” sounds scornful and slows down the line, giving them emphasis. (3) 4. He is making the village look particularly primitive and unpleasant, firstly to point out what the villagers’ lives have been like while he has lived in luxury, and then to point out how the government, including the addressee has done nothing for the people. (2) 

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Possibilities for a Man Hunted by SBs by Farouk Asvat 1.

Find you/Don’t find you (it’s ok) ↓ Let you go/Ban you (it’s ok) ↓ Break your ban/Don’t break your ban (it’s ok) ↓ Find you/Don’t find you (it’s ok) ↓ Guilty/Not guilty (it’s ok) ↓ Suspend jail sentence/Jail you (it’s ok) ↓ Release you/Kill you (5)

2. The activist can choose whether to break his ban or not. (2) 3. If the security forces do kill an activist in torturing him for information, it is an illegal act therefore they would put out to the public that the person had died accidentally. (3) 

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“To Learn How to Speak…” by Jeremy Cronin 1. The message is, for example, that South Africans should be tolerant, understand each other’s cultures and respect each other’s languages, for the good of our country. (2) 2. The line has alliterated “t”s, which emphasise the act of speaking as they have to be enunciated. At the same time the stop-start of wagons travelling over rough ground is evoked. (3) 3. When people from different ethnic groups came together to live near a town, they evolved a different kind of language, borrowing words, and so made it possible for them to understand each other by allowing the language to evolve. The speaker says “syllables born in tin shacks” to refer to this, syllables being the parts of words they heard and then used (see the next line “ikwata bust fife” (a quarter past five) as example. (3)

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Answers to discussion questions

4. Minerals are basic elements, and they refer to what the miners were extracting (gold, platinum, diamonds, etc.), which are very strong. In linking this to “unbreakable resolve” the speaker is indicating how strong the determination is, how “unbreakable”. (2)

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Girl Powdering Her Neck by Cathy Song 1. The poet uses the present tense as she is describing what she sees and is imagining. This brings a sense of immediacy to the poem, and as we read we see the picture deepen into these imaginings before our eyes. (3) 2. The face of the girl cannot be seen through the “skin” of powder; it is hidden. The real girl is wearing a “mask”. (3) 3. The girl has to hide her real self to make herself “beautiful”, but the beauty is a mask. She makes it seem that she herself is not participating in the work, she is separate from it. But at the same time this alienates her from herself, as it is she who is the geisha. (4) (10)

The Woman by Kristina Rungano 1. The “great big mud container” is compared to “a great big painful umbrella”. The repetition of the “great big” emphasises the heaviness of the pot, and of the “duty” she bears, and the way it makes her feel. An umbrella is supposed to protect but it the container is heavy and “painful”. The adjective is transferred as it is the pot and the way her life is led that is painful to her. (4) 2. The effect is to make her seem to be complaining to him, to be showing him up, comparing her life to his. It also makes his attitude the problem, and personalises what all the women have to bear. (3) 3. The sun is personified as angry and vigilant, and thus aligned with males, who make sure that the women do what is required of them. It also of course describes the heat she works in out in the fields, making her labours seem even more difficult. (3) 

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From the Only Speech That Was Not Delivered At the Rally by Ama Ata Aidoo 1. The poet’s intention is to criticise the speeches of politicians and the politicians themselves. The implication is that a politician lies by promising all kinds of improvements to people’s lives that never become reality once he is elected. (3) 2. The poet, through the speaker, is commenting on the way politicians expect people to believe anything they tell them. (2) 3. He probably means along with the vote of your wife, but here it seems to mean that he expects the voters to send their wives to him to use. (2) 4. It reminds one of the politicians saying something along the lines of “your own representative”, but of course no one owns a housefly. The use is sarcastic. (2) 5. Only the politicians (1)

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You Will Forget by Chenjerai Hove 1. Weight of a water pot on the head, weight of three bundles of thatch grass on the neck, the pain of childbirth without a nurse, thirst, cracked dusty lips, an elusive headman, the pain of a thorn prick, the crying of a woman whose husband has died in a mine, the handshake at the funeral, the old warriors singing of past battles, bare feet following the plough, the seasons. (5)

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Poems From All Over

2. The women of the village fetch water from a well or river and carry it back home in a pot on their heads. They carry thatching grass from the fields to make the roofs of their huts, also on their heads or necks, often with a baby on the back, even though this exposes the baby to discomfort. They give birth without the aid of medical help. If they want to see the chief, they have to walk far in the heat of the day, through the dry, dusty veld and he may not even be there, so that the walk was for nothing. Sometimes a thorn will prick them, either in their heads or necks or the soles of their feet. Their husbands go off to the mines to work, and are sometimes killed there. Then there is a funeral, where the whole village comes to shake your hand. At night the old men sing of past battles. Ploughing is done with an old-fashioned implement pulled by oxen, while the ploughman walks behind barefoot, guiding it. They live close to nature and are very aware of the seasons. (5) 3. A thorn prick is at first a sharp sensation, and then gradually the pain increases. One can imagine the pain being poured so that it increases, as water poured into a jug increasing with the pouring. (3) 4. By placing the adjective “teary” with “sorrow”, the impact of the mourning woman is strengthened. She is crying in her sadness at having lost her husband. The “sorrow” causes the tears. (3) 5. The life may have been a tough one, but it strengthened the people (the ability to carry weight on the head and neck, the pain of childbirth that is a reminder of the wonder, the struggle to see the headman, the community grieving with the widow, the warriors who survived battles and can sing about them, the thick-soled bare feet, the closeness to nature). It gave them resilience and the ability to continue despite adversity, whereas a life of comfort makes people soft. He also doesn’t want the people to forget their culture and where they come from either. (4)

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Meeting The British by Paul Muldoon 1. Literally, the ice might be taken for solid ground and break when trodden on, pulling the person into the icy water below, while figuratively, the meeting of the two groups seemed friendly, but in fact was the opposite. The water was still running, as water does, and the British were still conquering the land, as they had set out to do. (4) 2. On the reader. We are lead to expect one thing, only to find it is another. (2) 3. The Native Americans had been fishing in their own way long before the Europeans came along, so they didn’t need fishhooks. (2) 4. It was strange because it was not his own language, also not the language of the British; it indicated that he had befriended the French, against whom the British were at war in the territory and both should have been more wary of the other as a result. (2) 

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Small Passing by Ingrid de Kok 1. Possible answers: a hundred is far worse: many people, not just one, lose loved ones. The doctor in the poem seems to hold this view. OR One is just as bad a hundred: each mother can only suffer her own grief, grief cannot be multiplied or added up. Each would suffer as much if her child were was the one. This is the view of the speaker in the poem. (3) 2. We understand this from the various references: the woman sent to a homeland, the migrant labour system, Mandela in prison, legal gatherings, where in South Africa many gatherings were prohibited, and the white/black references with their implications. (4)

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Answers to discussion questions

3. These children are not the woman’s. They belong to the others, the whites. It highlights the irony of the woman having to work with white children and neglect her own. (2) 4. “I think” (1)  (10)

Childhood in Heidelberg by Andries Walter Oliphant 1. On a hot afternoon the passages are dark and cool, so it provides comfort from the weather. (2) 2. The two words link with the word “ancestors”. They are of a higher register, and lend an elegance to descriptions of the older generation. (2) 3. It creates the idea of the magic the childhood had for the speaker. (2) 4. There appear to be many such deaths in the neighbourhood, which may be a sign of the times. The child is unaware and carries on with childish pursuits. The effect is in the contrast between the child’s life inside the home and what is going on in South Africa outside of it. (3) 5. I thought then that this was the kind of thing that happened, we had decided to move, whereas now I know that we had no choice in the matter; we were being moved. (3) 6. Tombstones are linked in that they are all more or less the same and stand in neat rows. This gives an image of the houses. Also the houses means the death of the old way of life of the family and each tombstone points to a death. (3)  (15)

Dark Rider by Tatamkhulu Afrika 1. He is alone, surrounded by nature and its sounds, and, like the man on the island, is comforted. Both are afraid of what is outside the comfort zone, and this is similar in that it is “the desolate breath of the void”, a nothing, a meaninglessness. (3) 2. He has just said that the kloof is only a few minutes from the city, and now he says but, it is nevertheless not like the city. The “but” provides the contrast between the two. (2) 3. If there was nothing out there beyond the island he would be totally alone in the world, with no hope of rescue/if there was no meaning out there he would have nothing. This relates to the man in the kloof in that he needs to get away from the city and is afraid there is no meaning to a life lived there (in the city). (4)
4. One normally shrugs a shoulder to say “I don’t know” or “I don’t care”. He says the mountain, the place he is in, shrugs the lights away, as if the place doesn’t care about the city and knows nothing about it. (3) 5. Perhaps he finds it comforting that he is not alone, that he has a watchful presence. (2) 6. “and towards dawn” (1)  (15)

Oracle of the Povo by Dambudzo Marechera 1. No, because this poem is not protesting against colonial rulers but against their own people who became leaders after the country had been freed from colonialism. (2) 2. Tourism is a source of wealth to a country, so frightening them off is negative, as it will send out the idea that the country is not safe, and so no tourists will arrive. (2) 3. The word stands in direct contrast to the “Drought Relief” of line 15, which are the words on the trucks bringing grain to the starving people. The capital letters emphasise the drought and the need for food aid. (3) 4. The words “expectant destination” have a double meaning: both as the destination that the food was expected to go to, its intended destination, and referring to the people at the destination who were expecting the food. (3)

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Poems From All Over

The Hug by Thom Gunn 1. The tense puts the event further in the past. The hug happened long ago too. The two lovers are reminiscing about an event that has a great deal of significance for the speaker, as he still talks about it. (3) 2. The “i” sounds stretch out the words, adding to the meaning of the words. The sound is also soft and warm, as the two bodies would feel to each other. (3) 3. There has not been regular rhyming in the poem so that the two words stand out. They lock the two lines together as the two bodies and souls are joined. (2) 4. The word has multiple meanings: to remain, as in the partners had been together for a long time and will stay in the relationship. It also means stability, the firmness, support. (2) 

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The Man by Seitlhamo Motsapi 1. The notes lead us to think that the speaker, the “i”, and the man are the same person. But the description of him as an everyman and his selfless service to the community, refer to the “man”, not the speaker. The speaker is telling about the man. (2) 2. Blood ebbing out is a sign that someone or something is dying. The speaker uses it here figuratively to mean that the village will die if all the young leave it for the city. (2) 3. Perhaps the sun is seen as serving, not having desires of its own. The man wants to be like this. (2) 4. The stars are often portrayed as candles; candles drip wax. The wax mentioned is red, which could refer to danger, to blood, to strife. The man does not want any of that. (2) 5. Angels are portrayed as good, caring for people. Blushing is caused by shyness. The portrayal therefore is of an angel that does not want attention to be paid to it. The blushing is a sign of humility. So the goodness and humility of the man is conveyed by the phrase. He too is not doing what he does for his own sake. (2)  (10)

I Remember District 6 by Prophets of da City 1. The first two lines speak of the area as the “heart and soul” of the community and how without it “we’re in the cold”. The area was alive with the culture and warmth of its people; without it they are lost and out in the cold, torn from their centre. So these lines speak of the effect the forced removals had on them. Line 70 is a simile in which the speaker comments on the government and the way it “threw them out” as if they were lice, pests, needed to be exterminated. The mention of “they” gives an agency to their removal, and accuses the regime who could destroy a community in that way. (10) 2. The speaker tells of seeing the bulldozers coming, and how he remembers it. He couldn’t understand what they were doing there, “it confused my brain”. He recalls how the sand trucks “disturbed our game”, which is the level at which a child would react. He is puzzled and asks “What could it be?” He was totally unprepared for what was happening. The speaker gives a child’s perspective of puzzlement and the level at which the event affected his life. He wasn’t aware then, as he was as an adult, of the enormity of what was being done to them. (5) 

Housing Targets by Kelwyn Sole 1. It suggests that bricks keep being delivered and are left in the field, but no one uses them to build with. (2) 2. The men have “darkening skins” because they have been waiting for instructions for a long time outside in the open air, where they are becoming more and more sunburnt. (3)

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Answers to discussion questions

3. This could refer to the men who “wait for their instructions” (line 15) or it could refer to the people who are waiting for the houses to be built (“they are still being offered bonds”). (2) 4. They are the people whose hands were shaken (“and shake their hands” – line 20). (2) 5. The last four lines are ridiculous and don’t make sense. The speaker seems to be implying that there is no sense in the “housing project”, the houses will never be built. The situation is ridiculous. (1) 

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What Will They Eat? by Mzi Mahola 1. The speaker says “Once more” and calls the forest “knowing”. These indicate that the people have had to run and hide in the forest before. (2) 2. A bosom has connotations of warmth, protection, love. The forest is personified as providing the people with this. (2) 3. The first sentence is long as we imagine the people stretching (“craning”) their necks to peer among the police for the uncle. The second short sentence of single-syllable words conveys a let-down, like an anti-climax, as they realise the uncle has not been brought back. (3) 4. The police are asking for money, whether it’s a bribe or taxes or bail we don’t know. The grandparents have nothing to sell except their cattle, and they can’t live without them. They would be arguing about this. (3) 5. Custom would have called for any visitor to be offered refreshment but these were not, so to call them “guests” is ironic. The speaker uses the word “guests” sarcastically – the police were not invited guests but intruders. (3) 6. He mentions “all” three, that they were suckling and so provided milk, one of them was pregnant, which meant it was one more cow that they were losing, the speaker refers to them as “our wealth”, “our source of nutrition, / Grandfather’s status and pride”. They lose the cattle and the milk, but also since the rural people counted their wealth in cattle, the grandfather becomes nothing in the community. (4) 7. The speaker’s comment is that of the adult he has become. He says “a” dog, meaning any dog, and “a” home, any home. Where a dog is starving, there will be hunger in the home, meaning wherever one sees this. So many people are starving, not just his own family back then. (3) 

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Weather Eye by Isobel Dixon 1. Heat is said to be able to wake you up, to lap, to drive you up and out as if it is a living thing, a person wilfully doing this. (3) 2. The sound is onomatopoeic in that it sounds like curtains being shut fast along a rail. (2) 3. Flaming refers to the bright colour of nasturtiums, but also to the fact that they are outside the house, in the heat of the sun and so seem to be on fire. (2) 4. “it” refers to the daily ritual that was started by Mommy, and here Daddy is doing his part of the ritual by checking the facts. (2) 5. She says you need to “watch the skies” for the weather-signs. (1) 

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Random Notes to My Son by Keorapetse Kgositsile 1. In plain terms he says “words also carry illusion”, something imagined. He extends this statement by creating an image of illusion as slime, a negative word. But it gets worse when he compares illusion to pus dripping off the back of a slave who has been beaten and whose wounds have become infected. All of this together creates a very negative image of something rotting and diseased. And he is describing words! This emphasises how carefully words must be used. (5)

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Poems From All Over

2. No, he is not saying that at all. He is urging his son to use words wisely, to have “intent”, an aim in what he says. He acknowledges the suffering of blacks everywhere, but is worried about how the youth are trying to achieve change. He refers to a “newborn eye”, an eye that sees things differently, will speak “my language”, in other words, wise words that have a meaning and purpose, and that cause a move forward to better things. (5) 

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Autumn in Biafra by Chris Abani 1. The poet is pointing out the unfair distribution of resources in the southern and northern hemispheres, and the suffering it causes. It can be seen as a protest against colonialism that plundered Africa and made itself rich, leaving the Africans poor and desperate. (4) 2. For example: dreaded: they know what is coming and are helpless to do anything about it. spectre: heralding starvation and death. fatal: they know they will die. fall: signifies the end, death. (3) 3. The use of the word “taboo” suggests that a late-night whistle is something that should not be done. One asks what does it signify: crime, a lover’s rendezvous, some political activism? It doesn’t really matter because kwashiorkor is compared to the whistle, which happens quietly, hoping to go unnoticed; it is something negative, dark, not done in the open, is perhaps shameful as it indicates the inability to find food. (3) (10)

Freetown by Ogaga Ifowodo 1. “They” stands for the rebels. By not stating this at the outset the anonymity of who is committing the acts heightens our sense of the terror the man must have felt, although he presumably knew who they were. (2) 2. The verbs are both in the active: they did this to him, had the power over him. The connotation with the phrase “froze in fear/terror” adds meaning to the word. Thawed also gives the idea of bringing him back to life, not shooting him immediately. (3) 3. He uses the active verbs (see answer 2), he sinks to his knees, as if humbling himself, he pleads, they laugh at him. (3) 4. The poem shows the cruelty of the rebel army in great detail, causing a reader to react in horror. One can only condemn such acts, regardless of who is committing them. (2) (10)

Home by Merle Collins 1. “a sea-flash of blue” and “a sudden blue”. Both of these point to the sight of the sea as being brief, and yet it takes so little to remind her of home. (3) 2. “pulling me from a stranger’s brooding” is the mention of her birthplace while the mention of “Berwyck-Upon-Tweed”, “these” and “ISLES” is where she lives now. (2) 3. After “-Tweed”. (1) 4. Instead of “To” it could have read “In order to” or “If you want to”. (1) 5. It means that these spirits have left the island of her home (“tang of mango”) and crossed the sea. (2) 6. Catching a brief glimpse of the sea, made me think of (my dreams of ) home in Grenada. (1) (10)

Sedition by Cecil Rajendra 1. It has the effect of giving the truth. The definition carries no figurative language or insinuation or ambiguity: it means what it says. (2)

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Answers to discussion questions

2. Example answer: Sedition means going against authority, being or saying things that are treacherous (against the state); behaving in a way that undermines authority, treason. (The word here excludes ordinary crime, unless it is a crime against the state.) (2) 3. It means the generally accepted version of history that is taken as true. Both stanzas start with “According to” which links the one explanation with other, making the second acquire the same meaning of “true”. (3) 4. The short lines, semicolons giving alternative meaning, and words with similar connotations given (“fist”, “pugnacious”, “inflammatory, “insurrection”, “fracture”, “rebellion”, “revolution”) mimic what an explanatory dictionary does. This, too, has the effect of giving the truth. (3) 5. Points: poetry is not just about nature, love, an expression of emotion, an insight; poetry has value as a weapon; it praises poetry for what it has helped achieve; poets should continue to use poetry in this way to achieve fairness, equality and change for the better. (5) 

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From the Air by Michael Cope 1. a. “spy” carries the implications that the man in the hang glider was seeing things that were not meant to be seen. b. “picture book” makes the graves almost pretty in their regularity and order. c. “assembled dead” refers to those buried in these neat orderly graves, as if they had been called together like a troop of soldiers standing in order, or a school of children neatly lined up for assembly. The main connotation is with order, the way things are supposed to be. d. “pits” sounds contemptuous, disrespectful, unsavoury. (8) 2. “It’s” refers to the graveyard. The speaker keeps our attention and makes the revelation that he is talking about graves seem more important, to carry more weight. (3) 3. The present tense carries more impact in this context: the graves are being dug now, people are dying now. (2) 4. Given that the year is 2004 there are several possibilities for the deaths: Aids, poverty and disease, crimes such as gang warfare and the related drug deaths. (2) 

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To the doctor who treated the raped baby and who felt such despair by Finuala Dowling 1. There is alliteration of the “c” sound in “colicky crier” which mimics a baby with colic. And the “finally” in line 19 suggests that it had taken the doctor a long time to deal with the baby, hence his exhaustion. He stands at the “end of her cot”, still there with her even though his work with her is finished, showing his caring. The word “cot” also reminds us that she is a baby. (4) 2. Although the poem does serve that purpose by revealing the horrifying injuries such a baby suffers, the poem focuses more on the doctor, the trauma he experiences, and his question at the end of it all, pointing to his doubts that there can be a God if such things are allowed to happen. Interspersed with what the doctor is going through, the speaker mentions the reassuring other instances of children being cared for. The fact that most of these are men is significant in that it says not all men are like the rapist, he is the exception. This exonerates men in a way and comforts them. The title of the poem also points to the fact that the poem is intended as consolation for the doctor. (6)

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Poems From All Over

Tomorrow’s Daughters by Lebogang Mashile 1. The first context is that the speaker/poet wants to write about black girls. They are her subject. In the second context she wants to show them something: they become the objects of her poetry, those to whom she is sending a message. In the third instance, she wants to “pull them towards poems” written by pretty black girls, maybe even her own, those poets who are trying to bring about change in society. (6) 2. “Please don’t turn me away.” (2) 3. There is alliteration in the lines: the repeated “r” and “s” which makes the “Robbed” especially stand out so that one takes notice of the meaning. The robin robbed, took away, as if the first syllable of the bird’s name is removed. (2) 

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The ride by Joyce Chigiya 1. “The relay” reminds one of a relay race in which a baton is passed from person to person. Here it is money that is being passed from the back of the taxi to the tout in front. The money is passed in “untidy piles”, snatched hurriedly. (This might also have reference to the Zimbabwean currency which had devalued to such an extent that only notes meant anything, not coins, and one had to use a lot of them. Another connotation is of music in “notes” and “played”, which perhaps comments on the music that is usually very loud in a taxi. The lines are in the present tense which brings a sense of immediacy. (3) 2. “puked” means vomited, so the word is used to indicate that the tout whose butt is sticking out of the window, might fall out of the taxi. Using the word could mean that the taxi is very full (a reason for vomiting) or that there is a strong odour of humanity in the heat (the window is open). (3) 3. There are two instances of alliteration in “Please pay” and “fare … fuel from”. The sounds add to the sense that these words are being said out loud, enunciated carefully so that all passengers can hear. (2) 

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Calvinia, 1976 by Jacques Rousseau 1. According to the poem, the sheep were in trucks being taken away where they would end up (“destined”) on dinner plates with vegetables in a traditional meal. (2) 2. He tells of the sugar being put into “my enamel coffee mug” and the thermos in which there was hot coffee waiting for them, “waiting to be emptied”, so the grandfather would pour coffee into the mugs. The repetition of “waiting” gives purpose to the thermos: it had been filled and put there for them to use. (3) 3. The details enrich not only the poem, but also the remembered life. They were so special to the boy that the adult speaker remembers them still. The different senses evoked (smell: “of sheep”; sight: there are many; sound: “windmills”; taste: sweet coffee, “lard”, toast, “Sunday morning’s feast”, the sweets; touch: sweets “in our palms”) also make the memories real and rich. The simple pleasures and activities of life with grandfather also make his death more devastating: life and then death, which indicates to some extent how the boy must have felt at the time. (5) 

To My Father, Who Died by Dawn Garisch 1. The effect is to bring to mind the image of a skull, which has deep holes where the eyes used to be. This is appropriate, although she is talking about her own eyes, because her father is dead. (2)

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Answers to discussion questions

2. “where fish disperse / like coins scattered, catching light” is a simile comparing the flitting about of silvery fish to coins dropped or thrown or falling. Both “scatter” in random directions, and the fish are silvery, and reflect the sunlight near the surface of the water, as silver coins would catch the light and glitter. (3) 3. The title says “To my father” as a note or present would, and is not addressing the father directly, as the poem does with the pronoun “you”. The title is for the reader, who is invited to read what she wrote to her father. The last two words, “who died”, make the reader consider the circumstances closely: how can a note be addressed to someone who is already dead? The poem has actually been written for the daughter, the speaker/poet herself, who is trying to understand her father and his relationship or lack thereof with her. Addressing him directly in the poem itself is a device to bring him closer to her, while we know he is dead because the title tells us this before we even read the poem. (5) 

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Give by Gabeba Baderoon 1. First of all the words are alliterated with the repeated “w” creating the sound of the rod blowing in the wind. And then it is actually the wind that is whipping the rod, making it lash up and down, so the verb is misplaced. This has the effect of making the rod the centre of attention as it is the tool in the poem. (4) 2. Nudging implies a gentle push, and here the fisherman is slowly moving the baited hook towards where the fish are. (2) 3. A source of light in the dark has the effect of making the darkness around it, where it doesn’t reach, seem even darker. (1) 4. The first “holding” refers to the leather cups on the belt around the fisherman’s waist in which the end of the rod rests and carries some of the rod’s weight. The second “holding” means holding out, not snapping as the fish pulls on it. The use of the same word links the two actions. (3) 

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Poems From All Over

Answers to assessment questions Question A: Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney

Essay: The poem ends on a statement that evokes great pity. Discuss how the poet, through his choice of words, builds towards this ending. The poem ends with naming the small coffin, and the age of the boy inside it. The poem gives a schoolboy’s experience of events when his little brother died. This ending appeals to our emotions as the death of a child is hard to bear. The poet has built up to the poignant line throughout the poem. The speaker describes how he waited to be fetched home from school. The words “sick bay”, “bells knelling”, like funeral bells announcing a death, and that it is neighbours who fetch him, build towards something ominous. Then he mentions his “father crying”. The baby cooing and laughing is a momentary contrast to the building mood, but then “old men” shake the boy’s hand, there are “whispers”, while his angry mother “coughed out tearless sighs” and we begin to realise what has happened. This is confirmed when the “ambulance arrived / With the corpse”. This matter-of-fact statement is shocking. The speaker “saw him for the first time” and describes what he sees and what happened: “poppy bruise” is another emotive term as the red poppy is linked to Remembrance Day for those who died in the First World War. The little body lying in the “four foot” coffin is likened to him lying in his cot, making the memory more personal. The last line is not the first time the “box” is mentioned. The alliteration of the “f” sound in this line makes the words difficult to utter, as is fitting for its meaning. The final line, which stands on its own for emphasis, is thus repetition, (with an additional “f” sound) bringing home the tragedy of the small death. The speaker finally understands that his little brother is dead. The title of the poem is therefore ironic. The pity experienced in the last line is prepared for by the gradual use of words with connotations of death. 

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Question B: We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar

1. “torn and bleeding hearts” is a strong statement of pain inflicted and suffering. To smile despite this is a purposeful and heroic act. One asks why. The answer can only be to deceive (he mentions “human guile” in the previous line) so that those who have inflicted the pain do not have the pleasure of seeing the suffering. The effect is achieved by the contrast between the pain and the expression.  2. The repetition is like a chorus, linked to slave spirituals. It also has a different function in each stanza: in the first it is described (“grins and lies”); in the second it tells why it is worn; and in the third it is confirmation that they want the “world (to) dream otherwise”.  3. The “w” sound is repeated (alliteration) throughout the short stanza. This adds to the sense of the question, and the firmness of the statement “while / … mask”.  4. A dream is unreal, fantasy, often wish fulfilment. That the world should turn a blind eye to the suffering of the slaves implies that they know the reality, but are refusing to see it. They are making themselves believe that all is well with the slaves because they are smiling.  5. that it is not true/something else/the opposite. 

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Question C: A Far Cry From Africa by Derek Walcott

1. Africa is in turmoil. Changes are taking place (line 1), the Kikuyu are out for blood, there are many dead, too many for compassion. The paradise that was Africa is no more.  (2) 2. There is alliteration in the repeated “s” sound. The hissing sound is almost sarcastic: figures and academics give reasons for what is happening in Africa as the people are fighting against colonialism. The implication is that this has little to do with those who are fighting or have been killed.  (2) 3. The violence happens in the animal kingdom, but in the human world violence is committed with the intention of hurting. Animals do it for natural reasons, humans don’t have that excuse because they have reason and emotions, and yet this is what they do. (2) 4. The “he” is “upright man” who calls it courage that people fight for their freedom, but they are actually fighting against white domination, and a peace that will subjugate and master them (the African people). (2) 5. The “again” refers to the fact that this kind of conflict, which has resulted in many deaths, has happened before, as it did in Spain, and for the same reasons with which we should not sympathise. He speaks of “brutish necessity” and a “dirty cause”, making his viewpoint quite clear.  (2) (10) Question D: The Woman by Kristina Rungano

1. These two phrases make the woman seem very present and in the now. She is speaking to us as if these things have just happened.  2. The woman’s body is weary from all the physical labour she performs, from her pregnancy, and from the abuse of her husband. Her heart is tired because of the emotional pain she experiences. She gets no positive feedback or help from the man and she thinks the situation of women unfair. (2) 3. It tells us that during the time she was working in the fields, her husband was out amusing himself. There is an imbalance and unfairness to this.  4. The dashes emphasise that the dishes she is washing are those her husband has used. She is pointing out how she has to serve him, and how unfair the situation is.  5. She seems to regret her feelings of ill will (“I hated you”) and be saying that she will take on a woman’s burden and be a good wife, because that is the way things are, and what is expected. But there is an edge of sarcasm here as she asks “For are you not the fruit of the land?” 

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Question E: The Efficacy of Prayer by Casey Motsisi

1. They are the “old people”, the parents. 2. It is an example of alliteration (repetition of the “d” sound), which makes the name stand out. It carries the old people’s disrespect for him, especially as they are not sure it was his real name. It makes sure we understand that he was always drunk. To the children (see Sally’s words) it is simply Dan’s name. The repetition also allows us to contrast “Drunk” with “nanny” and see the irony. 3. They scorned/were ashamed of/disapproved of him as shown by the fact that they just “dumped” him into a “hole” and gave him “a pauper’s funeral”, were glad he was dead, the (uncaring) name they gave him, they thought he was “a bad for the children”, they thought he was a lost soul (they prayed to God to save their Sally from becoming like him). 

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Poems From All Over

4. They felt drawn to him by his music, his stories, that he “was like one of them”. He was probably free and easy, and happy to be with them, unlike their parents. 5. The irony lies in the fact that the parents’ prayer was answered. They prayed that little Sally, who announced that she wanted to grow up to be like Dan, would be saved from that fate. The speaker says their prayers were answered in that she “grew up to become a nanny …”. Dan was free and happy, Sally became a menial worker in a white household during the apartheid years, and was not free at all. The author is commenting on the lives of blacks under apartheid. 

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