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The Poetry Place

My Ownerrs Kept Me...

Monday, 10 December 2007 11:09:22

Monday, 10 December 2007 11:09:22

Should I keep the original 'tigers' or not?  I tend to think that if the original fits the 'reworked' version, keep it.  So, for the moment, I will.  I decided on the pairing 'snarled and sneered'. Not only does it mean what I want it to mean, it sounds good too. 

I feared more than tigers their muscles like iron
And their jerking jaws and their breath right in my face.
I feared the sharp coarse panting of those dogs
Who snarled and sneered behind me on the road.

They were lithe, they sprang out behind hedges
Like jackals to snatch at my fur.  They dug up mud
And I scampered the other way, pretending to bark.
I longed to play with them, yet I was never allowed.

'Jackals' are the sort of animal I want here. The kind of creature I have in mind has hands, though, with long nails or claws. Can't think what such a creature might  be called.

If you do want something more serious on the poem, turn to the Workshop.

 

 



My Parents Kept Me From Children Who Were Rough

Friday, 7 December 2007 15:44:46

Friday, 7 December 2007 15:44:46

As I was thinking about 'My Parents Kept Me From Children Who Were Rough' I couldn't resist the idea of a parody.  Sorry if this isn't really that helpful to those teaching the poem.  Still have a bit to do - hence the gaps!

My owners kept me from terriers who were tough
Whose masters threw sticks like spears, who tore worn clothes.
Their teeth gnawed at bones.  They ran in the street
And climbed fences and stripped wallpaper off walls.

I feared more than tigers their muscles like iron
And their jerking jaws and their breath right in my face.
I feared the sharp coarse panting of those dogs
Who ----------------- behind me on the road.

They were lithe, they sprang out behind hedges
Like ------- to snatch at my fur.  They dug up mud
And I scampered the other way, pretending to bark.
I longed to play with them, yet I was never allowed.

by Al Sation



From War to Personal Battles

Wednesday, 5 December 2007 10:46:34

Wednesday, 5 December 2007 10:46:34

As promised, I've been thinking about some of the poems that the teachers at the conference in Dumfries asked me to consider. I've already done some work on Dulce et Decorum est in the Workshop, which I hope is useful. 

There are some very good websites on Owen and World War 1 poetry in general. One which you might like to look at is http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ltg/projects/jtap/ which, among many others things, includes a transcription of a postcard sent home by a Turkish soldier on the German-Russian front, it seems. It's a good counterweight to the over emphasis on literature from the Western Front and on texts from British sources.

A contributor to Teachit suggests elsewhere that students compare Owen's poems with The Charge of the Light Brigade. Comparisons are good at bringing out, not just differences, but aspects you hadn't necessarily noticed before. In the Workshop, I've done this with 'Dulce et Decorum est' and 'Vitai Lampada' (the 'Play up and play the game!' poem). Other comparisons that suggest themselves are with Rupert Brooke's famous and controversial sonnet. See the Workshop for further thoughts / resources on this.

In the meantime, I want to resume some writing of my own and am prompted by another Scottish request: My Parents Kept Me From Children Who Were Rough'. I can identify with this poem in a way that I find hard to do with the war poetry.   My parents didn't keep me from such children... or, come to think of it, did they? 



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