Monday, June 23, 2014



  1. What is the poem's subject matter: (Look at the Title first)
  2. Which words and *poetic techniques provoke emotions or attitudes to the poem's subject matter?
  3. What do you like about the poem (i.e. meanings, poetic techniques, words, imagery, feelings?) What do you dislike about the poem?
  4. Is it a **lyrical poem (about feelings about something), a ***narrative poem (a ballad, one that tells a story), or a ****dramatic poem (one that speaks to another unseen person)?
  5. What does the poem remind you of (i.e. other poems, movies, books, songs, photographs, historical events, current events?)
  6. Describe the picture of Australian/other cultural life it represents.
  7. Which parts and ways of thinking about a particular culture does it celebrate, or not celebrate, or criticise?
  8. Is the representation of the culture good for most people, some people, few people?
  9. What do you think is the purpose of the poem (to entertain, to inform, to persuade, to reflect)?
  10. Does it call for any change to the status quo?

Symbols, imagery, alliteration, assonance, personification, metaphor, simile, allusion etc. Check your list of poetic techniques.


**LYRICAL POEM - My Country, by Dorothea Mackellar

***NARRATIVE POEM - Clancy of the Overflow, by Banjo Patterson

****DRAMATIC POEM - Annabelle Lee, by Edgar Allan Poe


Allspirit Poetry

Poems on Death, Dying and Grief

Peace my heart...
Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words in silence.
I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light you on your way.
~Rabindranath Tagore

White Ashes from Rennyo's Letters
translated by Hisao Inagaki et al
When I deeply contemplate the transient nature of human life, I realize that, from beginning to end, life is impermanent like an illusion. We have not yet heard of anyone who lived ten thousand years. How fleeting is a lifetime! Who in this world today can maintain a human form for even a hundred years? There is no knowing whether I will die first or others, whether death will occur today or tomorrow. We depart one after another more quickly than the dewdrops on the roots or the tips of the blades of grasses. So it is said. Hence, we may have radiant faces in the morning, but by evening we may turn into white ashes. Once the winds of impermanence have blown, our eyes are instantly closed and our breath stops forever. Then, our radiant face changes its color, and the attractive countenance like peach and plum blossoms is lost. Family and relatives will gather and grieve, but all to no avail? Since there is nothing else that can be done, they carry the deceased out to the fields, and then what is left after the body has been cremated and has turned into the midnight smoke is just white ashes. Words fail to describe the sadness of it all. Thus the ephemeral nature of human existence is such that death comes to young and old alike without discrimination. So we should all quickly take to heart the matter of the greatest importance of the afterlife, entrust ourselves deeply to Amida Buddha, and recite the nembutsu. Humbly and respectfully.

Because I could not stop for Death
BECAUSE I could not stop for Death--
He kindly stopped for me--
The Carriage held but just Ourselves--
And Immortality.
We slowly drove--He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labour and my leisure too,
For His Civility--
We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess--in the Ring--
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain--
We passed the Setting Sun--
Or rather--He passed Us--
The Dews drew quivering and chill--
For only Gossamer, my Gown--
My Tippet--only Tulle--
We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground--
The Roof was scarcely visible--
The Cornice--in the Ground--
Since then--'tis Centuries--and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses Heads
Were toward Eternity--
Emily Dickinson

Holy Sonnets X
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better than thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die. .
~John Donne

The dead they sleep...
The dead they sleep a long, long sleep;
The dead they rest, and their rest is deep;
The dead have peace, but the living weep.
~Samuel Hoffenstein

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám 21
Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and best
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to Rest.
Translated by Edward FitzGerald

When I Am Dead, My Dearest
When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.
~Christina Rossetti

A Parable of Immortality
I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch until at last she hangs
like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says,
" There she goes! "
Gone where?
Gone from my sight . . . that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the place of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment
when someone at my side says,
" There she goes! "
there are other eyes watching her coming . . .
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout . . .
" Here she comes! "
~Henry Van Dyke

On Death
Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of death.
And he said:
You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heath of life? The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light. If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; and like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honor. Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king? Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
The Prophet
Kahlil Gibran
Walker & Company
Phoenix Press, 1923

If Death is Kind
Perhaps if death is kind, and there can be returning,
We will come back to earth some fragrant night,
And take these lanes to find the sea, and bending
Breathe the same honeysuckle, low and white.
We will come down at night to these resounding beaches
And the long gentle thunder of the sea,
Here for a single hour in the wide starlight
We shall be happy, for the dead are free.
~Sara Teasdale

When I die...
When I die...
When I die
when my coffin
is being taken out
you must never think
i am missing this world
don't shed any tears
don't lament or
feel sorry
i'm not falling
into a monster's abyss
when you see
my corpse is being carried
don't cry for my leaving
i'm not leaving
i'm arriving at eternal love
when you leave me
in the grave
don't say goodbye
remember a grave is
only a curtain
for the paradise behind
you'll only see me
descending into a grave
now watch me rise
how can there be an end
when the sun sets or
the moon goes down
it looks like the end
it seems like a sunset
but in reality it is a dawn
when the grave locks you up
that is when your soul is freed
have you ever seen
a seed fallen to earth
not rise with a new life
why should you doubt the rise
of a seed named human
have you ever seen
a bucket lowered into a well
coming back empty
why lament for a soul
when it can come back
like Joseph from the well
when for the last time
you close your mouth
your words and soul
will belong to the world of
no place no time
~RUMI, ghazal number 911, translated May 18, 1992, by Nader Khalili.

When a man knows God
"When a man knows God, he is free: his sorrows have an end,
and birth and death are no more. When in inner union he is
beyond the world of the body, then the third world, the world
of the Spirit, is found, where the power of the All is, and man
has all: for he is one with the ONE."
From: Svetasvatara Upanishad

Attitude toward Death
Live your life that the fear of death
can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about his religion.
Respect others in their views
and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life,
beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long
and of service to your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day
when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting
or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light,
for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks,
the fault lies in yourself.
Touch not the poisonous firewater that makes wise ones turn to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision.
When your time comes to die, be not like those
whose hearts are filled with fear of death,
so that when their time comes they weep and pray
for a little more time to live their lives over again
in a different way.
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.
The Teaching of Tecumseh

Zen Death Poems:
When Ryonen was about to pass from this world, she wrote another poem:
Sixty-six times have these eyes beheld the changing scene of autumn. I have said enough about moonlight, Ask no more. Only listen to the voice of pines and cedars when no wind stirs.
Senseki: At last I am leaving: in rainless skies, a cool moon... pure is my heart
Banzan: Farewell... I pass as all things do dew on the grass.
Basho: On a journey, ill: my dream goes wandering over withered fields.
Nandai: Since time began the dead alone know peace. Life is but melting snow.

All Return Again

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not
die, but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again.
Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals
and mournful obituaries, and there they stand looking out of the
window, sound and well, in some new strange disguise. Jesus is not
dead; he is very well alive; nor John, nor Paul, nor Mahomet, nor
Aristotle; at times we believe we have seen them all, and could
easily tell the names under which they go.

- See more at:


Purpose: To persuade your audience that poetry holds special significance at important stages in our lives.

Text Type: Opinion piece based on poetry to be published in an Australian newspaper.

Semester Two ENG102

In order to engage your audience you may use:
·        first person and/collective pronouns
·        an informal. conversational tone
·        humour (if relevant).
·        a variety of simple and complex sentences.


Picture of author


Introduction establishing the relevance of the topic by relating it to Australia’s current involvement in the Middle East

Statement of Opinion

Point- Introduction of first poem and explanation of its relevance to the topic of the opinion piece




Explanation of techniques used to make meaning and appeal to audiences


Point- Introduction of second poem and explanation of relevance

Reference to poetic devices and quotes (evidence) to support point.

Context provided for the poem- explanation of poet’s experience of war.


Evidence from text

Use of second person to involve the audience- Call to Action

Link back to statement of opinion
Poetry gives the futility of war a different perspective

War death needs remembering to have meaning

Insert Picture here

By Sue Parkinson

On Friday, the 15th July, the nation farewelled the eighth Commando and 28th Australian soldier to fall in Afghanistan. Sergeant Todd Langley was only 35 years old and left behind a wife and four children. His death is no doubt a tragedy and for many is a reminder of the futility of fighting a war in such a remote country for a cause many now see as questionable. Yet, despite the pain and obvious suffering brought about by this death, there is another side to this sacrifice, a side highlighted by some of our greatest war poets.

In his poem “The young dead soldiers,” Archibald MacLeish reminds us that most soldiers who have died in war have been young with their futures and lives cut short by their human sacrifice. But he reiterates the need for humanity to remember this sacrifice so that it hasn’t been in vain.

“They say
We have given our lives
But until it is finished no one can know what our lives gave”

MacLeish reminds us that the people who give their lives in times of war are doing so in the hope that people like us can enjoy freedom and peace. If we do not give their sacrifice meaning and remember what they have done then there is a terrible futility to their deaths.

“They say
Whether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope
Or for nothing
We cannot say.
It is you who must say this”

Macleish makes his poem a very personal one by referring to the soldiers as “they” throughout the poem and he takes this one step further making it even more personal by adding the pronoun “we”. This comes together very poignantly in the final lines:

“We were young, they say.
We have died.
Remember us.”

In his patriotic war poem “The Soldier” Rupert Brookes also sees war as an ennobling experience and death just an inevitable part of that. His use of alliteration in the repetition of the “f” sound at the beginning of his sonnet draws our attention to his geography as well as his patriotism.

“If I should die, think only this of me
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England.”

Brookes was fighting in World War I where trench warfare and mustard gas eliminated even the toughest of fighters and caused untold misery, yet despite this he sees war as a sacrifice happily made if it enriches the world. He sees himself as the “richer dust” reminiscent of the phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” so often spoken at gravesites.

“There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed,
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware”

He goes on to say in the final part of his sonnet that death is not an end and not something he will regret. This is because he believes that he will go to heaven, his death purifying his soul so he will have eternal life.

“And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less”

We are reminded constantly of our war dead. We have cemeteries full of head stones, large and often impressive shrines of remembrance and funeral services which bring together politicians, family and armed forces as one in grief. But it is vital that we do remember and give honour to the lives lost during times of war and not dwell on the loss alone. If we do this, then it will give meaning to our soldiers’ ultimate sacrifice and perhaps bring us, alive and enjoying our freedom, peace. Todd Langley won’t have died in vain.

Use of complex sentences used to link together dense subject matter


Negative affect
Negative judgement

Positive affect
Positive judgement

Inclusive language (involves the audience)

Reference to poetic structure, form or devices

Inclusive language (involves the audience)

Thursday, June 19, 2014


A good dictionary will tell you if a verb or adjective is usually followed by a special preposition. Use a dictionary to find the preposition that often follows these words. The first one has been done for you:

  1. fond ..of...
  2. concentrate ..............
  3. rely ................
  4. listen ..............
  5. agree ..............
  6. depend ...............
  7. suffer ...............
  8. married ................
  9. apologise ..............
  10. applied ..............
  11. waiting ...............
  12. worry .............
  13. satisfied .............
  14. complained .............
  15. belongs ..............
  16. translate the book .................. Spanish.
  17. thinking .....................
  18. keen ..............
  19. similar .............
  20. interested .................
  21. aware ...................
  22. tired ................
  23. full .............. water.
  24. something wrong ............... this television.
  25. flying home ................. Hong Kong.

Write a sentence, using each VERB + PREPOSITION - e.g.

I am very fond of the puppy next door.


Finish these questions with the correct preposition, then write a short answer for each one.


  1. What exactly is she worried ...............?     ANSWER: -----------------------------------
  2. What subjects is she good ----------?          ANSWER: ...............................................
  3. Who is she waiting .......?                           ANSWER: ...............................................
  4. What job is she applying ...........?              ANSWER: ...............................................
  5. What radio station is she listening .......?    ANSWER: ...............................................
  6. What did she complain .................?           ANSWER: ...............................................
  7. What did she apologise ...............?             ANSWER: ............................................... 
  8. Who is ................. the table?                      ANSWER: ...............................................
  9. Who is she shouting ...........?                      ANSWER: ...............................................
  10. What films are you interested ........?          ANSWER: ...............................................
  1. They came
  2. They are .........strike.
  3. They went climbing ....... foot.
  4. The young couple are very much ...... love.
  5. He did the job ..... himself.
  6. The fruit bowl is ..... top ... the table.
  7. The Post Office is ............. City Hall.
  8. The traffic lights are ........ the street. 
  9. They went ........ the city ........ car.
  10. Has he got a job ...... the moment?



about, at, for, for, to, about, for, under, at, in, 


by, on, by, in, by, on...of, opposite, across,, at

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Uncountable Nouns
Uncountable nouns are substances, concepts etc that we cannot divide into separate elements. We cannot "count" them. For example, we cannot count "milk". We can count "bottles of milk" or "litres of milk", but we cannot count "milk" itself. Here are some more uncountable nouns:
  • music, art, love, happiness
  • advice, information, news
  • furniture, luggage
  • rice, sugar, butter, water
  • electricity, gas, power
  • money, currency
We usually treat uncountable nouns as singular. We use a singular verb. For example:
  • This news is very important.
  • Your luggage looks heavy.
We do not usually use the indefinite article a/an with uncountable nouns. We cannot say "an information" or "a music". But we can say a something of:
  • a piece of news
  • a bottle of water
  • a grain of rice
We can use some and any with uncountable nouns:
  • I've got some money.
  • Have you got any rice?
We can use a little and much with uncountable nouns:
  • I've got a little money.
  • I haven't got much rice.
Uncountable nouns are also called "mass nouns".
Here are some more examples of countable and uncountable nouns:

Nouns that can be Countable and Uncountable:
Sometimes, the same noun can be countable and uncountable, often with a change of meaning.
There are two hairs in my coffee!hairI don't have much hair.
There are two lights in our bedroom.lightClose the curtain. There's too much light!
Shhhhh! I thought I heard a noise.
There are so many different noises in the city.
noiseIt's difficult to work when there is so much noise.
Have you got a paper to read? (newspaper)
Hand me those student papers.
paperI want to draw a picture. Have you got some paper?
Our house has seven rooms.roomIs there room for me to sit here?
We had a great time at the party.
How many times have I told you no?
timeHave you got time for a cup of coffee?
Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's greatest works.workI have no money. I need work!
Drinks (coffee, water, orange juice) are usually uncountable. But if we are thinking of a cup or a glass, we can say (in a restaurant, for example):
  • Two teas and one coffee please.


Go here for uncountable/countable noun games:

Here is an example:

Complete each sentence with one countable noun and one uncountable noun from the list. Each noun must be used once only:
   battery      bottle      dollars      electricity      furniture      luggage      money      music      songs      suitcase      tables      wine  
1. The only  in the apartment is a couple of old .
2. If you'd like to drink some , we should order a .
3. Is there a dark blue  with that over there?
4. Ten thousand American  is quite a lot of , isn't it?
5. If the  doesn't work, use a  instead.
6. I love playing , and I've even written three or four .

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


How has the satirist used visual elements and language techniques to convey the message in this cartoon?

There is a world of difference between First World countries and Third World countries. First World countries control most of the world's resources, but do not see the need to empathise with Third World societies. It is becoming a commonplace saying today - 'That's a First World problem,' when people from rich nations complain about everyday 'issues' that displease them, not seeing that in comparison to Third World populations, their problems are small indeed. Take the recent abduction of 273 Nigerian schoolgirls, whose only crime was desiring an education, something taken for granted by First World populations. The media showed scant interest at the time in following this story, no First World governments demanded action to bring back the girls, and the story soon became forgotten. It is an unhappy fact that these girls are still missing, still to be returned to their families, still to be certified dead or alive. Yet the First World has all but forgotten them. Satire is a form of comedy that uses wit as a weapon to send a message to society, in this case, First World society. The satirist in the 'First Dog on the Moon' cartoon has mocked this situation by the clever use of satirical devices such as visual elements and language techniques, targetting First World society which does nothing, or very little, to assist Third World society. Visual elements such as juxtaposition and caricature have been used in each frame and language techniques such as verbal irony are evident in the text within the cartoon frames. The purpose of combining all these elements is to send the message that First World people need to use their resources to reach out to Third World people.

The visual element of juxtaposing First World problems and Third World problems side by side, the satirist has enhanced the message in the text that is - First World problems are very insignificant when compared to Third World problems. At the top of the first two frames are words stating the facts about the 273 Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted, whilst underneath the 'news', is the 'dog' (representative of First World children) complaining about an umbrella. 'Why don't people put things  back?' is asked regarding the umbrella. Very much a First World problem when Nigerian families are asking 'Why don't they bring our girls back?' The priorities of First World populations is shown in the second frame where one of the small 'dogs' is asking for the news of the Nigerian girls to be turned off as he/she wants to watch Beyonce on television. This juxtaposition reveals the lack of interest in the abducted Nigerian girls. By the third frame, the readers get the message - no matter how brutal are the facts about Third World problems - 21 million in slavery is a big deal - in the First World how the eggs are done is more problematic. The satirist has cleverly used the visual element of juxtaposition to mock the follies and vices of First World populations who show little interest in the terrible situations people in Third World countries are experiencing right now.  

Caricature is a crucial visual element of satire. The exaggeration of situations and characters help to give the satirist's message more impact. The representation of the First World as 'dogs' could be seen as derogatory, as to call a person a 'dog' is a huge put down. It could be classed as a way to mock First World children. The caricature of these cartoon figures is effective, and much kinder than a realistic representation of people would have been. By using the 'dogs' to represent First World children, maybe the cartoonist was hoping to be less offensive, and therefore people would study the cartoon more closely. The big eyes could represent knowledge while the long noses often represent liars, derived from the Pinocchio story. By representing real-life situations in caricature, the author has gauged the impact of his message that First World people really do not care about Third World problems, no matter how dire these problems are. 

Verbal irony, a language technique,  is perhaps one of the strongest tools of satire and it is present in this cartoon. The type of verbal irony used in this satirical cartoon is one where comparisons and contrasts are used to create a visualisation for the reader. Throughout each cartoon frame, the satirist has positioned the reader to compare First World concerns with Third World concerns, with the result that the reader should see as vacuous any comments by the First World 'dogs'. It is ironic that in the first frame, the 'dog' is whining about his umbrella, where in a country that would dearly love to see rain, an umbrella would not be used. People would be outside lapping up the rain. It is also ironic that the same 'dog' should ask the question - 'Why don't people put things back?' Of course the reader thinks of the 273 Nigerian girls who haven't been 'put back' where they were found. It is a well-known fact that Beyonce is very important to teenagers in the First World. She has many fans and one can understand the First World child wanting to watch her on television. It is ironic that watching Beyonce is far more important than hearing the news about what is happening to the Nigerian girls and how many real problems the Nigerian children have - widespread illiteracy and virtually no health care. In the third frame, the 'dogs' are discussing 21 million people enslaved globally, yet the smaller 'dog' is only concerned with the status of his eggs - 'Do you think I can send them back?' This is of relatively little importance and very ironicaly when we think about the Nigerian girls who haven't been sent back home.

The satirist has conveyed a very strong message by comparing First World problems with Third World problems. The First World is the obvious target of the mocking satire which exposes the follies and vices of First World people who are represented as dogs. The visual elements and the language features underline the message in the cartoon. What can First World children learn from a cartoon such as this one? Perhaps remember that you are very privileged and be grateful for your good fortune in living in a First World country rich in resources, rather than in a Third World country which lacks even basic resources such as education, health care, water and most of all, freedom. If you are able, donate some money to alleviate their problems.  

Some suggestions if you want to help:

What To Do:
1. Remember your privilege and be grateful for your good fortune.
2. Speak about this and other uncomfortable topics.
3. Don't get sucked in to the bullshit that is broadcast nightly (usually around six o'clock).
4. Write to your local MP; tell them this topic is important to you.
5. Find out who is doing something about this; offer them a one-off donation.
6. Feel better for having done something.
7. Don't feel so overwhelmed that you can't do anything.
8. Get involved in a local group that does something constructive in your area.
9. Be kind.

RESPONSE: How does the cartoonist convey the message?

  • Who is the target?
  • What is the purpose?
  • What language techniques does the cartoon contain?
  • What visual elements does the cartoon contain?