Seamus Heaney Seamus Heaney was a Northern Irish

Seamus Heaney Seamus Heaney was a Northern Irish

Seamus Heaney Seamus Heaney was a Northern Irish poet who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 and died in 2013. He often wrote about themes such as childhood, nature and his homeland. This poem was published in 1996. Youve got to know what the poems about 1) The narrator describes how a community thinks its well-prepared for a coming storm. 2) As the poem goes on, their confidence starts to disappear as the storm develops. The power and the sounds of the storm are described. 3) The ending of the poem describes the fear as the storm hits the island. Thoughtfully develop responses, Judiciously use precise Explain responses, using references to support critical

references to support generic making apt references for support. (Level 4-5- 5-7) analysis. (Level 6- 8/9) comments. (Level 2-3- 3/4) As we read the poem, consider what image Heaney is trying to create. Vocabulary Wizened= Dried up/Shrivelled Stacks/stooks= haystacks / shocks of corn sheaves Strafes= Bombards, harasses with artillery shells Salvo= Simultaneous firing of artillery We are prepared: we build our houses squat,

Sink walls in rock and roof them with good slate. This wizened earth has never troubled us With hay, so, as you see, there are no stacks Or stooks that can be lost. Nor are there trees Which might prove company when it blows full Blast: you know what I mean leaves and branches Can raise a tragic chorus in a gale So that you listen to the thing you fear Forgetting that it pummels your house too. But there are no trees, no natural shelter. You might think that the sea is company, Exploding comfortably down on the cliffs But no: when it begins, the flung spray hits The very windows, spits like a tame cat Turned savage. We just sit tight while wind dives And strafes invisibly. Space is a salvo, We are bombarded with the empty air. Strange, it is a huge nothing that we fear. READ

THE POEM Learning Objective: Read, understand and respond to texts. Level 6 - Critical, exploratory comparison. Judicious use of precise references to support interpretation(s) Level 5 - Thoughtful, developed comparison. Apt references integrated into interpretation(s) Level 4 - Clear comparison. Effective use of references to support explanation Why is the title so blunt? It only references storm, not a particular

storm. What does this suggest? How does this link to the closing line and the meaning? WHAT DO YOU NOTICE ABOUT THE POEM? Discuss the poem with another person from the class. Consider: Line length Language use Ideas Rhyme schemes Poetic techniques Learning Objective: Read, understand and respond to texts and analyse language, form and structure. Level 6 - Critical, exploratory comparison. Judicious use of precise references to support explorative interpretation(s) of the writers methods on the reader.

Level 5 - Thoughtful, developed comparison. Apt references integrated into interpretation(s). Examines the effects of the writers methods on the reader. Level 4 - Clear comparison. Effective use of references to support explanation. Understands the effects of the writers methods on the reader. Go a step further and give a personal response Have a go at answering these questions to help you come up with your own ideas about the poem: Q1. Do you think the speaker likes living on the island? Why/ why not? Q2. Whats the effect of describing the leaves and branches as a tragic chorus?

Q3. Why do you think the poem addresses the reader directly? What effect does it have on you? Q4. What is the effect of comparing the sea to a tame cat . Turned savage? Power of nature, fear, individual experiences of place ... Y KE MES E TH If youre writing about fear or the power of nature, look at Bayonet Charge or The Prelude. You could consider how feelings for a place are presented in this poem compared with The Emigree or London. Learn about the form, structure and language 1) FORM The poem is written in blank verse, which mirrors the patterns of everyday speech and makes the poem sound like part of a conversation. The first person plural (We) is used, showing how this is a collective, communal experience, The poem is all in one stanza its compact and sturdy like the houses. 2) STRUCTURE - The poem shifts from security to fear. But no: seems to be a turning point

(volta), with the slow pace of the monosyllabic phrase and the caesura reflecting the last moments of the calm before the storm. Structure The poem consists of nineteen lines of blank verse - unrhyming lines each containing five beats or feet. This verse form (much used by Shakespeare) follows the natural patterns of spoken English, so we feel that Heaney is talking to us. How does this help you to engage with the ideas in this poem? Enjambment WHAT DO YOU NOTICE ABOUT THE STRUCTURE OF THE POEM? The poem uses enjambment. This means that some of the lines in the poem run on over more than one line. Task:

Annotate the use of Enjambment in the poem. What is the poem describing when the enjambment is used? What effect might this have on the reader? Learning Objective: Read, understand and respond to texts and analyse language, form and structure. Level 6 - Critical, exploratory comparison. Judicious use of precise references to support explorative interpretation(s) of the writers methods on the reader.

Level 5 - Thoughtful, developed comparison. Apt references integrated into interpretation(s). Examines the effects of the writers methods on the reader. Level 4 - Clear comparison. Effective use of references to support explanation. Understands the effects of the writers methods on the reader. What is the effect of enjambment in the poem? Why is caesura so important in this poem? Why do you think the poem is structured in one verse, despite having two distinct sections?

How does it affect our reading that this is in blank verse (unrhyming lines each containing five beats)? Learn about the form, structure and language 1) CONTRASTING DESCRIPTIONS OF SAFETY AND FEAR The narrator uses a lot of words to do with safety and security at the beginning of the poem. The tone changes though, and the sense of danger increases as familiar things become frightening during the storm. 2) DIRECT ADDRESS - The narrator involves the reader in his fear by speaking directly to you. 3) VIOLENT IMAGERY The storm is described in violent, often warlike terms, with similes, metaphors and personification combining to emphasise the danger and effects of the storm. 4) USE OF SOUNDS - Forceful sounds (e.g. Blast) are used to demonstrate the strength of nature, and the poem also uses assonant and sibilant sounds to reflect the noise of the wind and waves. Thoughtfully develop responses, Judiciously use precise Explain responses, using

references to support critical references to support generic making apt references for support. (Level 4-5- 5-7) analysis. (Level 6- 8/9) comments. (Level 2-3- 3/4) During the poem, the narrator shows that they go from feeling safe to feeling insecure. This changes at the Volta (the word But). INSECURE SAFE Select relevant quotes and explain what it is that makes the narrator feel safe in the first part of the poem and insecure in the second. Who are the main characters of the poem: the wind and waves or the we? Why do you say this?

Why does Heaney use we? What is the impact of personification in the poem? Especially in reference to the land and nature. How does Heaney use contradictions and comparisons to create effects? How is alliteration and sound used for effect in the poem? Remember the feelings and attitudes in the poem 1) SAFETY The first part of the poem shows that the community feels safe, and prepare for the storm. 2) FEAR This sense of security soon changes to fear, as familiar things change and become frightening.

3) HELPLESSNESS The people cant do anything about their fear except wait for the storm to finish. Nature is presented as a powerful, relentless force. Steve saw the storm as the perfect opportunity to try out his new kite. Houses are built squat (short and fat) so as to protect them against storms. Because of this, Heaney begins confidently. How does his tone change throughout and why is the tone conversational? Thoughtfully develop responses, Judiciously use precise Explain responses, using references to support critical references to support generic making apt references for support. (Level 4-5- 5-7) analysis. (Level 6- 8/9)

comments. (Level 2-3- 3/4) Quotation What it suggests about the feelings of the speaker We are prepared: we build our houses squat But there are no trees, no natural shelter We just sit tight while wind dives And strafes invisibly Strange Complete the table to explain what is suggested by the changes in tone in the poem. Thoughtfully develop responses, Judiciously use precise

Explain responses, using references to support critical references to support generic making apt references for support. (Level 4-5- 5-7) analysis. (Level 6- 8/9) comments. (Level 2-3- 3/4) The first eight letters of the title make the word STORMONT and this is the name of the residence of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Considering the unrest in Northern Island, what might Heaney be trying to say by using this title? Answer the question using well-judged (judicious) quotations and explanations. Challenge: Consider how different methods might support your ideas. Exam Style Question: How is the power of nature presented in this poem and one other poem from the anthology? Quotation

Commentary We are prepared: we build our houses squat... But there are no trees, no natural shelter. We just sit tight while wind dives And strafes invisibly Strange... Learning Objective: Read, understand and respond to texts and analyse language, form and structure. Level 6 - Critical, exploratory comparison. Judicious use of precise references to support explorative interpretation(s) of the writers methods on the reader.

Level 5 - Thoughtful, developed comparison. Apt references integrated into interpretation(s). Examines the effects of the writers methods on the reader. Level 4 - Clear comparison. Effective use of references to support explanation. Understands the effects of the writers methods on the reader. Exam Style Question: How is the power of nature presented in this poem and one other poem from the anthology? Quotation Commentary The opening words of the poem suggests a community readying itself to endure We are prepared: we

bombing or bombardment - an idea which Heaney returns to at the build our houses squat... wartime end of the poem. But there are no trees, no natural shelter. Heaney seems affectionate towards the island at first, wryly admitting it has never troubled them, yet here the But is significant: it is as if the island has let them down. They are at the mercy of the storm with no natural shelter. We just sit tight while wind dives And strafes invisibly Heaney recognises that he is powerless in the storm. There is nothing that man can do but sit tight while the wind attacks. It's like being under enemy fire. Strange... Heaney finds their fears strange because the object of fear is not tangible - it's

'a huge nothing'. So are the fears imaginary or real? Is he afraid of the wind, or doesn't he know what to be afraid of? Learning Objective: Read, understand and respond to texts and analyse language, form and structure. Level 6 - Critical, exploratory comparison. Judicious use of precise references to support explorative interpretation(s) of the writers methods on the reader. Level 5 - Thoughtful, developed comparison. Apt references integrated into interpretation(s). Examines the effects of the writers methods on the reader. Level 4 - Clear comparison. Effective use of references to support explanation.

Understands the effects of the writers methods on the reader. Exam Style Question: How is the power of nature presented in this poem and one other poem from the anthology? Quotation Commentary leaves and branches Can raise a tragic chorus in a gale You might think that the sea is company But no the flung spray hits The very windows, spits like a tame cat Turned savage it is a huge nothing that

we fear. Learning Objective: Read, understand and respond to texts and analyse language, form and structure. Level 6 - Critical, exploratory comparison. Judicious use of precise references to support explorative interpretation(s) of the writers methods on the reader. Level 5 - Thoughtful, developed comparison. Apt references integrated into interpretation(s). Examines the effects of the writers methods on the reader. Level 4 - Clear comparison. Effective use of references to support explanation. Understands the effects of the

writers methods on the reader. Exam Style Question: How is the power of nature presented in this poem and one other poem from the anthology? Quotation Commentary leaves and branches phrase tragic chorus alludes to the serious nature of the damage that leaves and Can raise a tragic chorus The branches can cause. in a gale You might think that the Here, Heaney alludes to the fact that nature is not always our friend. The line refers to the sea is company untold damage and power that the sea, and the effects of the sea, can have. But no the flung spray hits simile is used to compare the spray of the sea to a savage animal. Here, Heaney implies

The very windows, spits A that the tame sea that people trust and enjoy spending time in can become very like a tame cat dangerous. Turned savage it is a huge nothing that The damage of the wind is alluded here in that we cannot see the wind, but that the we fear. damage it can cause should be feared. Learning Objective: Read, understand and respond to texts and analyse language, form and structure. Level 6 - Critical, exploratory comparison. Judicious use of precise references to support explorative interpretation(s) of the writers methods on the reader. Level 5 - Thoughtful, developed comparison. Apt references

integrated into interpretation(s). Examines the effects of the writers methods on the reader. Level 4 - Clear comparison. Effective use of references to support explanation. Understands the effects of the writers methods on the reader. Exam Style Question: How is the power of nature presented in this poem and one other poem from the anthology? YOUR TURN POINT - The power of nature is presented in this poem through the way that the writer discusses EVIDENCE - for example, when the writer chose to use the line/ word EXPLORE - they are suggesting that DEVELOP - Further, they could be trying to reinforce the fact that or trying to show the reader that

LINK - This would present nature as being ______________ because Perhaps the writer wanted to show the audience that Learning Objective: Read, understand and respond to texts and analyse language, form and structure. Level 6 - Critical, exploratory comparison. Judicious use of precise references to support explorative interpretation(s) of the writers methods on the reader. Level 5 - Thoughtful, developed comparison. Apt references integrated into interpretation(s). Examines the effects of the writers methods on the reader. Level 4 - Clear comparison. Effective use of references to support explanation. Understands the effects of the

writers methods on the reader. How does this poem compare to ideas from other poems which we have read?

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