Stay hungry, stay foolish!
So today I head off on maternity leave and say goodbye to my sixth years, who have their own big adventures ahead of them! I started in St. Oliver's on the same day as some of these students (Hi Alice, Lija, Emma and Sharmyne!) and I am so happy to wish you all well in your future endeavours!
Stay hungry, stay foolish!
Term One - Homework tasks on poetry and composition
1. “Memory is a ghost train too”
Write a feature article for a newspaper or magazine on the role played by memory and the past in our lives.
2. Write a personal response to the poems by TS Eliot on your course. Support your points with reference to the poetry on your course.
3. “Larkin’s poems often reveal moments of sensitivity which lessen the disappointment and cynicism found in much of his work”.
To what extent do you agree with this statement? Support your answer with suitable reference to the poetry of Philip Larkin on your course.
Want to polish up on what we learned last year?
- Scotsman interview
- Galway advertiser interview
- The Guardian interview
- The Writing Life interview
Write a personal response to the poetry of Paul Durcan. (50)
'Shakespeare's depiction of evil in the play King Lear is far more interesting than his depiction of goodness'. Discuss. (60)
Show how the cultural context influenced the storyline in 'Foster' by Claire Keegan.
We are currently studying the poetry of Paul Durcan. Here are some resources that will help you to understand his poetry a little better. In the meantime, read his poetry aloud! You're going to love it.
Bord Gáis Energy Book Award 2014
RTE Podcast with Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin
Interview with Ciara Dwyer - Irish Independent
A Poem for Ireland 2015
The University of Limerick’s Regional Writing Centre is holding its fourth annual national essay-writing competition for Transition/4th, 5th and 6th year secondary school students. The competition invites students to take a decisive stance on the following prompt, which is to be explored in an essay of 800-1,000 words.
As promised in class here are some links for those of you who want to study poetry more indepth and push for the 'A':
Huge hat tip to Evelyn O'Connor of www.leavingcertenglish.net - browse her fabulous site for great insight and collaboration.
1. General advice on poetry essay
2. Poetry grid
3. Introductions & conclusions
4. Poetic verbs
5. Sample poetry paragraph
Below are some linking phrases ...
Life without Mammy and Daddy.
Did you ever have that tragic time when Mammy goes away for a few days or a week and you're lost? It’s not fun. Teenagers have this wild idea that when you're left by yourself in your house for a few independent days that its: All gaff parties and do what you want lifestyle. Which honestly is true. But what about the washing? The cleaning? The stomach rumbling hot dinners? The lifts? Plus the many other things we rely on our Mammies and Daddies, but mostly mammies for. Well read this post and see if it’s just me who relies on my mammy and daddy for a lot but wishes I had my freedom at the same time.
Question 1 (2014)
“Yeats uses evocative language to create poetry that includes both personal reflection and public commentary.”
Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with reference to both the themes and language found in the poetry of W. B. Yeats on your course.
Question 2 (2011)
“Yeats can be a challenging poet to read, both in terms of style and subject matter.”
To what extent do you agree with this statement? Support your answer with suitable reference to the poetry on your course.
Question 3 (2010)
“Yeats's poetry is driven by a tension between the real world in which he lives and an ideal world that he imagines.”
Write a response to the poetry of W.B. Yeats in the light of this statement, supporting your points with suitable reference to the poems on your course.
It’s about four in the morning. The silver glow of the full moon made it look like a weird parallel universe, well it is in a way. I’m standing in the clearing of a forest that was new to me. I was never in this part of the country before. We Northerners only ever stayed up north where we knew we would be safe. Cold but safe. Not that we’re afraid - we just don’t like associating ourselves in the business of others. It was always snowing at home even in the summer. The landscape was very bleak. Very white, sometimes a bit gray. It made the walls surrounding the castle look even darker than they were. The castle was huge - twelve stories tall. It housed just my family, our servants and a priest. My people have their houses out in the bailey. My father always told me that the secret to keeping your people happy is to be fair, kind and generous. All of which I am. The proof? All my people are loyal to my name.
As we say farewell to the evanescent joy of summer, autumn arrives in all its glory and full spectrum of colours. From a very young age I felt an unexplicable happiness as autumn began approaching. It brought and still brings a sense of melancholy but at the same time it brings the promise of a new start, the same way leaves gradually change colours with the seasons I believe people do too.
There are endless reasons I adore autumn. Each and every year it begins with the morning dew, tall grass dancing with the blowing wind and the sun shinning through the rusty autumn leaves and everything looks so beautifully made and indeed for a couple of moments it feels as if everything is right in the world.
Task 1 (due Mon 3/9)
Write a letter to the speaker of the poem, commenting on what you find interesting in the extract. Describe your favourite, peaceful place.
(Aesthetic use of language)
Hello :) I'm not usually one for going first, but I was going to have to get it over with sooner or later, so I'm glad I..."volunteered". So anyways, I've decided to write something completely made up, because things that aren't real are always more awesome than things that are. I'd have a unicorn over a horse any day, wouldn't you? So, here goes, enjoy! :)
"Now look, you see? There's no such thing as ground-sharks". Abbi watched her father jump around her blue carpet and giggled. He laughed and pulled her into a hug. "Are those nightmares still keeping you up?" he said, kissing the top of her head. She nodded into her daddy's stomach, and hugged him tighter. He kneeled down to be level with her, and told her that the nightmares would stop very soon and that it was just something that little boys and girls go through. He told her that there was no shame in being scared, and to come to him anytime with her worries. She smiled and nodded, and went to get ready for bed once again.
Some great websites that I've come across. Please add any I've missed in the comments section! I'll continue to update regularly.
Foster - printed in The New Yorker
Foster - an abridged YouTube version read by Evanna Lynch
SCC Interview with Claire Keegan
Scotsman interview with Claire Keegan
Galway Advertiser interview with Claire Keegan
The Guardian interview with Claire Keegan
The Writing Life interview with Claire Keegan (video)
Daniel Wood review with analysis
Letters of Note - A website that publishes fascinating letters
Leaving Cert English - Teacher Evelyn O'Connor's fabulous English blog
Skoool - Terrific resource for all LC subjects including Study Guides
St Columba's College English Dept - Award winning English blog
- King Lear podcasts (6 in total)
- Interesting articles from around the web
National Library of Ireland (Yeats) - Online exhibition WB Yeats
Aoife's Notes - Author of Nifty Notes
The Plough & the Stars - Resource pack from Abbey Theatre
SparkNotes - notes on texts & poetry
- Simplified King Lear No Fear Shakespeare is here!
CliffsNotes - King Lear Study Guide
Poetry Tips from the Dobbyn Digest
I am an English teacher in St. Oliver's Community College, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Follow me on Twitter at @cullej29.
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