September 12

ELA A10 Sept 12/16 Poetry Activity A – Alphabetical Order -“The Listeners”

It’s challenging enough to try to understand some poems when their lines are in order, but in this activity you’ll try to understand the background of a poem when the lines are switched out of order and put in alphabetical order.

With the poem lines below, study them to:

  1. look closer at the word choices, not the message, and make judgements about the
    1. tone of the poem
    2. topic the poem may be about
    3. characteristics of the author’s word choice – repeated phrases, unusual word choices/pairing
  2. predict what lines may connect with each other to try to piece the poem back into order – what’s the topic?
  3. what other observations can you make of the lines of the poem out of order?

After studying the poem together with a partner and discussing what you can infer from the line order, leave a comment below to explain what conclusions you came up with.

(title not included for now)

Above the Traveller’s head:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
And how the silence surged softly backward,
And the sound of iron on stone,
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
But no one descended to the Traveller;
But only a host of phantom listeners
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
From the one man left awake:
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
Is there anybody there? he said.
Is there anybody there? said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Louder, and lifted his head:
Neath the starred and leafy sky;
Never the least stir made the listeners,
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That dwelt in the lone house then
That goes down to the empty hall,
That I kept my word, he said.
Their stillness answering his cry,
Though every word he spake
To that voice from the world of men:
When the plunging hoofs were gone.
Where he stood perplexed and still.
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,


Posted September 12, 2016 by Waldner in category ELA A10

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