The Poetry Place
During Wind and Rain
The structure of this poem is unusual and also very clear. Use that fact to boost students’ confidence and get them to examine the poem more closely. Take the text only version (provided as a Word doc or plain text file (.txt)) and rearrange the lines of verses three and four. Ask students to sequence them correctly, using the patterns of the preceding verses as a guide. As this is a fairly straightforward activity, you could set the Teachit timer and see how quickly it can be done.
Now use the alphabetically collapsed text to allow students to focus on the vocabulary Hardy use, looking especially at the repetitions, which become even more starkly obvious in this form.
a a a across ah ah ah ah all all all all and and and and and and and and and and and are are bass bay blithely breakfasting brightest build candles carpets carved chairs change clear clocks come creeping day dearest down down each elders face fowl from garden gay glimpse he he high house how in is juniors aye knee lawn leaves maidens yea making men mooning moss names neat new no no no no o o of of of on one pathways pet play ploughs rain-drop reel ript rose rotten seat see shady she she sick sing songs storm-birds summer tenor that the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the their their theirs them aye them yea they they they they they things throngs to to to treble tree under wall while white wing with with years years years years years years
As well as key words like ‘years’ and ‘no’, notice the prevalence of the definite article: this is a very specific poem, coming from very definite pictures in the poet’s mind. Note also the high occurrence of personal pronouns. What conclusions might be drawn from this and other features of the word choices Hardy has made?
Taking a different approach, you might like to present the class with the list of words above and ask them to create a short piece of writing before they have seen the original poem. This is an old stand-by for me, but always worth it. I usually say that only the words provided can be used but you could experiment and ask them to simply use as many of those words as possible. (Get over the giggles provided by ‘mooning’ straight away by drawing attention to it yourself!) Their writing could be a poem, a description, a dream, a letter… And it would be helpful, as always, if you write something too.
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Topics and themes
Parodies and homages
Different types of poem