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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