The Thickness Of Ice

Report
Starter
• Write down what you think the phrase “Skating on
thin ice” means. What sort of phrase is this?
Starter
Write down what you think the phrase “Skating
on thin ice” means. What sort of phrase is this?
• Doing something difficult, dangerous, likely to
fail or offend.
• It is a metaphor.
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Learning Objectives
As we study this poem you will learn:
• The true story of the poem
• More about the terms,
Metaphor: Free Verse: Repetition:
Pace & Rhythm
• You will also complete some mini tasks and an Exam question on the
poem.
• NOTE: This poem will be set as a question in the Final Exam.
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
At first we’ll meet as friends
(Though secretly I’ll be hoping
we’ll become much more
and hoping that you’re hoping that too)
At first we’ll be like skaters
testing the thickness of ice
(with each meeting
we’ll skate nearer the centre of the lake)
Later we will become less anxious to
impress
less eager than the skater going for gold.
(The triple jumps and spins
will become an old routine:
we will become content
with simple movements).
Later we will not notice the steady thaw,
the creeping cracks will be ignored.
(And one day when the ice gives way
we will scramble to save ourselves
and not each other.)
Last of all we’ll meet as acquaintances
(though secretly we’ll be enemies,
hurt by missing out on a medal,
jealous of new partners).
Last of all we’ll be like children
Having learnt the thinness of ice,
(Though secretly perhaps we may be
hoping,
to break the ice between us
and maybe meet again as friends.)
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
MINI TASK 1
What do you think is the ‘story’ of the poem?
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
The Story of the Poem
MINI TASK 1
What do you think is the ‘story’ of the poem?
The poem is not about ice skating, That is its subject, but not its
theme, central idea or what the poet is trying to say!
The whole poem is an extended metaphor that uses ‘ice’ and ‘ice
skating’ as a way to describes how a couple meet, form a relationship,
break up and eventually reconcile their differences.
In the poem a Boy and Girl meet as friends and fall passionately in
love. The newness of the relationship wears off, it becomes a routine
and the passion dies. They break up and meet new people, but become
jealous of each other’s new partner and they secretly hate each other a
little. A few years go by but when they meet again they still feel a pull
towards each other so there is a possible new beginning for them........as
friends. Full circle!
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Structure & Composition
MINI TASK 2
How is the poem structured and composed?
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Structure & Composition
MINI TASK 2
How is the poem structured and composed?
 The poem is composed of 6 stanzas of 4 or 5 lines.
 Line length is also uneven, varying between 5-10 syllables.
 It has no formal rhyme scheme and so it is written in Free Verse.
 There are however a few examples of alliteration in the poem.
MINI TASK 3.
a) Identify the examples of alliteration in the poem.
b) What is the effect of the alliteration?
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Structure & Composition
MINI TASK 3.
a) Identify the examples of alliteration in the poem.
b) What is the effect of the alliteration? Adds rhythm to the poem
At first we’ll meet as friends
(Though secretly I’ll be hoping
we’ll become much more
and hoping that you’re hoping that too)
At first we’ll be like skaters
testing the thickness of ice
(with each meeting
we’ll skate nearer the centre of the lake)
Later we will become less anxious to
impress
less eager than the skater going for gold.
(The triple jumps and spins
will become an old routine:
we will become content
with simple movements).
Later we will not notice the steady thaw,
the creeping cracks will be ignored.
(And one day when the ice gives way
we will scramble to save ourselves
and not each other.)
Last of all we’ll meet as acquaintances
(though secretly we’ll be enemies,
hurt by missing out on a medal,
jealous of new partners).
Last of all we’ll be like children
Having learnt the thinness of ice,
(Though secretly perhaps we may be
hoping,
to break the ice between us
and maybe meet again as friends.)
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Key Feature - Repetition
MINI TASK 4.
a) Identify the examples of repetition in the poem.
b) Can you identify any patterns to the repetition?
c) What is the effect of the repetition?
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Key Feature - Repetition
MINI TASK 4.
a) Identify the examples of repetition in the poem.
At first we’ll meet as friends
(Though secretly I’ll be hoping
we’ll become much more
and hoping that you’re hoping that too)
At first we’ll be like skaters
testing the thickness of ice
(with each meeting
we’ll skate nearer the centre of the lake)
Later we will become less anxious to
impress
less eager than the skater going for gold.
(The triple jumps and spins
will become an old routine:
we will become content
with simple movements).
Later we will not notice the steady thaw,
the creeping cracks will be ignored.
(And one day when the ice gives way
we will scramble to save ourselves
and not each other.)
Last of all we’ll meet as acquaintances
(though secretly we’ll be enemies,
hurt by missing out on a medal,
jealous of new partners).
Last of all we’ll be like children
Having learnt the thinness of ice,
(Though secretly perhaps we may be
hoping,
to break the ice between us
and maybe meet again as friends.)
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Key Feature - Repetition
MINI TASK 4.
b) Repetition in the poem – Patterning 1 – Friendship & hope.
c) The poem starts and ends as ‘friends’ and with ‘hope’.
At first we’ll meet as friends
(Though secretly I’ll be hoping
we’ll become much more
and hoping that you’re hoping that too)
At first we’ll be like skaters
testing the thickness of ice
(with each meeting
we’ll skate nearer the centre of the lake)
Later we will become less anxious to
impress
less eager than the skater going for gold.
(The triple jumps and spins
will become an old routine:
we will become content
with simple movements).
Later we will not notice the steady thaw,
the creeping cracks will be ignored.
(And one day when the ice gives way
we will scramble to save ourselves
and not each other.)
Last of all we’ll meet as acquaintances
(though secretly we’ll be enemies,
hurt by missing out on a medal,
jealous of new partners).
Last of all we’ll be like children
Having learnt the thinness of ice,
(Though secretly perhaps we may be
hoping,
to break the ice between us
and maybe meet again as friends.)
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Key Feature - Repetition
MINI TASK 4.
b) Repetition in the poem – Patterning 2 – First, later, last.
c) This breaks the poem into phases or stages.
At first we’ll meet as friends
(Though secretly I’ll be hoping
we’ll become much more
and hoping that you’re hoping that too)
At first we’ll be like skaters
testing the thickness of ice
(with each meeting
we’ll skate nearer the centre of the lake)
Later we will become less anxious to
impress
less eager than the skater going for gold.
(The triple jumps and spins
will become an old routine:
we will become content
with simple movements).
Later we will not notice the steady thaw,
the creeping cracks will be ignored.
(And one day when the ice gives way
we will scramble to save ourselves
and not each other.)
Last of all we’ll meet as acquaintances
(though secretly we’ll be enemies,
hurt by missing out on a medal,
jealous of new partners).
Last of all we’ll be like children
Having learnt the thinness of ice,
(Though secretly perhaps we may be
hoping,
to break the ice between us
and maybe meet again as friends.)
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Key Feature - Repetition
MINI TASK 4.
b) Repetition in the poem – Patterning 3 – We will,
c) The frequent use of ‘we will’ emphasizes the relationship that is
at the heart of the poem.
At first we’ll meet as friends
(Though secretly I’ll be hoping
we’ll become much more
and hoping that you’re hoping that too)
At first we’ll be like skaters
testing the thickness of ice
(with each meeting
we’ll skate nearer the centre of the lake)
Later we will become less anxious to
impress
less eager than the skater going for gold.
(The triple jumps and spins
will become an old routine:
we will become content
with simple movements).
Later we will not notice the steady thaw,
the creeping cracks will be ignored.
(And one day when the ice gives way
we will scramble to save ourselves
and not each other.)
Last of all we’ll meet as acquaintances
(though secretly we’ll be enemies,
hurt by missing out on a medal,
jealous of new partners).
Last of all we’ll be like children
Having learnt the thinness of ice,
(Though secretly perhaps we may be
hoping,
to break the ice between us
and maybe meet again as friends.)
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Key Feature - Repetition
MINI TASK 4.
b) Repetition in the poem – Patterning 4 – Thick or thin?
c) The use of ‘skater/skating forms part of the core ice metaphor in the poem. Thick &
Thin are opposites….opposite ends of the relationship….optimism versus realism or
At firstversus
we’ll meet
as friends
hope
experience?
(Though secretly I’ll be hoping
we’ll become much more
and hoping that you’re hoping that too)
At first we’ll be like skaters
testing the thickness of ice
(with each meeting
we’ll skate nearer the centre of the lake)
Later we will become less anxious to
impress
less eager than the skater going for gold.
(The triple jumps and spins
will become an old routine:
we will become content
with simple movements).
Later we will not notice the steady thaw,
the creeping cracks will be ignored.
(And one day when the ice gives way
we will scramble to save ourselves
and not each other.)
Last of all we’ll meet as acquaintances
(though secretly we’ll be enemies,
hurt by missing out on a medal,
jealous of new partners).
Last of all we’ll be like children
Having learnt the thinness of ice,
(Though secretly perhaps we may be
hoping,
to break the ice between us
and maybe meet again as friends.)
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Key Feature - Metaphor
The main key feature of this poem is METAPHOR as the whole poem
is an extended metaphor that uses ice and ice-skating to describe a
couple’s relationship.
Because of the complex nature or the metaphor you need to look at
each stanza individually to work out what the poet is trying say
about this relationship.
MINI TASK 5
In groups discuss your given stanza and try to identify what the
poet is trying to say and how she uses Ice as a metaphor in that
stanza.
On the board write a short summary of what you have discovered
about your stanza.
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Key Feature – Metaphor
Stanza 1
At first we’ll meet as friends
(Though secretly I’ll be hoping
we’ll become much more
and hoping that you’re hoping that too)
The couple meet and are attracted to
each other but they are shy with each
other at first. Both hope that the other
feels the same about them.
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Key Feature – Metaphor
Stanza 2
At first we’ll be like skaters
testing the thickness of ice
(with each meeting
we’ll skate nearer the centre of the lake)
The metaphor starts here….you don’t
skate straight out into the centre of a
frozen lake, you test it first. The same
with a relationship, you try to get to
know each other before you commit.
Strength of ice = strength of growing
relationship.
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Key Feature – Metaphor
Stanza 3
Later we will become less anxious to
impress
less eager than the skater going for gold.
(The triple jumps and spins
will become an old routine:
we will become content
with simple movements).
As the couple get to know each other
they do not feel the need to make
constant impressive gestures to each
other, ex. flowers or being taken out for
a meal on every date. What were the
complexities of the relationship at the
start will become the commonplace, and
they become content with that.
Complacency begins to set in as they
take each other for granted. ‘Going for
gold’ can be seen as a reference to the
gold of a wedding ring, a ‘medal’ that
most women and some men wear to
show their marital status.
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Key Feature – Metaphor
Stanza 4
Later we will not notice the steady thaw,
the creeping cracks will be ignored.
(And one day when the ice gives way
we will scramble to save ourselves
and not each other.)
Complacency and taking each other
for granted begins to destroy the
relationship. As ice thaws it thins and
will eventually crack: so too with this
relationship. When the cracks reach the
point where the ice gives way,
metaphorically this symbolizes break
up of the relationship (divorce). At this
point instead of trying to save the
relationship the couple are only
interested in saving themselves.
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Key Feature – Metaphor
Stanza 5
Last of all we’ll meet as acquaintances
(though secretly we’ll be enemies,
hurt by missing out on a medal,
jealous of new partners).
If they were married they have now
divorced and time has passed, but the
wounds caused by their breakup have
not healed and there is a sense of
bitterness and hatred here. ‘Medals’ are
a metaphor for the trappings of life a
couple usually acquire; nice house and
car etc…and children/grandchildren.
The jealousy is not metaphorical, but
the fact there is jealousy shows they
still have feelings for each other.
Interestingly the poem seems to
assume that both characters
experience the same feelings.
The Thickness Of Ice - Liz Loxley
Key Feature – Metaphor
Stanza 6
Last of all we’ll be like children
Having learnt the thinness of ice,
(Though secretly perhaps we may be
hoping,
to break the ice between us
and maybe meet again as friends.)
The final stanza of the poem returns us
to the start, but now the ‘ice’ is
measured by its thinness, not
thickness; or the relationship by its
weakness not strength. The reference
to children is interesting as they have
an innocent, unspoiled view of the
world, adults tend to be more skeptical
and cynical. Still, the poem does end
on an optimistic note with the hope the
couple can once again become friends.
Note the metaphorical ice moves a
metaphorical 90° in this stanza, from
ice that they skate on, to a wall that
comes between them. This time
‘thawing’ is a good thing as it means
the bitterness they felt is fading and
now it is the thinness of the ice that is
important, not its thickness.

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