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Stories about Sex…
Pre-Read Context:
0 Tana, Ethiopia, Khartoum and Aswan ↦ places in North Africa along the
Nile
0 Tana is the lowest on a map and it works up to Aswan, Northern
point
0 Ian Brady and Myra Hindley ↦ ‘Moor Murders’ ↦ assassination of 5
children in the Greater Manchester Area
In Mrs. Tilscher’s Class
You could travel up the Blue Nile
with your finger, tracing the route
while Mrs. Tilscher chanted the scenery.
Tana. Ethiopia. Khartoum. Aswân.
That for an hour, then a skittle of milk
and the chalky Pyramids rubbed into dust.
A window opened with a long pole.
The laugh of a bell swung by a running child.
This was better than home. Enthralling books.
The classroom glowed like a sweet shop.
Sugar paper. Coloured shapes. Brady and Hindley
faded, like the faint, uneasy smudge of a mistake.
Mrs. Tilscher loved you. Some mornings, you found
she'd left a good gold star by your name.
The scent of a pencil, slowly, carefully, shaved.
A xylophone nonsense heard from another form.
Over the Easter term, the inky tadpoles changed
from commas into exclamation marks. Three frogs
hopped in the playground, freed by a dunce,
followed by a line of kids, jumping and croaking
away from the lunch queue. A rough boy
told you how you were born. You kicked him, but
stared
at your parents, appalled, when you got back home.
That feverish July, the air tasted of electricity.
A tangible alarm made you always untidy, hot,
fractious under the heavy, sexy sky. You asked her
how you were born and Mrs. Tilscher smiled,
then turned away. Reports were handed out.
You ran through the gates, impatient to be grown,
as the sky split open into a thunderstorm.
The Markup
You could travel up the Blue Nile /
with your finger, tracing the route /
while Mrs. Tilscher chanted the scenery.
Tana. Ethiopia. Khartoum. Aswân.
That for an hour, then a skittle of milk /
and the chalky Pyramids rubbed into dust.
A window opened with a long pole.
The laugh of a bell swung by a running child.
Allusion
Personification
Alliteration
Juxtaposition
/ = enjambment
Assonance / Slant rhyme
This was better than home. Enthralling books.
The classroom glowed like a sweet shop.
Sugar paper. Coloured shapes. Brady and Hindley /
faded, like the faint, uneasy smudge of a mistake.
Mrs. Tilscher loved you. Some mornings, you found /
she'd left a good gold star by your name.
The scent of a pencil, slowly, carefully, shaved.
A xylophone nonsense heard from another form
Metonym
Olfactory Imagery
Auditory Imagery
Auditory / Visual Imagery
Visual Imagery
Symbolism
Synethetic Imagery
The Markup
Over the Easter term, the inky tadpoles changed /
from commas into exclamation marks. Three frogs /
hopped in the playground, freed by a dunce,
followed by a line of kids, jumping and croaking /
away from the lunch queue. A rough boy /
told you how you were born. You kicked him, but stared /
at your parents, appalled, when you got back home.
That feverish July, the air tasted of electricity.
A tangible alarm made you always untidy, hot,
fractious under the heavy, sexy sky. You asked her /
how you were born and Mrs. Tilscher smiled,
then turned away. Reports were handed out.
You ran through the gates, impatient to be grown,
as the sky split open into a thunderstorm.
Allusion
Personification
Alliteration
Juxtaposition
/ = enjambment
Assonance / Slant rhyme
Metonym
Olfactory Imagery
Auditory Imagery
Auditory / Visual Imagery
Visual Imagery
Symbolism
Synethetic Imagery
Form
0 2, 8 line stanzas; 2, 7 line
stanzas → 30 total lines → The
change in form represents
change to Duffy
0 Enjambment is seen throughout
the poem → may be seen as the
confusions encountered when
growing up.
0 4 stanzas = 4 school terms
0 Free verse → No regularity in
rhythm or rhyme scheme
(sense of confusion which is
present in the poem).
Form
0 All lines are of practically the
same length, syllable count
ranges from 8-11
0 Sentence length varies, making
the poem seem direct and the
ideas it sends across sort of
simple
0 Even though the poem is
autobiographical, uses “you” in
order to connect the audience
with its universal theme of
growing up (second-person).
Literal Meaning
0 An innocent girl who grows up to
discover what sex is. As the poem
develops, she starts to view her
surroundings very differently
because of her discovery The age
of the girl at the start must be
around 11 or 12; at the end she is
13-ish. The poem is also about
her dealing with the beginning of
puberty. It is clearly
autobiographical, and is narrated
by Duffy herself.
Figurative Meaning
0 Process Of Growing Up →
From Innocence To
Experience.
0 The difficulty and confusion
of growing up → coming of
age → puberty
Diction
0 “You could travel up the blue nile”
0 “Mrs. Tilscher chanted...”
0 “The inky tadpoles changed from
commas into exclamation marks”
0 “Freed by a dunce”
0 “feverish July”
0 “Sky split open by a thunderstorm”
Allusion
0 “Brady and Hindley faded,
like the faint, uneasy
smudge of a mistake”
0 “The chalky pyramids
rubbed into dust”
0 “Blue Nile”
0 “Tana. Ethiopia. Khartoum.
Aswân”
Imagery
0 “Laugh of the bell” → auditory
0 “The classroom glowed like a sweetshop” → visual, gustatory?
0 “The scent of a pencil, slowly, carefully, shaved.” → olfactory
0 “Uneasy smudge of a mistake” → visual
0 “Jumping and Croaking away from the lunch queue” → visual,
0
0
0
0
auditory
“Heavy, sexy sky” → visual
“The air taste of electricity” → synesthesia
“From commas to exclamation marks” → visual
“Sky Split open into a thunderstorm.” → visual, auditory
Tadpole Video
,
!
DQ
In what ways and to what extent does “In Mrs. Tilscher’s Class”
relate to “Originally”? Both poems touch upon the difficulties of
growing up and transitioning from childhood to adulthood. Are
they exposed in the same light? What does this tell you about Carol
Ann Duffy’s childhood?
Carol Ann Duffy uses sex as a vehicle to depict the difficulties of
growing up. Is sex as much of a difficulty for boys as it is for girls?
What other problems are faced when we grow up? Can the other
gender relate?
In Mrs. Tilscher’s Class
You could travel up the Blue Nile
with your finger, tracing the route
while Mrs. Tilscher chanted the scenery.
Tana. Ethiopia. Khartoum. Aswân.
That for an hour, then a skittle of milk
and the chalky Pyramids rubbed into dust.
A window opened with a long pole.
The laugh of a bell swung by a running child.
This was better than home. Enthralling books.
The classroom glowed like a sweet shop.
Sugar paper. Coloured shapes. Brady and Hindley
faded, like the faint, uneasy smudge of a mistake.
Mrs. Tilscher loved you. Some mornings, you found
she'd left a good gold star by your name.
The scent of a pencil, slowly, carefully, shaved.
A xylophone nonsense heard from another form.
Over the Easter term, the inky tadpoles changed
from commas into exclamation marks. Three frogs
hopped in the playground, freed by a dunce,
followed by a line of kids, jumping and croaking
away from the lunch queue. A rough boy
told you how you were born. You kicked him, but
stared
at your parents, appalled, when you got back home.
That feverish July, the air tasted of electricity.
A tangible alarm made you always untidy, hot,
fractious under the heavy, sexy sky. You asked her
how you were born and Mrs. Tilscher smiled,
then turned away. Reports were handed out.
You ran through the gates, impatient to be grown,
as the sky split open into a thunderstorm.
Bibliography
Sources:
0 http://www.s-cool.co.uk/gcse/english/poetry-of-carol-ann-duffy/revise-it/in-mrs-tilschers-class
0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nQ7UG7lnkY
Pictures:
0 http://p2.trrsf.com.br/image/fget/cf/619/464/img.terra.com.br/i/2012/03/01/2249428-0963rec.jpg
0 http://sarahayward.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/carol-ann-duffy-low-res.jpg
0 http://www.newzealandfishing.co.nz/images/hook.jpg
0 http://peakwater.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/map.jpg
0 http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02266/brady-and-hindley_2266074b.jpg
0 http://favim.com/orig/201106/03/disney-disney-movie-disney-movies-grow-up-growing-upmovie-Favim.com-65072.jpg
0 http://cache1.bigcartel.com/product_images/59672663/growing-up_cmyk_700px.jpg
0 http://growingupgirls.info/images/MotherMeasuring.gif
0 http://www.thedailymuse.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/120111-Being-a-Grown-Up275x270.jpg

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