A short text survey Allen Curnow. Skeleton of the Great Moa in the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch. (1943). Individually Read the poem. When you think of a Moa what images do you get? Why do you think the poet chose to invoke these images? Highlight and count any references to death or decay. How does this relate to the Moa? What does this suggest to you about life in NZ? What does the poet mean when he talks of ‘standing upright here’? What is his message about being able to do this? What is the relationship between the Moa and the poet? Allen Curnow. Skeleton of the Great Moa in the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch. (1943). In groups of four answer these questions. Remember to answer both parts and incorporate some analysis in your answer (e.g., …because…) Your group will present your answers to the class. The poem is in the form of a sonnet. Why might the poet choose this form given his message? Underline any poetic devices you can find. How do they help to support the message of the poem? Who is the poem written to? (i.e., who is its intended audience?). Why is this important? Allen Curnow. Skeleton of the Great Moa in the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch. (1943). Curnow uses the moa as a metaphor for NZ settler society. He feels it cannot ‘stand upright’ without the aid of ‘iron crutches’. He questions how much care this settler society has taken with the native NZ icons or symbols it chooses to represent itself with: The moa egg has been ‘pieced together / But with less patience than the bones that dug / In deep time shelter’ The lack of patience emphasises the newness of the settler society and suggests it has not carefully considered what it means to live in NZ or even to be a NZer – it is a society ‘pieced together’, not a coherent whole. He is inviting the reader to ask what it will take for NZ Europeans – those who created the settler society – to forge a uniquely NZ identity. There is a ‘trick’ to ‘standing upright’ that has yet to be mastered. Frank Sargeson, ‘The Making of a New Zealander’. (1940). Listen to the story. Underline any unusual or interesting sections. This will aid your analysis of the story. You have 5 minutes to write your response to the story. Consider whether you liked/disliked it and explain why using appropriate terminology, i.e., analyse your statement (refer to narrative analysis handout). In groups of four share your responses. Frank Sargeson, ‘The Making of a New Zealander’ and 2.1 Creative Writing: Prequels and Sequels. Choose one character from the story. Find a quote from the story that typifies the character. Explain how it does. Make a list of adjectives that describe the character’s personality and looks. What is this character’s past? Where did they come from? How did they act then? Have they changed? What does the future hold for this character? Where are they going in life? Will this change them? How? This character work forms the basis of your 2.1 writing. Frank Sargeson, ‘The Making of a New Zealander’. (1940). Answer the following questions: Facts What is the narrator’s attitude towards women? What does the narrator say that leads to him losing his job? Comprehension Explain why the narrator is ‘cheeky’ to Mrs. Crump. Why is it that the narrator is reluctant to talk to the Dalmations? Analysis Explain how the writing style in this story reflects the personality of the narrator. Evaluation Does this story have a New Zealand ‘sense’ to it? Justify your answer (refer to the Aspects of Narrative handout). How to Read Poetry. Like all good writing, poems rely on the connotative meaning of words to convey meaning and imagery. But, because they are usually short, every word counts in a poem so you must be alert to the different meanings all words used have. E.g., in the Curnow poem the poet is using the connotations associated with the word moa to provoke a succession of images in the reader’s mind. Poems need to be read more than once for the connotations to reveal themselves. Your first reading should be concentrated on getting a ‘feel’ for the poem What images, feelings or moods spring to mind? Keep them generic and it helps to make a note of these as they are often right on the mark. How to Read Poetry After the first reading you should start looking for any symbols or images that are emphatically referred to or repeated. This provides a good place to begin thinking of the connotations they have and often guide your reading of the other words in the poem. Thirdly, look for how the poet has used poetic devices to support their message. These are not used by accident!! E.g., ask ‘why has the poet used rhyme in this particular place and not others?’ Lastly, look at how the poem is structured. This, also, is no accident so it must serve some purpose and is used with the intent of supporting their message. E.g., the Curnow poem used the sonnet structure – why? Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, ‘At a Fishing Settlement’. (1949). Individually What is your immediate response to the poem? Work through the response sheet. In Pairs Discuss your response. Explain: your thoughts about the poem; why you gave it the rating you did. Saying you did not like it because you don’t like poetry is not good enough. Identify as many poetic devices you can. Chose two and analyse their effect, discussing your answer first then writing one paragraph each. Analysis: What Is It? How Is It Done? This is a key skill that you must begin to master if you are to do well in the end of year exams. When a question asks you to analyse it is asking you to: Break down the components of a text (e.g., an idea or aspect). Examine closely how they work and interact together. Discuss the implications of this and form a judgement. Basically, you must discuss how something is done and why the author/poet has done it – what does it’s use contribute to our understanding of the text and its message? Analysis is not describing or explaining what happens. Analysis: What Is It? How Is It Done? So, what does this all mean!?! It is easier to think of analysis in two parts: the how and the why. The How: This is where you should explain the effect of your particular example/evidence. The Why: This is where you link the effect of the use of the example/evidence (the how) to the author/poet’s purpose or the message in the text. Only by combining both of these elements will you demonstrate an ability to analyse. Analysis: An Example. Campbell, in his poem ‘At a Fishing Settlement’, uses a simile to highlight the impermanence of man’s existence in such an inhospitable place. The use of the simile ‘old houses flanking / The street hung like driftwood planking’ shows us how the houses are just like driftwood and, therefore, that the settlement is at the mercy of the elements, likely to be tossed elsewhere at any moment. By comparing the houses to driftwood we see that man is not the master of nature but that nature is the master of man and this helps the poet to emphasise the impermanence of man’s existence in this place. (Blue = statement Red = example/evidence Green = how Black = why) Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, ‘At a Fishing Settlement’. (1949). 3 Level Guide Level 1 Answer true or false. If false, rewrite so it is true. The poem is set in Spring. There are no trees on the ‘dark hills’. Houses are compared to driftwood. The speaker sees only a dog. A storm is hitting the town. Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, ‘At a Fishing Settlement’. (1949). Level 2 Find a quote to support each statement. The town is small. The town has seen better days. The speaker feels uneasy about the place. The weather makes it hard for life to thrive in this place. It is hard for those in this place to ‘connect’ despite them having a desire to do so. Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, ‘At a Fishing Settlement’. (1949). Level 3 Choose two of these statements and then write a paragraph response to each. Use evidence from the poem to support your answer and ensure you analyse what the evidence means. The way people act is influenced by the environment. Nature is more powerful than man. You cannot escape the past. Poetic devices help to emphasise the poet’s message. Some Historical Background. Post World War II, and especially from the 1950s onwards, there was a large migration of Maori into the urban centres of New Zealand. This was because New Zealand experienced sustained economic growth during this period and many rural workers were drawn to the cities and major towns in pursuit of the employment opportunities there. This movement was most pronounced in Maori as up until this time the majority of Maori lived in rural areas, often in their traditional tribal areas. This had the effect of splintering Maori whanau, and is often pointed to as one reason for the loss of cultural identity felt by many Maori and the reduced number of Te Reo speakers during the middle part of the twentieth century. Hone Tuwhare, ‘The Old Place’. (1964). Individually Work through poetry response sheet. In Pairs Discuss your responses. Make notes on how you will use this poem to answer this question: Analyse the effect of a poetic device in the poem. How does it help to emphasise the poem’s message? Be prepared to present your notes to the class. Hone Tuwhare, ‘The Old Place’. (1964). Use this table to break down your notes on the question. Poetic Device Example Effect How Why Personification ‘fussy train’ Gives the train the human quality of fussiness By giving the train this quality the poet suggests it is selective in who it takes. Helps the poet to emphasise the obstacles people face when returning to ‘The Old Place’. Analyse the effect of a poetic device in the poem. How does it help to emphasise the poem’s message? More Historical Context By the 1970s there was a burgeoning Maori middle class as children of those who had moved to urban centres in the 1950s and 1960s went to university and into professional careers. Many of these Maori began to reflect on what had been lost in the process of Maori urbanisation. This feeling was mirrored by increased Maori activisim centred around land rights and transgressions of the Treaty of Waitangi (often the same thing). In turn, this led many urban Maori to reassert what it was that made them Maori, the most visible example being the resurgence in Te Reo at this time. Witi Ihimaera, ‘The House With the Sugarbag Windows’. (1977). Make Notes on the Following. List the objects Watene associates with: The Pakeha world. The Maori world Explain how Watene feels about these objects. What is Ihimaera telling us by juxtaposing the Kelburn house with Watene’s past house? Discuss your Notes in Pairs. Use Evidence to Answer this Question. Analyse how the story reflects the social position and concerns of Maori in the 70s. Witi Ihimaera, ‘The House With the Sugarbag Windows’. (1977). Individual Task Write a poem using only quotes from the story. Your aim is to communicate the story’s message in poetic form. You should attempt to give the poem some form of rhythm and integrate poetic devices to emphasise important sections. Remember, an important aspect of the story is juxtaposition. How can you achieve this in the poem? The poem is to be posted on the class wiki Checkpoint: A Critical Reaction to NZ Writing. Individually Choose one of the texts we have looked at this term. Quickly brainstorm: What the text is about. Consider: 1. The setting, characters. Its message. How it is written. Consider: 2. Techniques the author uses. Its style. How you respond to it and why. Consider: 3. How you feel when you read it. Whether you think the author been successful in conveying the text’s message. In Pairs Discuss your brainstorms. Feedback to class. Inquiry Learning Module Your task is to select and research a text written by who you see to be an important New Zealand writer of poetry or short stories. You will have four periods to research and write a report on your selected poem or short-story. The written report must be posted on the class wiki. In week two you will present your writer and poem/shortstory to the class. Inquiry Learning Module This task is designed to support your learning in the following ways: The reading you do can be used for your 12905 reading log. 2. It gives you practice analysing unfamiliar texts, a key skill for 2.6 in the end of year exam. 3. It is practice for the speech internal achievement standard you will undertake next term. 4. You become familiar with the research process which will support you next year when you are required to undertake a research internal achievement standard. 1. Inquiry Learning Module Research Phase What you need to have completed by next Friday Your written report on the writer. This should be at least 400 words and should cover: 1. A brief (1 paragraph) biography. 2. A list of five of their important texts. 3. An analysis of your selected poem/short-story . 4. A discussion of why they are important in NZ literature (extension question). You also need to include a reference list. This report must be posted on the class wiki. Inquiry Learning Module Lessons 1-2. You have 2 periods in the computer lab to do your initial research. Make use of the computer time well. www.bookcouncil.org.nz and http://www.zeroland.co.nz/nz_writers.html#a are good places to start looking. Once you have selected your text, inform me as there are to be no double-ups. They will be allocated on a first-in first-served basis. Once you have your selection confirmed, begin working your way through the research handout. Be aware of the stages you need to have completed each lesson. Writers you could consider (not exclusive, of course, but all are in the school library) Short story writers 1. Owen Marshall 2. Patricia Grace 3. Katherine Mansfield 4. Maurice Duggan 5. Carl Nixon 6. C.K. Stead 7. Denis Baker 8. Witi Ihimaera Poets 1. Apirana Taylor 2. Denis Glover 3. Glen Colquhoun 4. Sam Hunt 5. James K. Baxter 6. Vincent O’Sullivan 7. Fleur Adcock 8. Karlo Mila Inquiry Learning Module Step 1 Define What do I want to find out? What questions should I ask? Step 2 Locate Where can I find information relevant to my question? Who can I ask for assistance? Step 3 Select Does the information relate to my questions and come from reliable sources? Is Google the only answer? Is my evidence from a range of sources? Inquiry Learning Module Step 4 Organise and Synthesise Have I gathered information of sufficient depth and breadth? Have I organised the information in a clear way? Step 5 Create and Present What is the best way to present this information? Who is my target audience? Have I communicated information in my own words?