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GCSE English Literature Poetry As Imperceptibly as Grief by Emily Dickinson.

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Presentation on theme: "GCSE English Literature Poetry As Imperceptibly as Grief by Emily Dickinson."— Presentation transcript:

1 GCSE English Literature Poetry As Imperceptibly as Grief by Emily Dickinson

2 GCSE English Literature Poetry Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) American poet (1830 – 1886) Born and lived in Amherst, Massachusetts Highly introverted Most friendships conducted through letters Rarely left her bedroom in later life Considered an eccentric Usually wore white clothes Never married Information from www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org

3 GCSE English Literature Poetry Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) American poet Born and lived in Amherst, Massachusetts Highly introverted Most friendships conducted through letters Rarely left her bedroom in later life Considered an eccentric Usually wore white clothes Never married Information from www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org

4 GCSE English Literature Poetry Word search You have 5 minutes in your pairs to look up the meanings for the following words: Imperceptible Lapsed Perfidy Distilled Sequestered Courteous Harrowing

5 GCSE English Literature Poetry Word search Imperceptible – slight/subtle – hardly noticeable Lapsed – not valid / expired / out of date Perfidy – being deceitful and untrustworthy Distilled – heated to extract something Sequestered – isolated / hidden away Courteous – polite and respectful Harrowing – really distressing

6 GCSE English Literature Poetry Read the poem These questions will help you begin to think about it: What season is it? What are the clues that the season is changing? What else could be changing, apart from the seasons?

7 GCSE English Literature Poetry As imperceptibly as grief The summer lapsed away, – Too imperceptible, at last, To seem like perfidy. Why does she compare the passing of summer to the passing of grief? What does she feel about the ending of the summer? Do you ever feel like time has tricked you? Think about that phrase “time flies...”

8 GCSE English Literature Poetry A quietness distilled, As twilight long begun, Or Nature, spending with herself Sequestered afternoon. What happens as summer passes? How could this be both literal and metaphorical? What technique is this? How does it present Nature? If twilight is “long begun” what does that tell us about it?

9 GCSE English Literature Poetry The dusk drew earlier in, The morning foreign shone, – A courteous, yet harrowing grace, As guest who would be gone. How are autumnal/winter mornings foreign from summer ones? This is an oxymoron. Grace = an undeserved gift, it is a positive image. Harrowing is something really distressing. What is Dickinson saying about the passing of the summer? D is a short sound. Why might this alliteration be here in this stanza? Sometimes good comes out of something really difficult. Can you think of a good example? For a reclusive person like Dickinson, visitors provided a lifeline to the world. Here she is describing the guest who is trying to leave but is too polite to just go.

10 GCSE English Literature Poetry And thus, without a wing, Or service of a keel, Our summer made her light escape Into the beautiful. What is the problem for a bird with no wings? What would happen to a ship with no keel? Where has summer gone? What does this suggest about the summer?

11 GCSE English Literature Poetrystructure As imperceptibly as grief The summer lapsed away, – Too imperceptible, at last, To seem like perfidy. A quietness distilled, As twilight long begun, Or Nature, spending with herself Sequestered afternoon. The dusk drew earlier in, The morning foreign shone, – A courteous, yet harrowing grace, As guest who would be gone. And thus, without a wing, Or service of a keel, Our summer made her light escape Into the beautiful. What do you notice about the structure of this poem? This poem was originally 8 stanzas long but in the final version Dickinson took out stanzas 3-6. Why might this 4 stanza structure be better for her theme?

12 GCSE English Literature Poetry Changing mood Stanza 1 “grief” “perfidy” Stanza 4 “light escape” “beautiful” How has the tone changed over the poem? How does the poet feel about the end of summer by the end of the poem?

13 GCSE English Literature Poetry theme Quiet and unnoticed, often until it is gone Perhaps most beautiful in our memory Inevitable part of nature Life is like the seasons so summer = fullness of life and death is linked to winter With death comes grief, which fades imperceptibly. The summer also ‘dies’ imperceptibly but leaves us in a different mood altogether. The passage of time Death

14 GCSE English Literature Poetry Respond How does Emily Dickinson present the theme of time in the poem ‘As Imperceptibly as Grief’? Write about what Dickinson is saying about time. Write about how Dickinson uses language and structure to present her ideas about time. Write about how Dickinson’s own experiences might have influenced her ideas about time.


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