Presentation on theme: "Song for Last Years Wife By Brian Patten LO: To evaluate how Patten uses language, viewpoint and comparison to convey a sense of loss."— Presentation transcript:
Song for Last Years Wife By Brian Patten LO: To evaluate how Patten uses language, viewpoint and comparison to convey a sense of loss.
Song for Last Years Wife Song suggests jovial however very sombre mood. Suggests loss. Describes the relationship that the speaker is mourning.
Alice, this is my first winter of waking without you, of knowing that you, dressed in familiar clothes are elsewhere, perhaps not even conscious of our anniversary. Use of direct address to his wife. Also significant use of personal pronouns such as you and our to show his thoughts of his wife and their relationship. Use of alliteration to suggest loss. The speaker is still aware of her presence, even though she is not physically there. He feels as though she has forgotten him and everything that their relationship was symbolic of.
conscious of our anniversary. Have you noticed? The earths still as hard, the same empty gardens exist; it is as if nothing special had changed, Rhetorical question. She cannot answer. Lonely imagery is being conveyed through words like hard and empty. Like what the speakers world has become. He feels like nothing in the world has really changed. But it is clear by the speakers language choices that his world has changed significantly. Gardens are normally characterised as quite fertile and a place for growing. Any empty garden is an unusual image and could be seen as an oxymoron because of the contrast.
I wake with another mouth feeding from me, yet still feel as if Love had not the right to walk out of me. Metaphor. He is kissing a new lover. Gives the audience a sense of anger that the speaker has over his wife deserting him. Capitalisation of Love characterises the emotion and shows its importance to the speaker.
to walk out of me. A year now. So what? you say. I send out my spies to discover what you are doing. They smile, return, tell me your bodys as firm, Short sentences covey the speakers anger. The woman is not actually responding. He is placing words in her mouth, imagining her response. He wants to know how she is and what she is doing. He could possibly be obsessed with this idea since he uses the word spies rather than friends. Focus is on the physical aspects of Alice. Triple. Actions the friends take.
you are as alive, as warm and inviting as when they knew you first… Perhaps it is the winter, its isolation from other seasons, that sends me your ghost to witness Triple. Focus on her physical aspects again. Use of ellipsis suggests a past memory. Suggests that she had changed during their relationship and was not as happy as she is now. Personification of winter. Again the word isolation suggests loneliness. Imagery of death and loss. The memories of her are haunting him.
when I wake. Somebody came here today, asked how you were keeping, what you were doing. I imagine you, waking in another city, touched Alliteration He cannot answer, therefore he must imagine. The speaker still thinks of her. Use of the word touch is both literal and metaphorical. This is used throughout. The feeling of being touched and being touched with emotion.
by this same hour. So ordinary A thing as loss comes now and touches me. Feels a sense of loss and grief at the end of the poem. Touches him emotionally.
Structure and Language No specific rhyme or rhythm, but the theme of grief is typical of songs. The poem has an elegiac (sad) quality because the language deals with mourning and irrecoverable loss. It is almost as if it is a lament which is a song or poem expressing mourning. Much of the language used expresses anger and loneliness.
Extend Ask students to write two paragraphs in response to the following question: How does Patten use language, viewpoint, and comparison to convey a sense of loss? What does the poem tell us about relationships? Exploring language: Discuss the sympathetic view of the persona that students have probably developed so far. Ask the students, working in pairs, to find phrases that suggest the persona is a less sympathetic character, such as the title, Song for Last Years Wife, and to discuss the extent to which this alters their thoughts about the poem. Take feedback from the pairs. Have these lines changed students attitudes towards the persona?
Plenary You should have: Understood how Patten has used language to convey the theme of grief and loss. Written a complete paragraph analysing the various components of the poem. Evaluated the analysis and determined where improvements are needed.