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The Habit of Light LO) To explore how Clarke uses language and imagery to create a vivid character.

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Presentation on theme: "The Habit of Light LO) To explore how Clarke uses language and imagery to create a vivid character."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Habit of Light LO) To explore how Clarke uses language and imagery to create a vivid character

2 What words and ideas do you associate with this concept? light

3 The Habit of Light by Gillian Clarke In the early evening, she liked to switch on the lamps in corners, on low tables, to show off her brass, her polished furniture, her silver and glass. At dawn shed draw all the curtains back for a glimpse of the cloud-lit sea. Her oak floors flickered in an opulence of beeswax and light. In the kitchen, saucepans danced their lids, the kettle purred on the Aga, supper on its breath and the buttery melt of a pie, and beyond the swimming glass of old windows, in the deep perspective of the garden, a blackbird singing, shed come through the bean rows in tottering shoes, her pinny full of strawberries, a lettuce, brining the palest potatoes in a colander, her red hair bright with her habit of colour, her habit of light.

4 Gillian Clarke This poem is a elegy (serious, meditative poem, usually concerned with the theme of death) where domestic routine is celebrated as a kind of sacrament (ritual/rite = custom). The poem celebrates the poets dead mother.

5 Structure 14 lines – an informal sonnet, Clarke lovingly details the womans life in moments of remembered light – even down to palest potatoes. Clarke says the poets voice is physical – its not just a metaphor for style, but the sound, the breath. The heard voice and the voice of the poet on the page are connected. Character description is built through sense of place. Relationship – with the character and her home (sense of place)

6 1 st Quatrain In the early evening, she liked to switch on the lamps in corners, on low tables, to show off her brass, her polished furniture, her silver and glass. At dawn shed draw the curtains back for a glimpse Alliteration Past tense indicates a memory. Highly descriptive language demonstrates a cherished house. Imagery- objects that cast light or that are shiny. Many adjectives are used throughout the poem to describe the setting/ mother. The poem also makes use of adjectives that describe lightness such as polished. Works hard to create a pristine house Proud

7 2 nd Quatrain of the cloud-lit sea. Her oak floors flickered in an opulence of beeswax and light. In the kitchen, saucepans danced their lids, the kettle purred on the Aga, supper on its breath and the buttery melt House proud - pristine Adjective that suggests light and grandeur Alliteration helps to create magical atmosphere. The personification used is emotional. Almost as if memory of kitchen is as alive as the memory of her mother. Shows possession. Large steel stove Creates mysterious/ beautiful atmosphere Sentient = emotional Alliteration reinforces enjoyment of preparing food.

8 3 rd Quatrain of a pie, and beyond the swimming glass of old windows, in the deep perspective of the garden, a blackbird singing, shed come through the bean rows in tottering shoes, her pinny full of strawberries, a lettuce, bringing Could be both literal and a metaphor for the mother singing in the garden. Personification (apron) self sufficient Details fruit and veg shows uses natural resources to be self sufficient. rows suggests v organised. Rooted history Elegance

9 Last rhyming couplet The palest potatoes in a colander, her red hair bright With her habit of colour, her habit of light. Alliteration Positive vibrant images of her mother. Repetition shows emphasis reflects double meaning: 1)can be used to describe the mothers routine & expectation that all things were kept clean and shining. 2)The word habit describes a religious robe nuns and priests wear. So, could be stating that mother is dressed in colour and in light which may be a religious metaphor for the mothers passing on. Or maybe her religious dedication to keeping the house clean.

10 In the early evening, she liked to switch on the lamps in corners, on low tables, to show off her brass, her polished furniture, her silver and glass. At dawn shed draw all the curtains back for a glimpse of the cloud-lit sea. Her oak floors flickered in an opulence of beeswax and light. In the kitchen, saucepans danced their lids, the kettle purred on the Aga, supper on its breath and the buttery melt of a pie, and beyond the swimming glass of old windows, in the deep perspective of the garden, a blackbird singing, shed come through the bean rows in tottering shoes, her pinny full of strawberries, a lettuce, brining the palest potatoes in a colander, her red hair bright with her habit of colour, her habit of light. In the early evening, she liked to switch on the lamps in corners, on low tables, to show off her brass, her polished furniture, her silver and glass. At dawn shed draw all the curtains back for a glimpse of the cloud-lit sea. Her oak floors flickered in an opulence of beeswax and light. In the kitchen, saucepans danced their lids, the kettle purred on the Aga, supper on its breath and the buttery melt of a pie, and beyond the swimming glass of old windows, in the deep perspective of the garden, a blackbird singing, shed come through the bean rows in tottering shoes, her pinny full of strawberries, a lettuce, brining the palest potatoes in a colander, her red hair bright with her habit of colour, her habit of light. Words in the poem which suggest light Words that help to create a SENSE OF PLACE

11 In your exercise books: Habit of Light Q1: What is the mother like? List at least 3 things. Q2: How do you know? Explain The character is built through the description of a sense of place. We know about her from her surroundings and how she keeps her house.

12 Q3. How has the poet created a relationship between the character and her home. Use PEA in your answer.

13 Q4. How are the references to light in the poem significant? Use PEA in your answer. The reference to light in the poem are significant because….. Light imagery adds to the sense of place and description of character. Light reflects the domestic routine of the character.

14 How does Clarke use language and imagery to create a vivid character? Introduction Language Structure Conclusion

15 Plenary To understand the ways in which Clarke has used language and imagery to create a vivid character. To grasp the connection between the character and her home, considering how the description of her home sheds light on the person who lives there. To respond to the sense of warmth and light and to the feeling of pride and love of home created in the poem.


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