3Learning Objectives As we study this poem you will learn: the story of the poemMore about the terms,Free Verse: Assonance: Metaphor: Oxymoron: Enjambement: Alliteration: Imagery: Pace/Tempohow to read out one stanza to the class in a groupYou will also complete some mini tasks and a test on the poem.
4Roller SkatersFlying byon the winged-wheelsof their heelsTwo teenage earthbirdszig-zaggingdown the streetRisingunfeathered –in sudden air leapDefying lawdeath and gravityas they do a wheelyLanding backin the smooth swoopof youthAnd faces gapinggawking, impressedand unimpressedOnly Mother watches – heartbeat in her mouth
5Roller Skaters - Test1: What is the ‘Story Of The Poem?’2: There are two metaphors in Stanza 1 below.Identify one of the and explain what it means:Flying byon the winged-wheelsof their heels3: Write down one example of an Oxymoronfrom the poem.4: Write down one example of Assonance fromthe poem.
6The Story Of The PoemTwo teenagers, boys or girls or both, are roller-skating and doing tricks in a public street. Some of the people watching are impressed by their stunts, but others are not impressed. Their mother is also watching, terrified that they will hurt themselves.
7The Stucture Of The Poem The poem is composed of six three line stanzaswith a final single line stanza.MINI TASK 1:Count the line length for each stanza in the poem.What do you notice?
8The Stucture Of The Poem The poem is composed of six three line stanzaswith a final single line stanza.The line length is very short 2-6 syllable long. Theexception is the final line/stanza which is 11syllables long .However each stanza is between syllableslong which does give the poem a unity andeven feel.
9The Key Feature Of The Poem ….is Imagery. The poem essentially describes a single stunt performed by two roller–skaters and the effect the stunt has on their ‘audience’ and their mother.MINI TASK 2:List what you think are the main images in the poem.
10The Key Feature Of The Poem ….is Imagery. The poem essentially describes a single stunt performed by the roller–skaters and the effect the stunt has on their ‘audience’ and their mother.Ex. the way the skaters are described asflying byZig-zaggingLeaping into the air and doing a ‘wheely’Landing safelyandThe faces of those watching, especiallytheir mother.
11Enjambment Flying by Defying law on the winged-wheels of their heelsTwo teenage earthbirdszig-zaggingdown the streetRisingunfeathered –in sudden air leapDefying lawdeath and gravityas they do a wheelyLanding backin the smooth swoopof youthAnd faces gapinggawking, impressedand unimpressedOnly Mother watches – heartbeat in her mouthMINI TASK3:On your copy, put the enjambment in for the rest of the poem.
12Enjambment Flying by Defying law on the winged-wheels of their heelsTwo teenage earthbirdszig-zagging down the streetRising unfeathered –in sudden air leapDefying law death and gravityas they do a wheelyLanding backin the smooth swoop of youthAnd faces gaping gawking, impressed and unimpressedOnly Mother watches – heartbeat in her mouth
13Other FearuesAssonance: is the repetition of vowel sounds inwords that are close to each otherEx L14, smooth swoop.Oxymoron: two words used together which have,or seem to have, opposite meanings.Ex L4 earthbirds.Alliteration: Similar sounding beginnings to wordsthat are close to each other.Ex L2 ~ winged-wheels & L14 ~ smooth swoop.
14Other FearuesPace: The pace of the poem is fairly fast,reflecting the speed at which the skaters‘fly’ past. The fast pace is helped by theoccasional use of assonance andrhyme/chime:Ex. ‘wheels’ & ‘heels’‘street’ & ‘leap’‘gravity’ & ‘wheely’‘smooth swoop’ & ‘youth’Rhythm: All of this gives the poem a fairly strongrhythm and a tone of excitement/danger.
15Other FearuesMetaphor:If an object/person is not being described literally, then the chances are they are being described metaphorically..In the poem the skaters are described as ‘Flying by’ and as having ‘Winged wheels'. Both of these descriptions are metaphors as the skaters are not ‘flying’ nor do they have ‘wings’ on their heels.‘Earthbirds’, ‘unfeathered’ and ‘heartbeat’ are examples of other metaphors used in the poem.
16Other FearuesMetaphor:The whole poem can be viewed asone extended metaphor that explores the rebellious nature of youth and the risks young people with take when growing up as they seek thrills and excitement.It also makes reference to the most difficult thing a parent has to do – learn to let go and trust their children.
17TaskWrite about a time, real or imagined, that you took part in a ‘dangerous’ or exciting activity that your parents would not, or did not approve of.What did you feel when you took part in this activity and how did your parents react when they found out?What did you think/feelabout their reaction?