Prop

Hi, welcome back to the ETC blog in the second week of a new school year.  I hope you enjoyed the poems last week. The idea of learning English though poetry is something I like and today I want to mention a few things I’ve used in the poem The Millennium Dream. I was lucky to not have poetry ruined for me by over analysis when I was at school, and I know I’m in danger of doing it with you now, but…as many of our blog readers are learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL), I feel justified. I’ll do half this week and half next.

 

So many years since we woke, and lured you

from your beds with the promise of something special.

 

I use the word ‘lure’ because, as parents, we knew you wouldn’t come without some enticement. You usually ‘lure’ an animal into a trap! J The promise of ‘something special’ probably intrigued them! I want you to pause after the word ‘you’, so I start a new line. The stress is on the words ‘so’, ‘years’, ‘woke’, ‘lured’, ‘beds’, ‘promise’, ‘something’, ‘special’. It’s a ‘sleepy’ sort of rhythm, using long vowel sounds and diphthongs, /əʊ/,  /ɪə/, /ʊə/, in the first line and shorter ‘awake’ sounds in the second.

 

So long since we propped you in front of the telly

to watch the big clocks tick and the world light up.

 

We used cushions to prop them. Prop is a nice word which implies they were too floppy to support themselves!J I use a repetition of hard /t/, /p/, and /k/ sounds, (unvoiced ‘plosives’) and the /ɒ/ vowel sound in ‘clock’ and ‘prop’ to sound like the clock ticking. To ‘light up the world’ can be interpreted either literally or metaphorically here!  The stress is on ‘long’, ‘propped’, ‘front’, ‘telly’, ‘watch’, ‘big clocks tick’, and ‘world light up’ (the rhythm changes to sound like the clock).

 

Next week I’ll finish it off.

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