Poem at Thirty-Nine, Alice Walker Flashcards Preview

Mrs Latham IGCSE Revision Poetry > Poem at Thirty-Nine, Alice Walker > Flashcards

Flashcards in Poem at Thirty-Nine, Alice Walker Deck (14)
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1
Q

Meaning

A
  • Explores feelings of loss and nostalgia as she reflects on her relationship with her dead father
  • Explains wonderful things he taught her
    • Money isn’t everything
    • Don’t take time with father for granted
2
Q

Context

A
  • Alice Walker youngest of 8 children in poor family
  • Was black
3
Q

Imagery #1

A

“He cooked like a person / dancing / in a yoga mediation”

  • Funny - oxymoronic
    • Movement VS stillness
      • = He did it all - respects him
  • Defies stereotypical gender roles
    • Task = chore or feminine
  • “yoga”
    • Cooks with concentration and almost religious calm
4
Q

Imagery #2

A

“bits of paper”

  • First think = its beginning of her writing
    • “To escape” poverty
  • But means money
    • Belittle importance of money
    • Having money wasn’t important
5
Q

Tone #1

A

Nostalgic, melancholic

“How I miss my father!”

  • Only lines in poem to appear as full sentences
    • Highlighting sadness she continues to feel at his loss
  • Quite colloquial
    • Giving poem chatty feel
      • Allows reader to relate to voice of poet = makes it personal
      • “my” = deeply personal expression of grief
  • “How”
    • Implies missing her father is great and multifaceted emotion
  • Exclamation mark
    • Poet becoming increasingly emotional and upset as poem progresses
  • Repeated euphemism for death serves to comfort her
    • Pain of bereavement is still deeply felt
6
Q

Tone #2

A

Hopeful, determined

“cooking, writing, chopping wood,”

  • “cooking” = Stereotypical female role
  • “writing” = Intellect
    • Unusual for black women
  • “chopping wood” = Masculine Job
    • Physically strong
  • Has all tools necessary to become independent woman
    • Ready to conquer future
    • Father gave so much more than money could have
7
Q

Structure #1

A

Enjambment

  • Appears more in some verses than others
    1. At times her thoughts are more spontaneous
    2. Whilst at others she uses punctuation consciously to pause and reflect on her father
      • ‘I think of him.’
  • Emulates her train of thought
8
Q

Structure #2

A

Short lines

  • Create staccato effect
    • = Poet is both emotional and determined to deal with difficult subject in a precise way
    • Cannot contain her grief
  • Laying herself bare
9
Q

Comparison 5x

A
  • “If-“
  • “Search for my Tongue”
  • “Piano”
  • “Do not go gentle into that good night”
  • “Remember”
10
Q

“If-“

A
  • Reverse of Walker’s verse
    • Father gives advice to child
11
Q

“Search for my Tongue”

A

Both poems about how identity is formed by earliest experiences

12
Q

“Piano”

A

Both poems about remembering dead parent

13
Q

“Do not go gentle into that good night”

A

About also conflicting emotions felt at loss of a parent

14
Q

“Remember”

A

Also about how to remember loved ones who have died