Elegy For My Father Flashcards Preview

iGCSE English lit - Poetry > Elegy For My Father > Flashcards

Flashcards in Elegy For My Father Deck (17)
Loading flashcards...
1
Q

Elegy For My Father’s Father

A

James Keir Baxter

2
Q

“Elegy For My Father’s Father”

A

“Father’s Father” used as apposed to Grandfather to emphasise the link between the men through the generations
“Elegy” means lament, and the poem has a sombre, mournful tone

3
Q

“His heart had never spoken”

A

Provides us with a sense of regret and an unfulfilled life
This describes a man who has never let his true emotions out but in fact has kept them under control at all times
‘Heart’ is personified and the mention of this is significant as once his heart stops, it will never speak again

4
Q

“In eighty years of days”

A

Emphasises the grandfather’s long life and the fact the he has remained rather emotionally detached and distant for so many individual days; showing a struggle to break a routine

5
Q

“Tall Tower broken”

A

‘Tall tower’ suggests the former strength, both emotionally and physically, however ‘broken’ provides us with ideas of how he has crumbled/fallen

6
Q

“Memorial is denied”

A

Couldn’t cry as no one cared for him, no one there to mourn him

7
Q

“From his bitter veins born”

A

Perhaps suggests that he was suffering and angry

This is an example of a transferred epithet where the qualities of a person are transferred to an object

8
Q

“Mourned him in their fashion”

A

In their own way, quite private, not very powerful or emotive

9
Q

“A chain of sods in a day

He could slice and build”

A

Past tense reminds us its an elegy
The tone becomes more admiring and the language is more positive as he recalls the grandfather’s physical strength
‘slice’ onomatopoeic and very precise

10
Q

“Lion sun”

A

A metaphor to describe the burning sun with its rays like the mane of a lion and also reinforcing the idea of him as ‘king’ of his world - powerful, in control and even frightening
Sun suggests summer and a physical peak, this is a basic conceptual metaphor

11
Q

“Flowering cherry tree”

A

Suggests spring and children, contrasts with ‘slice’ and other aggressive ideas

12
Q

“When he was old and blind

He sat in curved in his chair”

A

Formerly strong man has become weak, as the speaker presents an image of him bent over in his chair, contrasting with the idea of a “tall tower”
“Slice and build” these dynamic verbs are replaced with more passive verbs like ‘sat’

13
Q

“The stars in their drunken dancing”

A

We have reached the evening/ night of the his life

alliteration of ‘drunken dancing’ hard to focus on providing another epithet

14
Q

“The burning-glass of his mind”

A

Refers to his memories (glass = mirror for looking back) the phrase ‘glass’ alluding to the lines of St Paul in a passage from the bible which describes God’s love and which is often a line read at funerals

15
Q

“Boughs of heaven folding

The winter world in their hand”

A

Seasonal metaphor extended to show that death is near
Baxter uses a beautiful image of heaven as a tree with its boughs enveloping the old man
Could also link to the idea of a family tree

16
Q

“Dark mouths of the dead”

A

The poem slows to this ominous phrase of him speaking from the death
He appears prepared for death and does not fight it but embraces it

17
Q

Form

A

One continuous stanza, as it captures one life and the reaction to the grandfather’s death. Rhyme is seen a jovial so used sparingly to add to the mournful mood