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Flashcards in Poppies Deck (21):

Who was Poppies written by?

Jane Weir


When was Poppies published?

2009 by Carol Ann Duffy


Give one fact about Jane Weir.

She considers herself an Anglo-Italian; she grew up "all over the place", including Belfast during the Troubles (1980s)


Give some context about Poppies.

When growing up, Jane Weir experienced a lot of conflict, and this influenced her poetry


When does the Poppies take place?

"Three days before Armistice Sunday"


Fill in the gaps:

"______ of red, disrupting a ________
of ______..."

"Spasms of red, disrupting a blockade
of yellow..."


Give one interpretation of why Poppies might be "Three days before Armistice Sunday".

An armistice is a formal agreement of ceasefire so the fact that the day of this hasn't happened yet, in the narrators eyes, implies her want for the fighting to stop.


Who does the narrator of Poppies imply to be referring to and how do you know?

Their son: they use phrases like "when you were little" and the idea that she is helping the person prepare demonstrates a great love they share.


Fill in the gaps:

"A _____ second
and you were ____"

"A split second
and you were away"


What could you say about this quote from Poppies?

"A split second
and you were away"

Obviously the person that the narrator is referencing has been killed and this quote implies that she feels he was gone in seconds of joining the war, emphasising the harsh reality of it.


What's important about this quote from Poppies?

"I was brave, as I walked
with you, to the front door"

It demonstrates the narrator's fear as she bids her soon goodbye when he goes to war.

The way she is at the door could be a metaphor for the way she is trying to "open doors" for him, or in other words, trying to create opportunities.


Fill in the gaps:

"released a ____ ____ from its cage
Later a single ____ flew from the ____ tree"

"released a song bird from its cage
Later a single dove flew from the pear tree"


Why is the presence of birds suitable for Poppies?

The connotations of birds are usually relating to peace: the narrator is telling herself that the person she is addressing is at peace now he has passed.


Fill in the gaps:

"and ____ is where it has ___ me"

"and this is where it has led me"


What could you say about this quote from Poppies?

"and this is where it has led me"

The roles have been reversed: the motherly figure should be leading, giving guidance to her son, yet the bird that led her is symbolic of her son, who is now leading her instead


Why is the addressee in Poppies said to be "intoxicated" when he leaves?

The son is presented to be quite excited about going to war, obviously unaware of its atrocities. This makes the poem personal because we know, as readers, that the narrator/writer obviously does from growing up during the Troubles in Belfast


What could you say about this phrase from Poppies?

"an ornamental stitch"

The stitch could quite literally imply that it is a stitch: the mother feels like her heart has been ripped out upon the loss of her son and therefore she needs it stitching back up


Fill in the gaps:

"I ________, hoping to hear
your __________ voice ________ on the wind"

"I listened, hoping to hear
your playground voice catching on the wind"


Fill in the gaps:

"I ______
the ____________ on the war memorial"

"I traced
the inscriptions on the war memorial"


Pick out a structural feature from Poppies and say something about it.

There are quite a lot of caesuras
It could reflect the numerous minutes of silence and pauses which occur all across England on Armistice Day"
It could alternatively represent the pauses the narrator has to make from choking up on emotion: the tone of the poem is very sad.


What themes (of questions) would be suitable for this poem?

Internal conflict
The effects of war