Poetry and Writers Different Ways

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‘Casehistory: Alison (head injury)’

Learning Objectives:
- AO1: Respond to texts critically and imaginatively, select and evaluate textual detail to illustrate and support interpretations. - AO2: Explain how language, structure and form contribute to writers’ presentation of ideas, themes and settings.

( Pre-reading activity
Here is a riddle for you…

Who do you think would be ‘…my husband’s wife’?
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What about ‘…my mother’s only daughter’?
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The title of the poem is ‘Casehistory: Alison (head injury)’. What do you think this poem is going to be about?

( Make a note of your ideas.
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( Why might you talk about yourself in the third person? What is the effect? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________

( Take 2 minutes to discuss the effect with your partner. Swap and develop your ideas. Feed back your ideas to the rest of the class.

First impressions
( Read the poem.

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What do you think has happened to Alison? The opening line above has a play-like feel. Imagine how this scene might look on stage.

( In the box below, sketch out the scene you imagine. In the notes box below, summarise your ‘vision’ of the action.

How might you describe the attitude of the speaker of the poem? ( Choose the word or phrase that gives you this impression and write it in the box below. The first one has been done for you.

Alison seems…

Wistful

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What does the younger Alison have that the Alison of the present does not?

( Fill in the table below.
|Alison of the past |Alison of the present | | | | |‘Autocratic knee / Like a Degas dancer’s’ |Knees that now ‘lug’ her ‘upstairs / Hardly’ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |...
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