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Poisoned Talk poem

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Poisoned Talk poem

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Poisoned Talk poem

  1. 1. RAYMOND WILSON Poisoned talk
  2. 2. MEANING OF LINES STANZA 1 • Line 1 : The narrator demands to know who killed cock robin. A cock robin is a male bird. The robin is common in England. • Line 2-3 : The worm replies and confesses that he is the one responsible for the death of cock robin. • Line 4-5 : The worm describes where the bird died on the branch of a tree. The cause of his death is poisoning. The bird ate the worm which is poisonous. The worm is poisonous because he was poisoned by the ‘acid soil’. Acid soil is toxic and it is harmful to plants and trees. That is why the tree where cock robin died is ‘a withered tree’, meaning the tree is dry and weak.
  3. 3. STANZA 2 • Line 6 : The narrator asks who killed the heron (a large bird that feeds on fish) • Line 7 : The fish confesses to killing the heron. • Line 8 : The fish killed the heron when the bird fed on his poisoned flesh. The word ‘tainted’ means contaminated of polluted. • Line 9-10 : The fish says that he killed all the birds of the lake including the tern, duck and drake.
  4. 4. STANZA 3 • Line 11 : The narrator wants to know who killed the lake. • Line 12 : ‘Industry’ boasts that he killed the lake. The word ‘boasted’ tell us that ‘Industry’ is not sorry for killing the lake, but is proud of it. • Line 13-14 : ‘Industry’ explains how he killed the lake. He poisoned the fish, weeds and the plants in the lake with mercury. Mercury is a very poisonous substance. It is released into the environment through industrial processes and careless disposal of industrial waste. • Line 15 : ‘Industry’ says that he poisoned the lake to pleased ‘greedy men’. The word ‘men’ refers to mankind, people, you and I (people who do not want to spend money to dispose of hazardous industrial waste properly because they want more profits). The real reason for the death of the lake is men’s greed.
  5. 5. STANZA 4 • Line 16 : Next, the narrator asks who killed the flowers. • Line 17 : The wind confesses to the crime. The word ‘moaned’ tells us that the wind is sad. • Line 18-20 : The word ‘prowl’ tells us that the wind moves around like an animal looking for prey. The word ‘unconfined’ means freely. The winds explain that he killed the flowers by carrying acid rain over the land, be it cultivated field, flooded carrying acid rain over the land, be it cultivated field, flooded land or wetlands (fen). Like acid soil, acid rain destroys plants.
  6. 6. STANZA 5 • Line 21 : The narrator wants to know who killed the forest. • Line 22-24 : Sulphur dioxide answers that he made sure the forest died along with all the wildlife and creatures that dwell in it. Sulphur dioxide is a smelly gas or liquid produced through industrial processes and the burning of coal and petroleum. It dissolves in water to form acid. Air polluted by sulphur dioxide turns rain into acid rain, which is harmful to plants and wildlife. • Line 25 : Sulphur dioxide says that he killed all life from the earthworm to linnet (a small European bird). This covers all living creatures. It tells us how powerful and lethal sulphur dioxide is
  7. 7. - Countryside where all kinds of animals and plants live. - England and Europe where birds like robins, terns, herons, ducks and linnets are commonly found. - Not far from the industrial area which polluted the place - 20th century – scientists only began studying the effects of acid rain in the late 1960s PLACE TIME
  8. 8. The main voice in this poem is the omniscient narrator who asks who is to blame for a death. The answers of the creatures and elements which confess to the crime are put in italicised text.
  9. 9. Who is responsible for the destruction of the environment and wildlife THEMES Do you know ?
  10. 10. The poem tells us that wildlife, the lake, the flowers and the forest have been killed. The culprit who confess to the crimes are: • the worm who killed cock robin • the fish who killed the heron • Industry who killed the lake • the wind who killed the flowers • Sulphur dioxide who killed the forest However, are these the real killlers?
  11. 11. CASE Cock robin died after eating the worm which has been poisoned by the acid soil. So, the worm is actually a victim. The worm is part of the natural food chain and he was caught and eaten by the bird. The bird died because the worm was poisonous due to the acid soil. The real culprit then is the one who polluted the soil and made it acidic.
  12. 12. CASE The heron died because it fed on the ‘tainted’ flesh of the fish. Like the worm, the fish is part of the food chain. The fish is also a victim, poisoned by water pollution. All the birds of the lake died after eating the poisoned fish. The real killer is the person who polluted the lake.
  13. 13. CASE Industry killed the lake by poisoning al life in it with mercury. He says it is to satisfy men’s greed. So, it is men’s greed that caused industry to pollute the lake and destroy the life in it.
  14. 14. CASE The wind confessed that he killed the flowers. He did it by carrying acid rain everywhere he blew. Acid rain is the weapon used to kill the flowers. But how did the rain become acidic? It is through air pollution. So the real culprit is the one who caused air pollution.
  15. 15. 5 CASE The forest’s killer is sulphur dioxide. Sulphur dioxide is produced by the burning of coal and petroleum for industry. Who is the real culpit? Man.
  16. 16. In all the cases, a chain effect led to the death of creatures or plants. On the surface, the ones who confess to the killings appear to be guilty. However, if we follow the chain of cause and effect, we realise that the real killer in all the crimes is us humans.
  17. 17. Man’s greed causes them to use cheaper sources, such as coal-burning, instead of cleaner but more expensive forms of energy. They also refuse to dispose of industrial waster properly because it costs more. Their irresponsible attitude leads to the pollution of the environment and the destruction of nature and life.
  18. 18. MESSAGE 1 : Take responsibility for our crimes against nature In the poem, the creatures and elements who confess to the killing of wildlife and the environment are non-human. The poet gives each of them a human voice. In this way, he makes us think about who is really to blame for the crimes. As we look for the answer, we realise that the real killers are not those confessing. The deaths are caused by pollution, which is caused by human beings.
  19. 19. MESSAGE 2 : Protect the environment, stop pollution The poet tells us that many animals have died – ‘all the birds of the lake’ (line 10), all kinds of life – ‘fish, plant and weed’ (line 14), all flowers ‘over field, flood and fen’ (line 20) and all life from ‘earthworm to linnet’ (line 25). By pointing out the seriousness of the effects of pollution, the author wants to tell us to do something to protect the environment. To prevent the destruction of the environment, we must act to stop pollution.
  20. 20. MORAL VALUES • Love for nature By warning us about the effects of pollution on the environment, the author is reminding us to love nature. • Responsibility It is us humans who poison the environment with out careless attitude and greed. We must take the responsibility for the crimes against nature. • Moderation It is the greed of mankind (line 15) that is the main cause of the pollution that is destroying the environment. The poem reminds us that we need to be moderate in the way we live, not be extreme and greedy, to want more than we need.
  21. 21. The character that confess to the killings in each verse are not the real killers. The poet uses irony to draw attention to the truth, that humans are the real killers. For example, in the first stanza, the worm confesses that he killed cock robin. Ironically, the worm himself is twice a victim, first, he was poisoned by the acid soil. Then, he was eaten by the bird. TONE : Ironic and sombre
  22. 22. • The poem focusses on unnatural death and killing. In the last stanza, the last killer says that he ‘ensured’ that the forest and all the creatures in it died. • The use of words like ‘killed’, ‘great harm’, ‘died’, ‘withered’, ‘poisoned’, ‘tainted’ and ‘moaned’ creates the grim atmosphere. MOOD : grim and chilling
  23. 23. LANGUAGE AND STYLE • The poem has 5 verse consisting of five lines each. • The rhyme pattern: abbcc • Each verse begins with a question about a crime against nature, followed by a confession in italicised text to differentiate it from the question.
  24. 24. IRONY - The use of irony is seen in the confessions to the crimes. Each of the culprits confessing to a killing is not the real killer. They are either victims themselves, such as the worm and the fish in the lake or they are accessories to the crime, such as Industry, the wind and sulphur dioxide. - Even though there seems to be so many killers, when we trace the cause and effect chain, we discover that there is only one killer – man.
  25. 25. The creatures and environment elements mentioned in the poem are given human qualities. They can ‘talk’. The ones confessing to the killings speak about their crimes in a human- like voice and they use the first person pronouns ‘I’ and ‘my’. Industry begins with a capital letter like a name and ‘boasted’ like a man (line 12) The wind ‘moaned’ and prowls (line 17-18) Sulphur dioxide ‘ensured’ the forest died (line 22) PERSONIFICATION
  26. 26. REPETITION • The question ‘who killed’ and the reply ‘I’ are repeated at the beginning of each stanza. • Repetition gives the poem a definite rhythm. • It emphasises the idea that the environment and wildlife are being destroyed and that we need to do something to stop it.
  27. 27. SYMBOLISM • The crimes spoken about in the poem symbolise the destruction of the environment. • The poison mentioned in the poem symbolise pollution. • The killing of cock robin symbolises the destruction to wildlife via the natural food chain as a result of land pollution. • The killing of the heron and the birds of the lake symbolises the lethal effect of water pollution. • The killing of the lake symbolises the danger of industrial waste. • The killing of the flowers by the wind refers to air pollution. • The killing of the forest symbolises the threat to the whole Earth.
  28. 28. PRESERVE OUR ENVIRONMENT

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