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For heidi with_blue_hair blog work

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For heidi with_blue_hair blog work

  1. 1. Fleur Adcock
  2. 2. For Heidi With Blue Hair When you dyed your hair blue (or, at least ultramarine for the clipped sides, with a crest of jet-black spikes on top) you were sent home from school because, as the headmistress put it, although dyed hair was not specifically forbidden, yours was, apart from anything else, not done in the school colours. Tears in the kitchen, telephone-calls to school from your freedom-loving father: 'She's not a punk in her behaviour; it's just a style.' (You wiped your eyes, also not in a school colour.) 'She discussed it with me first - we checked the rules.' 'And anyway, Dad, it cost twenty-five dollars. Tell them it won't wash out - not even if I wanted to try. It would have been unfair to mention your mother's death, but that shimmered behind the arguments. The school had nothing else against you; the teachers twittered and gave in. Next day your black friend had hers done in grey, white and flaxen yellow - the school colours precisely: an act of solidarity, a witty tease. The battle was already won.
  3. 3. Background and Biography Poet Fleur Adcock was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on 10 February 1934, but spent much of her childhood, including the war years, in England. She studied Classics at Victoria University in Wellington and taught at the University of Otago, moving to London in 1963 where she worked as a librarian at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She has held various literary fellowships, including a period at the Charlotte Mason College of Education, Ambleside (1977-78). Later she held the Northern Arts Fellowship at the Universities of Newcastle upon Tyne and Durham (1979-81. In 1984 she was Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia. She has been writing full-time since 1981. Her poetry has received numerous awards, many of them from her native New Zealand, and she won a Cholmondeley Award in 1976. She was awarded an OBE in 1996. . She was awarded the Queen's Medal for Poetry in 2006, and in 2008 was named Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature. Her latest poetry collection is Dragon Talk (2010). http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2010/oct/20/poem-of-the- week-fleur-adcock
  4. 4. The SIFT method to analyse and revise poems. pecify the subject matter and sense of the poem through a brief summary nform us of the intention of the poet and his/her main ideas overall ocus on the form ( structure/punctuation) and the feelings conveyed ( poet’s attitude/tone used) and how this highlights the main ideas ell us about the techniques, imagery and poetic language that show the ways ideas are presented
  5. 5. Analysis - surface For Heidi with Blue Hair presents us with a central image of a child sent home from school for dyeing her hair blue. As the narrative develops, we find ourselves confronted not just with an amusing story, but also with a quiet knocking of social boundaries. Adcock manages to gently bring together issues of friendship, solidarity, home life, and social institutions under the guise of a minor event.
  6. 6. Prepare a post in your blog: include what we have already done in class and answer these questions.  Write a brief summary of the poem, who and what is the subject of this poem?  What do you think the poet’s purpose is in writing this poem? Adcock’s intentions seem to be ….  The poem is written in free verse in a narrative style, as if a story is being told, how does the structure and punctuation reflect this?  Adcock undermines poetic structural convention by loosely forming her five- line stanzas – how might this form reinforce an important idea in her poem?  How are teachers and the headmistress made to sound ridiculous?  Explain the tone of voice of the poet? What moods and feelings do you recognise and how can you tell?  How does the tone of voice / feelings of the poet highlight the themes or main ideas (social institutions and boundaries, family and friend relationships) in the poem?  Identify figurative language features, imagery (colour), sound devices such as alliteration ‘teachers twittered’, symbolic devices which all present Adcocks views on social boundaries, rebelliousness, friendship, home life and social institutions (school).  How is the ‘rebel’ in the poem made to sound vulnerable? How is she supported?  Who or what is this ‘battle’ being fought against?

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