Summer Farm

Watch the video and work on the activities

Video: http://ed.ted.com/on/aOSLD5IP

Read this analysis of the poem:

http://matthewspoetryanalysis.blogspot.com.ar/2013/05/summer-farm-norman-maccaig.html


This theme of identity is strengthened through the use of parallelism, metaphor and imagery:
 Beginning poet is listless, just observing the farm (st. 1 and 2). The details show how precisely the poet (Man) can observe his surroundings when he’s not preoccupied thinking about himself/Self/existential issues or turmoil. This precise observation is seen through the thoughtful imagery and use of metaphor.
 Poet’s untroubled mind (in this state of pure observation) is parallel with “shining water” and “glass”. This shows his mind’s clarity and foreshadows the realization he comes to (his own identity as the ‘everyman’ and his place in the world as ‘intertwined with Nature’). His quiet meditation of the world around him has led to this clarity of understanding about himself.

Maccaig’s philosophical conclusion seems to be subjective – all we can be certain about is the “now” the things we see, the feelings we feel, at this precise moment in time. There may well be an “I” that existed a second ago, in the same way that there may well be an “I” that will exist a second from now. However, those essentially aren’t real: you can’t prove their existence. All that is real is now, this moment – in which I see crazy weird things like one eyed chickens or agile swallows. And maybe that explains the positivity of the nature imagery: of now is all we can be certain of (and note Maccaig doesn’t particularly want to entertain the idea that this may not even be right – for he is “afraid of where a thought might take me”), then we should look at the beauty of the world and its goodness rather than its potential destructiveness (ie, look at the aesthetics of the “tame” lightning with appreciation rather than with fear at its devastating potential).

Which other poems we have read can be compared to Summer Farm? Give reasons for your answer.

This entry was posted in Senior 2 2013 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Summer Farm

  1. Pat says:

    Thanks a lot for appreciating our work!! My students and I work really hard every year!

  2. Delfina Urso says:

    1. Write a sentence summarizing each stanza.
    First Stanza: Description of the Atmosphere.
    Second Stanza: decription of what the animal is doing
    Third Stanza: Description of the thoughts and feelings of te voice.
    Fourth Stanza: Message of the story.

    2. How effective are the following descriptions?
    the water in the trough ,The ducks ,the hen ,the swallow, the sky (‘empty’, ‘the dizzy blue’)
    These description set the atmosphere and the thoughts of the voice. They show how he feels.

    3. What is the speaker actually doing in stanzas three and four?
    What is the significance of the grasshopper which ‘finds himself in space’?

    In stanzas 3 and 4 the speaker is reflecting about his life, and he feels afraid of going back to reality, to the city life. He feels small and insignificant, and his mind is trapped between past and present.
    The grasshopper represents himself meditating. he is questioning himself who he is and what roll does he occupies in the world.

    4.What is the effect of these comparisons on the reader?

    ‘Self under self, a pile of selves I stand / Threaded on time’ [What does ‘Threaded’ mean here?]
    ‘Lift the farm like a lid and see / Farm within farm…’
    24‘…in the centre, me.’

    These comparisons are showing the doubts the speaker has of himself. He’s comparing himself with nature, and he feels he belongs there and he doesn’t belong to the city. ‘Threaded’ here means that his different selves are being mixed on time. He imagines his past life and his present life feeling trapped between them.

    ‘Summer Farm’ can be compared with ‘Where I Come From’ because in both poems the themes are belonging to not belonging and displacement. Both poets feel nostalgic about their pasts and prefer their life how was before instead of their life in the routine of the city life.

  3. Abru Lopez, Tadeo Helou Julia Molmenti says:

    1. Read the poem.
    Write a sentence summarizing each stanza.
    First stanza: The atmosphere is described, what is happening around the voice.
    Second Stanza: It describes the actions of the animal
    Third Stanza: It describes his actions and his feelings
    Forth Stanza: It is “the couplet” there is the final message.

    2. How effective are the following descriptions?
    the water in the trough ,The ducks ,the hen ,the swallow, the sky (‘empty’, ‘the dizzy blue’)
    They help the reader understand the atmosphere, what it the voice seeing and feeling and his or her feelings towards it.

    3.What is the speaker actually doing in stanzas three and four?
    What is the significance of the grasshopper which ‘finds himself in space’?

    In the stanzas 3 and 4 it is describing instead of the atmosphere, his actions what he or her is doing and how she or he feel about it.

    4. The comparissons are used to call the reader attention and they are comparing nature with the voice that they are not very different.

    “Summer farm” has a lot to do with “Where I Come From”. They share the same tone and theme. The voice, in both poems, remember the past memories and feels melancholic. They both deal with displacement, the writers feel the same with the rural and urban areas, they both remain sad because they prefer their original home.

  4. Julia, Tadeo and Abril says:

    “Summer Farm” can be compared with “horses”. In both poems the voice share the same childhood in the farm and talk about in a melancholic way. The voice of “summer farm” remember his/hers farm as it carries out memories of his ancestors. In the other hand the voice of “horses” remembers his farm as he sees the horses.

    Also “Summer farm” can be compared with “a different story”. Both deal with the importance of identity and their routes. Both voices share memories of their past ; “In a different story” the voice remembers how she used to talk to her mother in her original tongue. In “summer farm” he remembers his childhood in the countryside. In this two poems the voice remember where they came from.

    As facundo said it can also be compared with “Where i come from” . Both share the same message: people are made of places. The voice in summer farm was determined by the farm he used to live in, so was the voice in “where i come from”. Both belong to the countryside and do not like living in the city. Also both poems deal with displacement.

  5. Mechi Anelo says:

    “Summer Farm” can be compared with both poems of Sujata Bahad and “Where i come from” because each one is related with desplacement and share the same tone. The voice missies his homeland and their original culture (mother tongue)

  6. Vicky Gonzalez says:

    This poem can be compared with “Where I come from” because in both poems the wirter feels melancholic about his childhood and he doesn’t feel comfortable or happy in his present house. They also describe nature as beautiful and perfect and the city life as plain and boring.

  7. Facundo Milhas says:

    “Summer Farm” can be compared with “Where i come from” because they both deal with displacement, and both writers feel the same and share similar thoughts about the urban and the rural areas. Both poems have similar themes and tones, and discuss the same topic.In the two the voice recalls his childhood moemories and compares how he lived and enjoyed life in the rural area, with the urban area, in wich he live at the moment, which he dislikes and where they feel stressed. Also, both poems share the topic of identity.

  8. Lucas Posse says:

    ‘Summer Farm’ can be compared with ‘search for my tounge’ as they both share the theme that is ‘identity’.Both Poems depict how our mother toungue or were we come from identify each of us.

  9. Juan landolfo and Felipe Reynal says:

    “Summer farm can be compared with ” Where I come from” because they share the same theme and tone. in both poems the voice remembers his past and he feels very melancholic about this. Both writers start living in one place and end up living in tier one. They remain sad because they prefer their previous home and life. This is call displacement and generally is between rural and urban areas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.