Lover´s Infiniteness

John Donne was born in 1572 and died in 1631. He was an English poet and Cleric. John Donne is considered to be one of the main representatives of the metaphysical poets. His poems are known for their vibrant language, powerful images, abrupt openings and paradoxes. Donne’s poetry introduced a more personal tone in the poems and a particular poetic metre, which resembles natural speech. Moreover, John Donne is considered to be the genius of metaphysical conceits and extended metaphors, as his poems combine two concepts into one by using imagery. Apart from poems, Donne also wrote translations, epigrams, elegies, satires, among others.

Here an essay that is very clear


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Romeo and Juliet

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Two households, both alike in dignity,

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,

From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,

Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes

A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;

Whose misadventur’d piteous overthrows

Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife.

The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,

And the continuance of their parents’ rage,

Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,

Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;

The which if you with patient ears attend,

What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.


Let´s listen to the prologue

Let´s analyse the prologue together

1. How many lines does the prologue have? A piece of writing with this rhyme pattern and number of syllables and lines is called a Sonnet. Find more characteristics of sonnets.

2. Which lines rhyme with each other? (Give the line numbers and the
rhyming words, e.g line 1 rhymes with line 3; ‘dignity’ and ‘mutiny’)

3. Find 4 pairs of opposites (antithesis)

4. Use a coloured pen to highlight all the words to do with love.

5. Use a different coloured pen to highlight all the words to do with

6. Use another colour to highlight the words to do with family.

7. Create a table with three columns, labelled ‘love’, ‘violence’ and ‘family.
Write the words you have found into each column.

8. What, if anything, is surprising about the number of words in each
column? Talk about all three columns.


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Stories for the IGCSE 2018

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From Stories of Ourselves The following 10 stories:

no. 10 Saki (Hector Hugo Munro), ‘Sredni Vashtar’
no. 17 Sylvia Townsend Warner, ‘The Phoenix’
no. 19 Bernard Malamud, ‘The Prison’
no. 22 J G Ballard, ‘Billennium’
no. 24 Maurice Shadbolt, ‘The People Before’
no. 30 Patricia Highsmith, ‘Ming’s Biggest Prey’
no. 34 Anita Desai, ‘Games at Twilight’
no. 39 Paule Marshall, ‘To Da-duh, in Memoriam’
no. 40 Rohinton Mistry, ‘Of White Hairs and Cricket’
no. 45 Adam Thorpe, ‘Tyres’

Find the analysis of the stories here:

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Poetry: IGCSE 2018

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From Songs of Ourselves Volume 2, Part 1, the following 15 poems:

Edith Sitwell, ‘Heart and Mind’
William Wordsworth, ‘She was a Phantom of Delight’
Lady Mary Wroth, ‘Song’ (Love a child…)
William Blake, ‘The Clod and the Pebble’
Patricia Beer, ‘The Lost Woman …’
Dilip Chitre, ‘Father Returning Home’
Amanda Chong, ‘lion heart’
John Donne, ‘Lovers’ Infiniteness’
George Herbert, ‘Love (3)’
Sam Hunt, ‘Stabat Mater’
Emma Jones, ‘Tiger in the Menagerie’
John Keats, ‘Last Sonnet’
Liz Lochhead, ‘For My Grandmother Knitting’
Kathleen Raine, ‘Passion’
Owen Sheers, ‘Coming Home’

Here a summary of all the poem:




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Coming Home (Owen Sheers)

Owen Sheers (b. 1974, Fiji) was chosen as one of the Next Generation Poets and as one of the Independent’s top 30 young British writers on the strength of his first book of poetry. A number of his ballads are tinged with an intelligent misery. Some are enlivened by passings in war, in suicide, in disease, even a touching goodbye to a steed; others by a familiarity with snippets of partition, in the middle of men and ladies, folks and youngsters, or adolescence and adulthood.

Here a brief analysis

The poem Coming Home by Owen Sheers has the main theme of togetherness and what an adverse affect a passage of time can have on people, their relationships and perspective of other people which can be seen throughout the poem as a ‘man’ has returned from college only to be greeted by his family that still perceives him as a young boy.

First Stanza: The first stanza is what the boy (man) feels about his mother and her change towards her behavior towards him and how he perceives her to be old. The first line, “My mother’s hug is awkward, as if the space between her open arms is reserved for a child, not this body of a man.” It makes the readers wonder how can a mother’s hug me awkward and how can open hands be reserved. This particular stanza hints a tinge of nostalgia as he uses metaphorical significance of the flour remaking her and the imagery of her kneading the dough again makes him feel like things are normal again.

Second Stanza: In the second stanza, the poet is now talking about his relationship with his father. The poet is able to understand and empathize for his father as he observes that he is a man who has been slogging and working very hard every winter on something that continues breaking and yet he never gives up. The use of alliteration in the phrase, “pockets are filled with filings of hay.” uses alliteration to create an affect of him not being very successful. The father has a fruitless and monotonous life in a rural setting where hard work and labor is the only way of income.

Third Stanza: It is the final conclusion to the poem as the poet now explores his relationship with his grandfather who is just as relaxed as he was even before the poet had left although in the line,”it is a tune he plays faster each year” is a line that shows that his shivering has become more prominent as he has gone unsteady with age and is at the end of his life.

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Ode to Autumn: multiple intelligences

Take a look at all the activities we have gone through when we studied the poem “Ode to Autumn” : which intelligence do they belong to?

Resultado de imagen para multiple intelligences

Which intelligence do you feel you usually put into work when you study?

Thanks for your wonderful work!!

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Ode on Melancholy

What is melancholy? Can you find a definition?

Resultado de imagen para ode on melancholy analysis

Check this out:

Ode on Melancholy by JOHN KEATS

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist

       Wolf’s-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;

Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss’d

       By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;

               Make not your rosary of yew-berries,

       Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be

               Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl

A partner in your sorrow’s mysteries;

       For shade to shade will come too drowsily,

               And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall

       Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,

That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,

       And hides the green hill in an April shroud;

Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,

       Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,

               Or on the wealth of globed peonies;

Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,

       Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,

               And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die;

       And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips

Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,

       Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:

Ay, in the very temple of Delight

       Veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shrine,

               Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue

       Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine;

His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might,

               And be among her cloudy trophies hung.


Now watch this video and amalyse the poem in full using the following guide:

(The worksheet is just a guide to help you analyse the poem. you don´t have to fully complete the worksheet, just focus on what is relevant for your poem)


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The Lost Woman

The Lost Woman (1983)
Patricia Beer
My mother went with no more warning
than a bright voice and a bad pain.
Home from school on a June morning
And where the brook goes under the lane
I saw the back of a shocking white
Ambulance drawing away from the gate.

She never returned and I never saw
Her buried. So a romance began.
The ivy-mother turned into a tree
That still hops away like a rainbow down
The avenue as I approach.
My tendrils are the ones that clutch.

I made a life for her over the years.
Frustrated no more by a dull marriage
She ran a canteen through several wars.
The wit of a cliché-ridden village
She met her match at an extra-mural
Class and the OU summer school.

Many a hero in his time
And every poet has acquired
A lost woman to haunt the home,
To be compensated and desired,
Who will not alter, who will not grow,
A corpse they need never get to know.

She is nearly always benign. Her habit
Is not to stride at dead of night.
Soft and crepuscular in rabbit-
Light she comes out. Hear how they hate
Themselves for losing her as they did.
Her country is bland and she does not chide.

But my lost woman evermore snaps
From somewhere else: ‘You did not love me.
I sacrificed too much perhaps,
I showed you the way to rise above me
And you took it. You are the ghost
With the bat-voice, my dear. I am not lost.’

The Lost Woman – Patricia Beer


Patricia Beer was born into a Plymouth Brethren family in Exeter and the influence of that religious training became one of the forces that shaped her poetry. Devon and its beautiful countryside were other factors of influence. Other significant influences were the passing of time and the workings of good and evil. Though Patricia Beer moved away from the religious teachings of her childhood, they remained a dominant influence in her life.

Metaphysical Inference

This is an uncomfortable elegy for her mother that reveals unsettling feelings of insecurity and envy. This poem speaks of the tendency people have of idealizing the dead but the poet’s mother speaks in a chiding voice to her daughter. Like other poets have their muse, her muse was her mother but she was only “nearly always benign”. There were times when she was toxic. The last stanza reveals tones of envy in her mother’s voice. She has the last word when she says “I am not lost”. Which implies that the poet is the wandering ghost.


The poet’s mother took ill suddenly and was in pain before being taken away in an ambulance. The poet was in school when most of this happened, coming home just in time to see the ambulance bearing the mother away. The mother dies in hospital. The poet does not get to attend the funeral. In her mind the poet starts weaving a tale where her mother is not the clingy person she was in real life but strong as a tree, and unapproachable as she moves away before the poet can reach out to her.
In the story that the poet weaves of her mother, she leads an interesting life quite unlike the real life she led when alive. It is common for heroes and poets to have a personal muse who inspires them. These muses are benevolent and soft, they tread softly and flit about in soft twilight without startling people. They are given to speak softly and do not nag. But the poet’s mother-muse was very different. She spoke sharply in a complaining voice about not receiving enough love from her daughter for whom she had sacrificed so much. Her parting shot is that it is her daughter who is the lost wandering soul, not her.


The mother’s death came about without much warning. All she had was a bad pain. When the poet returns from school one day, she sees an ambulance pulling away from the gate bearing her mother. She does not return. The poet does not see the burial. In her mind she begins idealizing her mother. Her mother was clingy, but the poet creates a strong and cheerful image of her mother in her mind.
In real life her mother had been the prisoner of a dull and boring marriage but the poet imagines her mother as an individual who had an interesting life managing a canteen while the country was at war. She meets her future partner at the Open University art classes. Most poets have a personal muse who is the image of a perfect women – soft spoken, changeless and always young. These women flit about noiselessly in the twilight. The poets mourn the loss of these women who were dear to them when they were alive. They were perfect in every way.
But the poet’s muse who is her mother is very different. She speaks in a sharp whining voice. She claims to have loved her daughter too well while her daughter exploits her mother’s love to reach success that had been denied to the mother. As a parting shot, the mother brands the daughter a lost ghost while she is not.
The language used is taut and tense. When softness is required the poet achieves it through enjambment and half rhymes.

Overall Impression

Patricia Beer lost her mother to a sudden illness when she was fourteen and this incident made her view death with a strange fascination and fear. What marks this poem is the care with which it is crafted. Beer’s attitude towards death and the ambivalence with which she viewed her late mother makes this poem intense.

Tota Lupi and her group prepared this presentation on the poem

Choose a question to write an essay

1. In “The Lost Woman,” the poem connotes the fact that the daughter is really the ‘lost woman,’ although this isn’t distinguished until the end. Do you agree?

2. Comment closely on how this poems deals with the idea of parental and familial love.

Deadline: October 2

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To Autumn: final work

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Task 5

-Compare the seasons Autumn and Spring. What do they symbolize?

Task 6

-Compare the poem “To Autumn” to the poem “Ode on Melancholy”.

Task 7

-Create a poster: and illustrate the poem “To Autumn”

Task 8

-Find a song connected to the themes of the poem “To Autumn”

Task 9

-Write a short paragraph about what Autumn means to you (what do you like doing in Autumn? Do you remember a special day in Autumn?)

Task 10

Think about a word or phrase that comes to your mind in connection to the Autumn

Stand up and write that word on the poster.



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Writing your final paper : Step 1 (Topic, thesis statement and outline)

We are going to start working on our final paper.

Resultado de imagen para How to write a literature paper

Choose a topic:

Ernest Hemmingway: Stories

(Choose 4 stories)

Stories I suggest

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Cat in the Rain

The Killers

Ten Indians

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

Fathers and Sons

Night Before Battle

Nobody Ever Dies

A Ma n of the World

Ted Hughes: Poetry

Choose any poems you want (5 minimum)

Step 1

Read and analyze the text. The text in question is the starting point for any literary analysis. You will want to read the text at least once and take careful notes to prepare for writing your essay. 

General Content

-Biography of the writer

-Social and historical context

-Literary theory

Points to consider

  • Think about what most interests you: imagery, characters, plot, pacing, tone, etc. Note examples.
  • Consider the context. Is this text influenced by other texts, such as the Bible or Shakespeare or even contemporary pop music? Does it use a style or form popular in a particular era, like the epistolary novel of the 18th century?
  • Reflect on what you know about the author. How might his or her biography influence the text?
  • Focus on why certain elements are in the story and how they work. How do characters contribute to the story or theme? Why does the author choose particular a particular setting, image, or tone/atmosphere?
  • Decide what argument you think the text is making or what theme it is exploring. What do you think the main idea is that the author wanted you to understand once you finished reading?

Step 2

There are two types of essay, each with their own type of topic:

  • Expository essays give information to the readers.
  • Argumentative essays take a position on a debatable topic in order to change the reader’s mind. Your topic will typically be your thesis.

Step 3

Focus your topic. A good topic needs to be narrow enough that you can completely address it within the page limit. The key is to start broad and then narrow your focus.Eventually, you’ll want to develop an argument regarding the topic. That argument will be your thesis.

Step 4

Develop a thesis. The next step is to transform your topic into an argument – i.e. Hamlet’s sense of humor is key to convincing the reader he is in fact sane. While your thesis will likely be revised as you write, it is still important to produce a preliminary thesis regarding the text, what it is trying to achieve, and the techniques the author uses to do so. A thesis will help you organize your ideas.

Gather more evidence to support your thesis. Now that you have chosen a topic and preliminary thesis, you can focus your research. Reread the work or selected sections, looking for quotes that you can use to develop your argument. You will probably want to search for evidence in conjunction with the next step: outlining your essay.

Organize your ideas in an outline. It is always a good idea to write an outline. At a minimum, you’ll want to include your thesis statement and a description of what each succeeding paragraph is about.

Some help to write a paper

Tips for writing

Deadline: October 17




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Last Sonnet by J. Keats

 John Keats (Romantic Poet)

Last Sonnet

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art! –
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature’s patient sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors –
No -yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever -or else swoon to death.

1. What do you understand from the first reading?

Check this video and take notes

Another piece of help:

Answer the following questions  (pair work)

  1. Based on the poem as a whole, would you say that the speaker is friendly towards Nature or is he enemies with it? Or is he somewhere in between? If he’s somewhere in between, what would be a better way of explaining the speaker’s relationship with Nature?
  2. Based on the poem as a whole, what would you say is the speaker’s attitude towards humanity?
  3. In some editions of this poem, depending on which manuscript the editors look at, the words “swell” and “fall” in line 11 appear in the opposite order from the way they appear in the version of the poem we quote on Shmoop. (For an example of this, check out this version of the poem, which reproduces the text as it appeared when the poem was first printed in 1848, 27 years after Keats’s death.) What difference do you think each way of ordering the words makes? If you were editing an edition of Keats’s poems, which version would you choose and why?
  4. In the text of the poem we’re using (the Oxford World’s Classics version edited by Elizabeth Cook), the poem ends with a dash: “—”. This follows the punctuation of one of Keats’s own manuscript versions of the poem. Other modern editors prefer to add a period at the end. Is there a different mood created by the two forms of punctuation? If so, what is it? If you were the editor, would you have followed Keats’s manuscript punctuation, or would you have modernized it? Why?
  5. This sonneo known as “Bright Star”. Which title do you prefer and why?


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Father Returning Home

Dilip Chitre: His Biography

Dilip Chitre poetDilip Purushottam Chitre (Marathi: दिलीप पुरुषोत्तम चित्रे) was one of the foremost Indian writers and critics to emerge in the post Independence India. Apart from being a very important bilingual writer, writing in Marathi and English, he was also a painter and filmmaker.

He was born in Baroda on 17 September 1938. His father Purushottam Chitre used to publish a periodical named Abhiruchi which was highly treasured for its high, uncompromising quality. Dilip Chitre’s family moved to Mumbai in 1951 and he published his first collection of poems in 1960. He was one of the earliest and the most important influences behind the famous “little magazine movement” of the sixties in Marathi. He started Shabda with Arun Kolatkar and Ramesh Samarth. In 1975, he was awarded a visiting fellowship by the International Writing Programme of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa in the United States.

Works on Poetry 

His Ekun Kavita or Collected Poems were published in the nineteen nineties in three volumes. As Is,Where Is selected English poems (1964-2007) and “Shesha” English translation of selected Marathi poems both published by Poetrywala are among his last books published in 2007.

Film Career 

He started his professional film career in 1969 and has since made one feature film, about a dozen documentary films, several short films in the cinema format, and about twenty video documentary features.

Awards and Honors 

He worked as an honorary editor of the quarterly New Quest, a journal of participative inquiry, Mumbai.

Among Chitre’s honours and awards are several Maharashtra State Awards, the Prix Special du Jury for his film Godam at the Festival des Trois Continents at Nantes in France in 1984, the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Emeritua Fellowship, the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program Fellowship, the Indira Gandhi Fellowship, the Villa Waldberta Fellowship for residence given by the city of Munich, Bavaria, Germany and so forth. He was D.A.A.D. ( German Academic Exchange) Fellow and Writer-in-Residence at the Universities of Heidelberg and Bamberg in Germany in 1991–92.
He was member of a three-writer delegation ( along with Nirmal Verma and U. R. Ananthamurthy) to the Soviet Union (Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia), Hungary, the Federal Republic of Germany and France in the spring and summer of 1980 and to the Frankfurter Buchmesse in Frankfurt, Germany in 1986.
He travelled widely in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America as well as in the interiors of India; been on the visiting faculty of many universities and institutions, a consultant to projects. He was the Honorary President of the Sonthhheimer Cultural Association, of which he was also a Founder-Trustee.


After a long bout with cancer, Dilip Chitre died at his residence in Pune on 10 December 2009.

Listen to the poem and watch the video

Read: Father Returning Home

My father travels on the late evening train
Standing among silent commuters in the yellow light
Suburbs slide past his unseeing eyes
His shirt and pants are soggy and his black raincoat
Stained with mud and his bag stuffed with books
Is falling apart. His eyes dimmed by age
fade homeward through the humid monsoon night.
Now I can see him getting off the train
Like a word dropped from a long sentence.
He hurries across the length of the grey platform,
Crosses the railway line, enters the lane,
His chappals are sticky with mud, but he hurries onward.

Home again, I see him drinking weak tea,
Eating a stale chapati, reading a book.
He goes into the toilet to contemplate
Man’s estrangement from a man-made world.
Coming out he trembles at the sink,
The cold water running over his brown hands,
A few droplets cling to the greying hairs on his wrists.
His sullen children have often refused to share
Jokes and secrets with him. He will now go to sleep
Listening to the static on the radio, dreaming
Of his ancestors and grandchildren, thinking
Of nomads entering a subcontinent through a narrow pass.

Watch, read and listen. Annotate your poem.

Father Returning Home focuses on a certain individual, a commuting father, returning home from work in the Indian city of Mumbai, although it could be any large city anywhere in the world.

The atmosphere within the poem, narrated by a son or daughter, is rather gloomy and pessimistic. There is little emotion shown as the father ends another day at work and hurries back to a house that is not altogether a home.

Dilip Chitre, painter and film-maker as well as poet, taps into his own father’s biography and creates a powerful and imagistic poem, the speaker closely observing the actions of the unhappy protagonist.

Purushottam Chitre, his father, is said to be the inspiration for this poem as he migrated from his birth town of Baroda to Mumbai to try and better his life. The poet has also been influenced by this city:

“Mumbai figures in my early Marathi and English poetry in different ways and at several levels. I perceived the metropolis in juxtaposition with primordial nature as perceived in my childhood. There was a discord. There was a sense of manmade alienation that haunted me.”

In the poem life is not so easy any longer – the father has become a figure of pathos and has lost his raison d’etre.

The major themes include:

  • alienation.
  • rootlessness.
  • old age in a modern society.
  • isolation.
  • cultural identity.
  • the generation gap.
  • the future of the individual in the city.

In pairs

Find evidence in the poem for each and every theme

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