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Boredom Be Gone: An English a Teacher’s Guide to Keeping Learning Alive- Lesson 5

Updated on April 17, 2020

Guided Explication

In Lesson four, we completed several steps in the process of explication, I.e., taking a poem apart and putting it back together again. In Lesson 5, I’ll be asking you questions to guide you and make that process easier. The emphasis will be on imagery and figurative language.

Here’s the poem for today:


by Scott Blaine

The ice is smooth, smooth, smooth. 1

The air bites to the center

Of warmth and flesh, and I whirl. 3

it begins in a game...

The puck swims, skins, veers, 5

Goes leading my vision

Beyond the chasing reach of my stick. 7

The air is sharp, steel-sharp.

I suck needles of breathing,

And feel the players converge. 10

It grows to a science...

We clot, break, drive, 12

Electrons in motion

In the magnetic pole of the puck.

The play is fast, fears, tense. . 14

Sticks click and snap like teeth

Of wolves on the scent of a prey. 17

It ends in the kill...

I am one of the pack in a mad,

Taut leap of desperation 20

In the wild, slashing drive for the goal.

Questions (If you need to review figures of speech, see lesson three: alliteration, hyperbole. irony, metaphor, onomatopoeia, personification, simile)

1. Why do you think the word “smooth“ is repeated in line 1?

2. Identify the figure of speech in line 2.

3. What verbs are used to describe the way the puck moves?

4. What happens at the end of stanza one?

5. Identify the figure of speech in line 8.

6. Identify the figure of speech in line 9.

7. Explain what the players are doing in line 10.

8. Identify the figure of speech in line 13.

9. Identify the figure speech in line 14.

10. identify the figure of speech in line 15.

11. Identify the two figures of speech in lines 16 and 17.

12. Explain line 18.

13. Define “taut” (line 20)

Note: Answers will appear at the end of lesson six.

Answers: Lesson 4

2. mastodonic: huge animal resembling an elephant

mausoleum: a monument that serves as a burial space

mazurka: a fast Polish folk dance

pterodactyl: an extinct flying reptile

brontosauruses: a type of dinosaur

megalosauric: a meat-eating dinosaur

wassail: a mulled cider beverage drunk in Medieval times at Chrisrmas

3. This poem does rhyme. The rhyme scheme is: aabbccddee aabbccddeeff

The meter is 4 beats per line . (tetrameter)

4. Imagery: the reader can see the fossils having a party: eating, drinking, dancing and can hear ”the clatter of their bones” and also can hear them singing

5. figures of speech:

lines 3-5: alliteration (repetition of the “m” sound)

line 6: personification ( fossils are getting together to have a ball)

line 10: simile (comparing the skeletons to concrete mixers)

line15: alliteration (repeTitian of the “r” and the “c” sounds)

lines 16-18: personification ( the fossils are singing and dancing) lines 19-21:

personification (the fossil has an eye, talks, and winks)


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