Ted Hughes` poem “Football at Slack”

advertisement
“Football at Slack”
Essay Plan
Question.
Choose a poem which describes a positive
experience.
Describe what happens in the poem,
and show how, by the use of poetic
techniques, the poet has enhanced your
appreciation of the positive aspects of
the poem.
What Happens?
• Ted Hughes describing a game of football. The game is
a celebratory, joyful event set against a bleak,
unforgiving landscape in dreadful weather conditions.
What are the positive aspects of the poem?
•The men’s enjoyment and their enthusiasm for the game.
•The men’s sense of exhilaration to be playing in such
conditions.
•The majesty of Nature (the landscape and weather
conditions are harsh but we can still admire the beauty
and magnificence of Nature. (even when it is in a bad
mood – don’t write this in your essays!)
•The men’s refusal to be daunted by the landscape or by
the weather: the indomitable spirit of Mankind. (Is the
game of football a metaphor for real hardships in life?)
Introduction
In your introduction to your essay, it is important that you touch on these ideas.
You could just use the words “positive aspects” of the poem but that doesn’t give
such a clear sense that you really understand the poem’s theme.
Intro 1
“Football at Slack” by Ted
Hughes is a poem that makes
you appreciate the positive
aspects of the poem. “Football
at Slack” is about a group of
men playing football and the
men battling against terrible
weather conditions. Hughes
uses many techniques to
enhance your appreciation of
the positive aspects of the
poem.
“Football at Slack” by Ted Hughes
is a poem that makes you
appreciate the positive aspects of
the poem. “Football at Slack” is
about a group of men playing
football and the men battling
against terrible weather conditions.
Hughes uses many techniques to
enhance your appreciation of the
positive aspects of the poem.
“Football at Slack” is a poem by
Ted Hughes which describes a
positive experience. The poem
begins with men enjoying a
game of football in an open
space. As the poem goes on,
the men are challenged against
the weather. The poem
emphasises the high spirits of
the men throughout.
“Football at Slack” is a poem which
describes a positive experience.
The poem shows the indomitable
spirit some men show during a
football match. It also shows us the
unity that mankind can have
towards life. Ted Hughes uses a
variety of techniques throughout to
convey the positive atmosphere.
Ted Hughes’ poem “Football at Slack”
describes an exhilarating and life
affirming game of football played in the
bleakest of conditions. Using a variety
of poetic techniques, Hughes
celebrates the indomitable spirit of
Mankind as well as the awe inspiring
beauty of Nature. a variety of poetic
techniques, Hughes celebrates the
indomitable spirit of Mankind as well as
the awe inspiring beauty of Nature.
Ted Hughes’ poem “Football
at Slack” describes an
exhilarating and life affirming
game of football played in the
bleakest of conditions. Using
a variety of poetic techniques,
Hughes celebrates the
indomitable spirit of Mankind
as well as the awe inspiring
beauty of Nature.
How to do the main bit…
Firstly, Ted Hughes introduces the positive themes of both the beauty of Nature
and the vitality of the men in the opening stanza. Hughes describes the bleak
spectacle of the landscape where the men are playing football:
“Between plunging valleys, on the bareback of hill”
Hughes’ word choice of “plunging” suggest the dramatic outline of the hills against
the sky and suggest the movement of horses as they move up and down. This
connection with horses is continued in the phrase “bareback of hill”. This suggests
the shape of a horse’s back and helps us to imagine the shape of the hills against
the sky. This powerful opening line introduces the idea of the power of Nature and,
although the reader can imagine the footballers as being very small compared to
the dramatic skyline, it also celebrates the beauty and majesty of Nature.
The poet not only celebrates the beauty of Nature in his opening stanza, he also
introduces the idea of the resilience of human nature. He describes the men
playing football as been in “blunting colours”, implying that their colourful
football strips are fading as the weather worsens. However, this does not deter
them from enjoying their football match. Hughes writes that the men:
“bounced and their blown ball bounced”
The repetition of the word “bounce” and the hard alliteration of the “b” sound
makes us think of the sound of a ball makes as it is repeatedly bounced on the
ground. Like the ball, the men are full of energy and there is no suggestion of the
men stopping their game. Just as Hughes has introduced the positive theme of the
majesty of Nature in his opening stanza, he has also asked us to consider the
energy and resilience of human nature, themes he will go on to develop in the rest
of the poem.
Moreover, Hughes continues to celebrate the resilience of human nature as
the poem continues. In Stanza two, he develops the idea of the men’s energy
and their enjoyment of their game:
“The blown ball jumped, and the merry-coloured men
Spouted like water to head it”
The energy of the ball is again suggested by the alliteration of the “b” sound.
The personification of the ball as having “jumped” makes us think that the ball
is working with the wind to tease the men, making it harder to play the game.
However, the men are still just as enthusiastic about their game; their high
spirits are reflected in Hughes’ description of “merry coloured men”. Hughes
also uses a simile to convey the energy of the players:
“They spouted like water to head it.”
The men jumping up together to head the ball is compared to water spurting
from a tap or a main. Just as the water will move forcefully and quickly due to
the pressure, so the men are moving with determination and speed as they
are determined to head the ball. This simile is an excellent technique in
conveying the vitality of the men and demonstrating that their enjoyment of
their game of football is undiminished by the wind and the worsening weather.
In Stanza Two, Hughes has reinforced the positive message of the resilience
of human nature.
Your turn…
• You should now work your way through the rest of the poem,
ensuring that you continue to discuss all the positive aspects of the
poem.
• Stanza three continues the theme of the resilience of the men.
• Stanza Four shows how Nature tries to dampen the men’s spirits by
worsening the weather. This shows the power and majesty of
Nature, even when it is what humans consider as “bad” weather”
• Stanza five shows that the men are resilient and are unaffected by
the weather.
• Stanza 6 reinforces that the weather is affecting the darkening
landscape but, still, the men’s enthusiasm is undimmed.
• Stanza Seven – the Sun, the most powerful element of nature,
shows admiration for the men as the sun lifts the blanket of cloud to
look at them; reinforces the resilience of human nature - even the
elements have respect for them.
Download
Related flashcards

Literature

26 cards

Medieval literature

42 cards

14th-century books

15 cards

Cinematography

19 cards

Fictional sportspeople

25 cards

Create Flashcards