ENG 1501 ASSIGNMENT 01: Poetry
Unique No:178 956 Due date:11 April 2022
Compulsory for examination admission
Read the poem ‘Testimony’ by Chris Mann (page 409-410 in The New Century of South African Poetry, available as an e-reserve on the library website) before answering the questions that follow.
You must answer in full sentences, and you should support your answers by quoting from the poem.
‘Testimony’ – Chris Mann
I do not love you anymore. I used to, when we were young and words like love were tumbling in our thoughts. The scent of jasmine in the streets of spring, the press of starlight through a sky of leaves was what such words then meant to me.
But when I track back through the years and see what we have shared, the bliss and strain of parenting,
the stress of work and terror at the loss of work, the illnesses, bereavements and despair, I reach a truth we thought we knew but only glimpsed in ghostly silhouette, that more, much mores enfolded in loves gift than youth and starlight and the scents of spring.
Ah no, my subtle-fingered, humorous one, stepping back a moment from your easel, brush in hand, oblivious to the ringing of the phone,
I more than love you now,
I cannot bear to think of life outside your plenteous horn.
And when I recollect your flying curls, your mulberry-coloured jacket and your black beret, and see you standing in a midnight doorway once again where jasmines fragrance drifted through the dark and stars outlined your tilt of head, your fling of hair, the white camellia of your throat, that love, if such it be returns, that wild, sweet, fiery exhilaration storms back and cloudbursts through my mid-life s shaken heart.
Note: You will notice that each question includes a mark allocation. This is to indicate how much you should write to support your answer. One mark represents one main point or reason. If a question counts four marks, that means that you will need to supply four points or reasons.
Remember that you can use an example from a poem only once; you cannot use the same example for each of your answers.
1. Refer stanza 1 and 2.
1.1 Based on the first stanza of the poem, how do you think the speaker feels about the person he is addressing? Is this feeling different from how he felt in the past? Explain. (2)
1.2 The word ‘but’ in line 7 indicates a shift in the poem. What change occurs here? (1)
1.3 In lines 9-11, the speaker mentions numerous aspects of life that have influenced his relationship with the addressee. Describe one of the life events that the speaker mentions. What did the experience teach the speaker and his partner about love? (3)
2. Refer to stanzas 3 and 4.
2.1 How does the speaker describe his beloved in the third stanza, and what do these descriptions reveal about her? (4)
2.2 Explain the image of her ‘plenteous horn’ (line 24) in your own words. In your answer, refer to the image of the ‘cornucopia’ (see: https://www.britannica.com/art/cornucopia). (2)
3. Give an outline of the imagery used in the poem – what kind of images are used, and what is the effect of these images? Quote at least two examples to support your reading. (4)
4. Identify a prominent sound device used in the poem. Name the device, quote at least two examples from the poem, and explain the effect it has. Remember to underline or highlight the relevant sounds in your answer. (3)
5. The tone of the poem changes from the first stanza to the last stanza. Identify and explain the tone in the first and last stanza and reflect on the change that occurs. Your answer should include one word to describe the tone in the first stanza, with a reason for your answer, and one word to describe the tone in the last stanza, with a reason for your answer. Explain how the tone has changed. Be specific: happy/sad are not acceptable answers. (3)
6. Identify and explain the main theme of the poem. Refer to the title of the poem to support your analysis. (2)
Sub-total for content: 25 marks
Use of language, organisation, and overall structure of assignment: 25 marks Total: 50
decorative art cornucopia, also called Horn Of Plenty, decorative motif, dating from ancient Greece, that symbolizes abundance. The motif originated as a curved goat’s horn filled to overflowing with fruit and grain. It is emblematic of the horn possessed by Zeus’s nurse, the Greek nymph Amalthaea (q.v.), which could be filled with whatever the owner wished.
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