- Slides: 24
A Case of Murder By Vernon Scannell
They should not have left him there alone, Alone that is except for the cat. He was only nine, not old enough To be left alone in a basement flat, Alone, that is, except for the cat. A dog would have been a different thing, A big gruff dog with slashing jaws, But a cat with round eyes mad as gold, Plump as a cushion with tucked-in paws--Better have left him with a fair-sized rat!
But what they did was leave him with a cat. He hated that cat; he watched it sit, A buzzing machine of soft black stuff, He sat and watched and he hated it, Snug in its fur, hot blood in a muff, And its mad gold stare and the way it sat Crooning dark warmth: he loathed all that. So he took Daddy's stick and he hit the cat. Then quick as a sudden crack in glass It hissed, black flash, to a hiding place
In the dust and dark beneath the couch, And he followed the grin on his new-made face, A wide-eyed, frightened snarl of a grin, And he took the stick and he thrust it in, Hard and quick in the furry dark. The black fur squealed and he felt his skin Prickle with sparks of dry delight. Then the cat again came into sight, Shot for the door that wasn't quite shut, But the boy, quick too, slammed fast the
The cat, half-through, was cracked like a nut And the soft black thud was dumped on the floor. Then the boy was suddenly terrified And he bit his knuckles and cried; But he had to do something with the dead thing there. His eyes squeezed beads of salty prayer But the wound of fear gaped wide and raw; He dared not touch the thing with his hands
And dumped the load of heavy fur In the spidery cupboard under the stair Where it's been for years, and though it died It's grown in that cupboard and its hot low purr Grows slowly louder year by year: There'll not be a corner for the boy to hide When the cupboard swells and all sides split And the huge black cat pads out of it.
Who is Vernon Scannell?
Who is Vernon Scannell? Vernon Scannell was born John Vernon Bains on the 23 rd January 1922. He served in the British Army and changed his name to Vernon Scannell after being wounded and deserting the Army after VE day. He wrote about his war experiences. He became a boxer and studied at the University of Leeds. In the 1950’s he became a teacher of English Literature and Poetry. Vernon married Josephine Higson in 1954. They had four sons and two daughters. Two of his sons died and Vernon and Jo split up. Vernon won many awards for his writing. He died 16 th November 2007 after suffering a long illness.
Task Time Individual: What did you think the poem was about? Take a minute to consider if you understood the poem. Think about was there anything you liked or disliked about the poem. Pair: Now discuss with your partner what you thought the poem was about. Share your ideas with your partner. This should take a couple of minutes.
Looking for Imagery What is imagery? Imagery is language that appeals to your five senses – sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. You might’ve noticed some rhyme, sound patterns and comparisons through-out the poem. These elements are part of the imagery of the poem as they help to create an image in the readers mind.
Task Time Individual : Read through the poem and highlight an example of a simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia.
Now what? Once you have completed the table above compare your answers with your group and discuss what image you consider to be the most powerful. Once you have chosen your favourite example of imagery from the poem create an A 3 poster of your quote from the poem. For example: “a cat with round eyes mad as gold”
Themes of the poem What are themes? Themes are ideas or points raised by the text. e. g. Theme - abandonment In your pairs/groups discuss what you believe to be the main themes of the poem. This discussion should take 3 mins. Once you have decided what the main themes are jot them down into your jotter.
Themes of the poem Now that you have some themes you must provide evidence of these themes. Theme – abandonment Evidence 1. They should not have left him alone 2. He was only nine, not old enough To be left alone in a basement flat 3. But what they did was leave him with a cat Does this evidence help to show that the boy was abandoned? Explain. Now you should find evidence from the poem to back up your themes.
Essay Question and Structure Question: Choose a poem that makes you feel sad/upset/sympathy. Explain why this poem makes you feel this way by looking at techniques such as simile, metaphor, alliteration, rhyme, personification, and onomatopoeia.
The poem that I have recently been reading is “A Case of Murder” by Vernon Scannell. This is a poem that makes the reader feel sad/upset/sympathy. This will look at how it makes you feel this way through examining the techniques
POINT EXAMPLE EXPLAIN
Paragraph 1: The Introduction: In your introduction you should mention the poets name, the name of the poem, reword the question and mention what techniques you shall be looking at.
Paragraph 2: The Brief Summary: In your brief summary you should tell the reader of your essay in no more that 7 sentences what the poem is about.
Paragraph 3: The Body of the Essay: In this paragraph you should mention the first time the reader is made to feel sympathy or sadness. You should provide evidence from the poem. This will be a quote from the poem in which you shall identify a technique. This might be a simile, metaphor etc. You should then explain your evidence and why it makes you feel sadness. Conclude this paragraph by stating the importance of mentioning sadness here. Does it set the tone of the poem?
Paragraph 4: The Body continued: In this paragraph you should talk about the description of the cat. Does the description upset you? You should provide evidence from the poem and explain what it suggests/means. Conclude this paragraph by stating the importance of how the description of the cat adds to your upset.
Paragraph 5: The Body continued: In this paragraph you should talk about the way the boy acts. Do you find his behaviour unsettling/upsetting? You should provide evidence from the poem and explain the technique used. Do you think it was successful in creating a sad/upsetting feeling? Explain your point. You should conclude this paragraph by stating how the boy’s actions add to your upset.
Paragraph 6: The Body continued: This paragraph should talk about the ending of the poem. Was it a satisfactory ending? Provide evidence and explain. Did you find the poem upsetting from beginning to end? You should conclude this paragraph by stating how the poem as a whole was sad/upsetting to read.
Paragraph 7: The Conclusion: You should sum up all of your evidence here. Was the poem upsetting/sad? How did the poet show this? You should mention the name of the poem, the poet, reword the question and mention the techniques you discussed to prove your answer.