I have enjoyed the time spent going through the prescribed poems for Robert Frost and Robert Gray with a fresh perspective over the past couple of weeks. It has been interesting to re-examine familiar poems through a different lens, and find that it has deepened my appreciation for this poet in particular. I thought that Advanced Course teachers looking for a poetry option in AOS would gravitate towards Gray or Dobson as offering a more sophisticated use of language and style. I have found however, that I would not dismiss Frost, especially with the wonderful inclusion of 'Home Burial' which is incredibly rich. It is an amazing study of a fractured relationship and the communication gulf arising from the 'mother-loss of a first child'. Frost works well for Standard students but Advanced students would be able to demonstrate their sophisticated analysis skills just as readily.
The superficial, literal 'reading' needs to be broadened, regardless of cohort, to include the much deeper and often darker, metaphorical sub-text. Only a small side-ways step is needed to bring this second layer of meaning to light. This was particularly the case with 'After Apple-Picking' which I found far more inferentially layered this time than I had previously. I can now better appreciate Frost's use of the narrator's voice as well as his use of more subtle devices such as transferred epithet and metonymy. Conceptually, these prescribed poems work very well for 'Discovery'. Students should be able to engage with the complex, philosophical issues via the poet's deceptively simple language and varied contextual situations. I wish I could teach Frost for 'Discovery'.
I am an experienced H.T. English, author and presenter. I offer School based student/staff workshops in 2018. My online and face to face tuition will be expanded to include Teacher SD mentoring and workshops.