Web view Lines 10 and 11 rhyme...

download Web view Lines 10 and 11 rhyme ¢â‚¬©grieve¢â‚¬â„¢ and ¢â‚¬©leave¢â‚¬â„¢ = rhyming couplet. Because this is an Italian

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Transcript of Web view Lines 10 and 11 rhyme...


Hello Grade 12s. This week we start with the Poem ‘Remember’. Study this poem carefully and then answer the questions on the poem at the end. So this is the work for Monday and Tuesday.

You will see that there are a number of learning aspects given in this explanation as well. Highlight them so that they can be studied. They will help you answer all poetry questions. On Tuesday you can answer the questions on the poem. You will receive the memo on Friday.

Monday and Tuesday 11 -12 May

Notes presented by Mrs Barnard.

Christina Rossetti was nineteen when she wrote this sonnet, Remember, to a lover. It talks about their love, her death, and how she wishes him to react when she has left this world or “Gone far away into the silent land.”

Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you planned:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

Let’s start the lesson with the question:

If you were dead would you want your loved ones to remember you?

I believe that most of us would want to be remembered by our loved ones.

Now for another question:

Do you think it is selfish to expect the living to remember the dead if that remembering prevents the living to move on with their lives and be happy again?

Well, I believe it would be selfish of me to expect the living to stay sad and not get on with their lives. I would want to be remembered without making those who loved me sad every time they thought of me.

Another question: Is it normal for the living to stop remembering every detail of those who died as time passes, until the memory of that person becomes a fond thought or reminder of the dead person?

Yes, I do believe that above is the natural process of life. We are not meant to be in permanent mourning. Death, even if it is a scary thought, is part of the natural cycle of life.


Do you think that part of man’s fear concerning death is the unknown aspect of it?

Yes, I think that although death is inevitably part of life, coming to grips with the unknown that surrounds death is an issue that the poet, and I am sure all humans, have to face.

Remember ultimately deals with the struggle between physical existence and the afterlife. Rossetti grapples with the idea of a physical body, which is subject to decay and death, and how it relates to an eternal soul. She reminds her beloved of all the physical aspects of life that cannot happen in death: holding hands; turning to go away and then staying; advising and praying; planning the future; having time; remembering and forgetting.

It is this uncertainty about death that make the poet avoid using the words ‘death’ and ‘die’. Instead she uses euphemism ‘gone away’ and metaphor ‘silent land’.

The poet is not scared of death and dying; it is the unknown quantity of death that she fears.

Now we will get to the poem. Read it carefully and think of the above questions and ask yourself what is the opinion of the poet.


· How many lines – 14 lines

· A Petrarchan / Italian sonnet

· Lines 1-8 = octave

· The octave consists of two quatrains

· Lines 9 – 14 = sestet

· The sestet consists of two tercets

· Rhyme scheme: ABBA / ABBA /CDD / ECE (please read the poem and do the rhyme scheme)

· Lines 10 and 11 rhyme ‘grieve’ and ‘leave’ = rhyming couplet

· Because this is an Italian sonnet line 9 is called the volta – the turning point in the argument.

· Lines 1 to 8 in a nutshell: a commanding tone that starts with the imperative, Remember me when I am dead / you do not dare forget me.

· Lines 9 to 14 in a nutshell: in line 9 (the volta) the tone and attitude changes. If you should forget me I don’t want you to feel bad; it is better to forget me than to remember and be sad. So now the tone changes from commanding to comforting and reconciliatory.


· Enjambment in lines: 5 and 6 / 7 and 8 / 9 and 10 / 11 and 12 / 13 and 14.

· Caesura in line 7.( Refer to Funeral Blues for an explanation of this concept.)

· Colon at the end of lines 6 and 10.


Meter is the rhythm in a line of poetry; it gives the poem its rhythmical and melodious sound. Remember sound and rhythm add to the meaning of a poem.

Meter is measured in stressed and unstressed syllables within the lines of a poem. Stressed syllables tend to be longer, and unstressed shorter.

One of the meters in poetry is called Iambic Pentameter. All poems do not use iambic pentameter; there are other forms of meter as well. As Remember uses mainly iambic pentameter we will have a quick look at it.

An explanation of Iambic Pentameter

· Ten syllables in the lines of the poem;

· Five stressed and five unstressed syllables that occur in a pattern of

five (penta) unstressed stressed iambs (metrical feet);

· The line of poetry will have five iambs and we call it iambic pentameter.

· When we determine the pattern of the meter we call it scanning;

- /



3. When you can no more hold me by the hand

- / - / - / - / - / (Five iambs)

4. Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

- / - / - / - / - / ( five unstressed stressed syllables)


Is the poet allowed to break the pattern of iambic pentameter?

Of course, as the poet is in charge of what happens in the poem.

Our poet wants to start the poem by emphasizing the first syllable of line 1 and 2. To do this lines 1 and 2 start with a stressed syllable each. Let’s scan these lines:

1. Remember me when I am gone away

/ - - / - / - / - / (note the inversion of the first iamb.)

2. Gone far away into the silent land

/ - - / - / - / - /

This inversion makes remember and gone central to the meaning of the poem.

Scan lines 7 and 13 and you will find the same inversion only and better

/ - / -


Lines 1 to 8 is the octave – an urgent tone to the lover to remember her when she is dead. An instruction is given – do not forget me

1. Remember me when I am gone away,

1.1 The sonnet starts with an instructions (imperative) – do not forget me

when I am dead.

1.2 ‘Gone away’ is a euphemism for death.

Euphemism - A mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.

2. Gone far away into the silent land

1.3 Read lines 2 and 3 as one idea – enjambment

1.4 The repetition of ‘gone’ emphasizes that she will never return.

1.5 A metaphor for death ‘silent land’. ‘Silent’ implies: no

communication once you are dead.

3. When you can no more hold me by the hand,

1.6 Although the instruction is not repeated she means: (Remember me)

when you can no more hold …

1.7 Alliteration- hold / hand / half. The soft breathy h’s make the tone

seem less sharp and demanding and more desperate.

She is reminding him that in death there is no physical contact.

4. Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

1.8 Often in life we do exactly that when we do not really want to leave the

one whom we love.

1.9 In life it is easy to remember somebody who has left our space but will return again.

5. Remember me when no more day by day

6. You tell me of our future that you planned:

1.10 Read lines 5 and 6 as one idea – remember me when you cannot tell

me every day about our planned future together.

1.11 Note the repetition of ‘remember,’ although this time round it is less

urgent; Remember.

- / -

1.13 In ‘no more day by day’ is a roundabout way of saying when she is

dead without talking about death.

1.12 She makes another point about death – there is no time or future in


7. Only remember me; you understand

1.13 Line 6 ends on a colon. What follows the colon, is a reminder that all that

will be left is memory of her.

1.14 The caesura is the pause in the line of poetry.

1.15 ‘you understand’ continues into line 8 (enjambment).

8. It will be late to counsel then or pray.

1.16 Another reminder of what death does not allow – no time for advice or prayer.

Lines 9 to 14 is the sestet.