Phrases for Study

to the quick, 80, 25 take a final stand, 81,


Anglo-Saxon divinity, 84, 22
symbol of regenerate Nature, 84, 24

Class Reading. Bring to class and read: “The Call of Spring,” Noyes (in High Tide).

Outline for Testing Silent Reading. Make an outline to guide you in telling the story.

Library Reading. A Son of the Middle Border, Garland.

Suggested Theme Topic. Life on a modern farm as compared with the life led by the boys of this story.



Oh, to be in England,
Now that April's there!
And whoever wakes in England

Sees, some morning, unaware,
5 That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf

Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England-now!

And after April, when May follows,
10 And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!

Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray's edge-

That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over, 15 Lest you should think he never could recapture

The first fine, careless rapture!

And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower,
-Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!


Biography. Robert Browning (1812-1889) was born in Camberwell, a suburb of London. His four grandparents were respectively of English, German, Scotch, and Creole birth. His father was fond of writing verses, and his mother was very musical. Browning's education was gained from a private school in the neighborhood and from tutors at home. In 1846 he married the poet, Elizabeth Barrett, and they lived for years in the old palace, Casa Guidi, in Florence, Italy. After his wife's death he returned to England, but spent most of his summers abroad. He died in Venice, and is buried in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.

Much of Browning's poetry is difficult reading. He condenses a great deal of thought into one phrase or word and leaves much to the imagination of the reader. Many of his short poems, however, are comparatively simple.

Discussion. 1. Browning wrote this poem while in Italy; read the lines that show his longing for England. 2. What word gives the idea that spring comes suddenly in England? 3. What are the signs that the poet associates especially with early spring? 4. Commit to memory the lovely description of the thrush's song. 5. Notice the beautiful setting given to the thrush; which words add especially to the beauty of the picture? 6. How will "noontide wake anew the buttercups"? 7. Tell why buttercups are "the little children's dower.” 8. To what flower in Italy is the buttercup compared? 9. Describe in a few lines what you love best in the springtime at your home. 10. Contest: Who can read the entire poem most effectively? 11. What did you learn in “Literature and Life,” page 19, about literature that makes beauty evident to us? Can you show that this poem is such a piece of literature? 12. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: bole; whitethroat; rapture; dower. 13. Pronounce : elm-tree; chaffinch; dewdrop; anew; gaudy.

Class Reading. Bring to class and read: “Go Down to Kew in Lilactime,” Noyes (from "The Barrel-Organ” in Poems); “Een Napoli,” Daly (in High Tide); “Apple Blossoms,” Martin (in The Elson Readers, Book Six). Compare these poems with "Home-Thoughts, from Abroad.”



There is something in the Autumn that is native to my blood-
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rime,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

5 The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry

Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gipsy blood astir; 10 We must rise and follow her,

When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.


Biography. Bliss Carman (1861- ) was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick. After he was graduated from New Brunswick University, he studied at Harvard and the University of Edinburgh. Like many other poets, he began his career with journalistic work. He was editor of the Independent and later of the Chap-Book. Most of his time has been devoted to poetry, and he has published many books. His first volume was Low Tide on Grand Pré. Among his later works are Echoes from Vagabondia and April Airs.

Discussion. 1. To what does the poet say his heart keeps time? 2. Where does he see these colors? 3. How does the color of the maples affect him? 4. What connection do you see between scarlet and the sound of bugles? 5. What color were the asters that appeared like smoke? 6. Whom does the poet say he must follow? 7. What gives the appearance of flame to the hills?

Class Reading. Bring to class and read: "Indian Summer,” Teasdale (in Rivers to the Sea).


Suggested Problems You will find in this book suggested problems, some of which are to be worked out by you alone and some with the help of your classmates. The members of most eighth-grade classes represent a wide range of abilities in art, music, reading, composing, folk-dancing, dramatizing, printing, manual training, etc. All the talent in the class should be used and each member should feel responsibility for his share.

Your class may wish to celebrate the harvest days of autumn or the coming of spring with a festival or pageant. These suggestions will be helpful in such a class undertaking: (a) Reading or recitation of

or more appropriate Nature poems (See Part III “Poems of Nature” in The Home Book of Verse, Stevenson); (b) Three-minute talks by class members on harvest or spring celebrations in other lands; (c) Tableaux, pantomimes, or dramatizations of nature myths and folkstories, as, Apollo, Dionysus, Ceres and Persephone, Baucis and Philemon, the dryads, Balder, Siegfried and Brunhild, Sleeping Beauty, Robin Hood, Hiawatha, etc.; (d) Games and dances representing flowers, seeds, trees, birds, butterflies, winds, raindrops, snowflakes, conflict between frost-spirits and sunbeams, etc.; (e) Designing and making simple costumes, symbols, and settings for the dances and dramatizations; (f) Appropriate songs and instrumental music by class members; (g) Talking-machine records (“Spring Song,” Mendelssohn; "The Heavens Are Telling,” Haydn; “Hark, Hark! The Lark,” Shakespeare-Schubert; "Papillon," Grieg; “Pastoral Symphony," Beethoven; etc.); (h) A contest to see who can recognize the greatest number of wild flowers, grains, trees, birds, or butterflies, from the objects themselves, stereopticon slides, or from colored pictures that may be secured from the library or museum; (i) Advertisements of the festival or pageant by means of posters and newspaper announcements prepared by class members. You will find additional suggestions in: The Victory of the Gardens, A Pageant in Four Episodes (Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C.); Plays for School Children, Lütkenhaus; Harper's Book of Little Plays; Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People; Silver Thread and Other Folk-Plays, Mackay.

A similar festival or pageant might well be made for the celebration of Thanksgiving Day. See Children's Book of Thanksgiving Stories, Dickenson.

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Which of the joys described in "Literature and Life" has the reading of the selections in Part I given you? Explain what literature is, about which you read on page 17. Point out in Part I examples of literature that express (a) the facts of life, (b) the interpretation of life, (c) the beauty of life. You read in the Introduction, page 24, that "men in all ages have felt the influence of Nature"; mention wonderful things that we have learned to perform through our uses of Nature's laws.

How has your acquaintance with "Coaly-Bay" and "Satan, the War-Dog” enriched your experiences? The authors of these stories have shown qualities in these animals that will make all other horses and dogs more interesting and your treatment of them more sympathetic; explain the feeling you have for CoalyBay. What other stories of horses, of dogs, or about the service of animals in the World War have you read? What interesting animal stories have you found in current magazines? You read in the Introduction, page 25, that “animals have personalities like human beings”; what evidences of this do you find in CoalyBay and in Satan? How were the buffalo herds destroyed ? What is the most interesting story about animals that you found in the preceding books of this series?

A poet sees and feels; and with magic words he makes us see and feel what he has experienced. He gives new meaning to common experiences, and expresses this meaning in language of "enduring charm”; which poems in Part I interpret life? Three English poets have used the skylark as a subject; which poem pictures the bird most vividly? Which poet has caught in

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