English poetry

Lesson #148: Your Language Learning Journey: Assessing How Much You Have Truly Learned So Far

🍁 Since autumn (or fall, as it is known in Canada and the USA) is my favourite season of the year, I have included several poems and literary passages in recent lessons on this topic. 🍂 I have yet another poem in autumn to share, one by the Welsh poet R. S. Thomas (1913-2000) called ‘A […]

Lesson #148: Your Language Learning Journey: Assessing How Much You Have Truly Learned So Far Read More »

Lesson #146: Do We Ever Use Double Negatives In English?

‘And unrecorded left through many an Age, Worthy t’ have not remain’d so long unsung …’ – John Milton, ‘Paradise Regained’ (1671) These lines come from a poem – ‘Paradise Regained’ – which I first read as a teenager and whose opening section I copied into the notebook featured in the photograph above. … You may have seen in an English lesson

Lesson #146: Do We Ever Use Double Negatives In English? Read More »

Lesson #138: Common Mistakes Corrected: Apostrophes, Possessive Pronouns And Possessive Apostrophes (It’s vs Its)

Is it ‘its’ or ‘it’s’? If you have ever asked yourself that question, you are in the right place! Even if you are uncertain of the answer, know that by asking that question, you show more awareness of the possibility of making a mistake here than many people do – native English speakers included –

Lesson #138: Common Mistakes Corrected: Apostrophes, Possessive Pronouns And Possessive Apostrophes (It’s vs Its) Read More »

Lesson #132: Mini-Lesson Monday (Part 2): A Look At The Imperative Tense Through Emily Bronte’s Description Of A November Day

One thing we might overlook when reading the first stanza of Emily Bronte’s poem, ‘Faith and Despondency,’ is how the poet used the imperative tense consistently. When we are first taught the imperative tense, we are usually given examples that emphasise a command or order: ‘Stop that!’ or ‘Listen to her!’ or ‘Buy now!’ As

Lesson #132: Mini-Lesson Monday (Part 2): A Look At The Imperative Tense Through Emily Bronte’s Description Of A November Day Read More »

Lesson #132: Mini-Lesson Monday (Part 1): A Look At The Imperative Tense Through Emily Bronte’s Description Of A November Day

Mini-Lesson Monday: (Part 1) 🍁Welcome November!🍂 As I sit at my desk, gazing out of the window at the wind and rain (yes, it is stormy here in Ireland as I write), I appreciate the warmth and cosiness indoors.  Often, during weather like this, the adjective ‘wuthering’ comes to mind – the same adjective that

Lesson #132: Mini-Lesson Monday (Part 1): A Look At The Imperative Tense Through Emily Bronte’s Description Of A November Day Read More »

Lesson #113: Searching for the Best Words to Describe the Small Things in Life

This morning, we picked some flowers from our garden to brighten the kitchen. I think one of them is a carnation, the other a dianthus, but I am open to correction! It brought to mind a passage in one of my favourite books, Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South (1854): ‘… the sun-flower, shining fair,      Ray

Lesson #113: Searching for the Best Words to Describe the Small Things in Life Read More »

Lesson #112: Can Handwriting Actually Help You with Your English?

Recently, I listened to a thought-provoking podcast featuring Italian educator Lucrezia Oddone, where she discussed the importance of HANDWRITING texts that you would like to memorise. She says that when you write a text by hand, you are fully present and paying attention to every word you write. Compared to typing alone, handwriting is a

Lesson #112: Can Handwriting Actually Help You with Your English? Read More »

Lesson #108: Why Reading Classic Poetry is Important: Blake’s ‘The Sick Rose’

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL Sharing a short poem that I memorised in my childhood: O Rose thou art sick.  The invisible worm,  That flies in the night  In the howling storm: Has found out thy bed Of crimson joy: And his dark secret love Does thy life destroy. – William Blake, ‘The Sick Rose’ (1794) Have you

Lesson #108: Why Reading Classic Poetry is Important: Blake’s ‘The Sick Rose’ Read More »

Learn English Through Literature

Lesson #106: Mini-lesson Monday (Part 2): Comprehending ‘The Fawn’

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL Mini-lesson Monday continued (part 2): This is a demonstration of how I approached the opening line of Edna St Vincent Millay’s ‘The Fawn’ in one of my English language lessons. I took a few simple steps to help with text comprehension, and it only took a few minutes. I’m going to tell you

Lesson #106: Mini-lesson Monday (Part 2): Comprehending ‘The Fawn’ Read More »

Learn English Through Literature

Lesson #106: Mini-lesson Monday (Part 1): Reading ‘The Fawn’

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL Mini-lesson Monday! (part 1) I would like to share with you the opening lines of one of my favourite poems: ‘The Fawn’ by American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950). ‘There it was I saw what I shall never forgetAnd never retrieve.Monstrous and beautiful to human eyes, hard tobelieve,He lay, yet there he

Lesson #106: Mini-lesson Monday (Part 1): Reading ‘The Fawn’ Read More »

Lesson #101: Seasonal words from British poet John Keats

October is here! A beautiful, transformative season, as described by 19th-century poet John Keats: ‘Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness,Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;Conspiring with him how to load and blessWith fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core…’ –

Lesson #101: Seasonal words from British poet John Keats Read More »