my sweet old etcetera’, by e.e.

Cummings
1 2 Who is the persona? (what is his job/ what is he doing? QUOTE The word ‘etcetera’ means ‘and so on’. Read through the poem again. For each etcetera, substitute back in the word that could have been left out. (e.g. for line 1 etcetera = lovely, charming, doddery) Go through the family of the persona. Take each person in turn. What is their attitude to the war? QUOTE for each to support what you say. Who is the one person in the poem who is NOT patriotic? How do we know this? QUOTE

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CAPITAL LETTERS 5 Which words have been capitalised? 6 Why do you think they’ve ben capitalised? 7 Which letters SHOULD be capitalised but aren’t? 8 If the persona doesn’t care about the war, how do the lack of capitals help us understand this? LAYOUT 9

my sweet old etcetera aunt lucy during the recent war could and what is more did tell you just what everybody was fighting for, my sister isabel created hundreds (and hundreds) of socks not to mention shirts fleaproof earwarmers etcetera wristers etcetera, my mother hoped that i would die etcetera bravely of course my father used to become hoarse talking about how it was a privilege and if only he could meanwhile my self etcetera lay quietly in the deep mud et cetera (dreaming, et cetera, of Your smile eyes knees and of your Etcetera)

Line breaks in cummings poem are pretty random. For much of this poem, the persona simply doesn’t care about things. How do line breaks contribute to this sense of don’t-give-a-toss-ness?

COMMAS 10 How do the lack of full stops further create an apathetic (uncaring) persona? PARENTHESIS When we read parentheses (brackets) it changes the way that we read. Often, we mumble these. They are almost like a comment made behind our hand. Parentheses are asides, digressions, afterthoughts. Parentheses are the comments we make about them when we think the teacher isn’t listening. 11 Where does e.e. cummings use parenthesis? What is he talking about? 12 How do these change the way that the audience reads the poem? 13 How do they affect the way that we read the poem? IDEAS The poem is anti-patriotism. Patriotism is the idea that we should go out and die for our country. The soldier’s family are ALL patriotic. How does e.e. cummings present his ideas that patriosm is brainless? Write a paragraph. You could focus on…  Those who have EXPERIENCED war, and those who talk about it from a distance.  Differing meanings of the word ‘etcetera’  Use of capital letters/ parentheses.  Layout.

my sweet old etcetera’, by e.e. Cummings
1 2 Who is the persona? (what is his job/ what is he doing? QUOTE The word ‘etcetera’ means ‘and so on’. Read through the poem again. For each etcetera, substitute back in the word that could have been left out. (e.g. for line 1 etcetera = lovely, charming, doddery) Go through the family of the persona. Take each person in turn. What is their attitude to the war? QUOTE for each to support what you say. Who is the one person in the poem who is NOT patriotic? How do we know this? QUOTE

3

4

CAPITAL LETTERS 5 Which words have been capitalised? 6 Why do you think they’ve ben capitalised? 7 Which letters SHOULD be capitalised but aren’t? 8 If the persona doesn’t care about the war, how do the lack of capitals help us understand this? LAYOUT 9

my sweet old etcetera aunt lucy during the recent war could and what is more did tell you just what everybody was fighting for, my sister isabel created hundreds (and hundreds) of socks not to mention shirts fleaproof earwarmers etcetera wristers etcetera, my mother hoped that i would die etcetera bravely of course my father used to become hoarse talking about how it was a privilege and if only he could meanwhile my self etcetera lay quietly in the deep mud et cetera (dreaming, et cetera, of Your smile eyes knees and of your Etcetera)

Line breaks in cummings poem are pretty random. For much of this poem, the persona simply doesn’t care about things. How do line breaks contribute to this sense of don’t-give-a-toss-ness?

COMMAS 10 How do the lack of full stops further create an apathetic (uncaring) persona? PARENTHESIS When we read parentheses (brackets) it changes the way that we read. Often, we mumble these. They are almost like a comment made behind our hand. Parentheses are asides, digressions, afterthoughts. Parentheses are the comments we make about them when we think the teacher isn’t listening. 11 Where does e.e. cummings use parenthesis? What is he talking about? 12 How do these change the way that the audience reads the poem? 13 How do they affect the way that we read the poem? IDEAS The poem is anti-patriotism. Patriotism is the idea that we should go out and die for our country. The soldier’s family are ALL patriotic. How does e.e. cummings present his ideas that patriosm is brainless? Write a paragraph. You could focus on…  Those who have EXPERIENCED war, and those who talk about it from a distance.  Differing meanings of the word ‘etcetera’  Use of capital letters/ parentheses.  Layout.

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