Project Work: Poem

In the language class we have learnt how to write a description of a place and we have been writing several of them. We wrote the last description in pairs, and I worked with Trinidad Ines Porretti. We had to choose a picture of a touristic place of our city/neighbourhood and describe it. Then our literature teacher asked us to write a poem about the place we had picked for our description, which in our case was the Recoleta Cemetery. I wrote the poem with Trinidad Porretti and Juana Zufriategui. Here I leave the description and the poem:

       Located in the prestigious neighborhood of Recoleta, Buenos Aires lies the widely known Recoleta Cemetery. This cemetery is often characterized as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world.

       This eerie charming cemetery contains 4691 vaults, all above ground, of which 94 have been declared National Historical Monuments by the Argentinian government. The entrance to the cemetery is through neoclassical gates with huge columns. The cemetery contains many elaborate marble mausoleums, decorated with statues, in a wide variety of architectural styles such as Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Baroque, and Neo-Gothic. The entire cemetery is laid out in sections like city blocks, with wide tree-lined main walkways branching into sidewalks filled with mausoleums.

            Nowadays, these mausoleums are still being used by rich families in Argentina that have their own vaults and keep their deceased there. While many of the mausoleums are in fine shape and well-maintained, others have fallen into disrepair. Several can be found with broken glass and littered with rubbish. This contributes to the gloomy and phantasmagorical aura of this site. It’s antique architecture is beautiful, which is one of the reasons why the cemetery attracts so many visitors. Moreover, there is more to this place than it’s architecture. Beyond it’s walls there’s a big historical background with a huge significance.

       To conclude, the Recoleta Cemetery is one of the most important attractions offered in the city of Buenos Aires. Not only is it’s architecture fascinating, but also it’s history is tremendously appealing. If you visit Buenos Aires, you must visit the cemetery. I can assure you won’t regret it.            


Of Cricket and White Hair

Rohinton Mistry’s Of White Hairs and Cricket: Narration and Point of View

The short story ‘Of White Hairs and Cricket’ by Rohinton Mistry (b. 1952 – ) is one of the Firozsha Baag stories from his collection of short stories Tales from the Firozsha Baag  published 1987. It is an early work and evocatively captures what life was like growing up in a Parsi apartment complex in Mumbai, India (then known as Bombay).

In Of White Hairs and Cricket, I will be focusing on Mistry’s narrative strategy as far as type of narration and point of view.

The ‘official’ first-person narrator is a 14-year-old boy – the second son in a family consisting of the father, mother, maternal grandmother and two sons (Percy, a college student, and the narrator). Because the story is narrated in the first person, everything in the story, except the dialogue, is presented and filtered through the narrator’s point of view. This pattern of immature point of view (limited point of view) expressed in the register of a mature narrator occurs throughout the story.

The writer wants to show that the narrator-protagonist is maturing and beginning to assert an identity of his own while, simultaneously, expressing an understanding/realisation of the process of aging and mortality.

Task 1: Questions

  1. Explore this story as a story of coming of age (rite of passage). Especially focus on: unawareness to awareness.
  2. The boy has to come to terms with the passing of time and the loss involved. Focus: cricket matches and the boy’s dad.
  3. Later in the story, the boy starts to mature and changes his perspective of life. Focus on: infinitude vs finitude and fantasy vs reality.
  4. Explore the specular moment and the 2 epiphanies the boy has.
  5. Explore the significance of the title.

The following presentations will help you

Rite of Passage in the story

These 2 videos will also help you


Task 2: Essay writing: choose an option to write between 250 and 350 words

  1. How does the writer deal with the subject of mortality and acceptance of the pure reality in the story “Of White Hairs and Cricket”?
  2.  “Of White Hairs and Cricket” portrays the emotional difficulty of a young boy when he sees his father as a mortal being.
  3. Comment closely on how the writer of the story “Of White Hairs and Cricket” depicts the boy coming of age.
  4. Explore how the writer of “Of White hairs and Cricket” deals with the passing of time.


Lion Heart by Amanda chong : Analysis

Amanda Chong is a lawyer trained in Cambridge and Harvard, who writes poems on her lunch breaks. A winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, her poetry has been engraved on the Marina Bay Helix Bridge and included in the Cambridge International GCSE syllabus.

She is interested in exploring themes of gender and power in both her poetry and academic writing, which has been published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender.

Amanda is somewhat of a prodigy who wrote her first poem in kindergarten. By 16, she had a poem – Lion Heart – engraved on the steps of the entrance to the Helix Bridge.

Before reading the poem find out what the merlion stands for

Resultado de imagen para singapore merlion

Resultado de imagen para singapore merlion


You came out of the sea,
skin dappled scales of sunlight;
Riding crests, waves of fish in your fists.
Washed up, your gills snapped shut.
Water whipped the first breath of your lungs,
Your lips’ bud teased by morning mists.

You conquered the shore, its ivory coast.
Your legs still rocked with the memory of waves.
Sinews of sand ran across your back-
Rising runes of your oceanic origins.
Your heart thumped- an animal skin drum
heralding the coming of a prince.

In the jungle, amid rasping branches,
trees loosened their shadows to shroud you.
The prince beheld you then, a golden sheen.
Your eyes, two flickers; emerald blaze
You settled back on fluent haunches;
The squall of a beast. your roar, your call.

In crackling boats, seeds arrived, wind-blown,
You summoned their colours to the palm
of your hand, folded them snugly into loam,
watched saplings swaddled in green,
as they sunk roots, spawned shade,
and embraced the land that embraced them.

Centuries, by the sea’s pulmonary,
a vein throbbing humming bumboats – 
your trees rise as skyscrapers.
Their ankles lost in swilling water,
as they heave themselves higher
above the mirrored surface.

Remember your self: your raw lion heart,
Each beat a stony echo that washes
through ribbed vaults of buildings.

Remember your keris, iron lightning
ripping through tentacles of waves,
double-edged, curved to a point-

flung high and caught unsheathed, scattering
five stars in the red tapestry of your sky.

Amanda Chong (1989-)

Mini Glossary
Dappled – spotty;
Sinews – the tissue connecting muscle and bone;
Runes – a type of lettering from old Germanic languages;
Squall – a sudden and violent gust of wind;
Pulmonary – a vein that transports deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs;
Keris – the curved sword from the Singaporean flag.

Task 1: Let´s discuss the poem together

Task 2: Watch the videos and prepare a poster which includes the following:


-Who is speaking?

-Did you note any descriptions? For each image, name the sense that is being appealed to.

-What is the theme?

-Literary devices? Effect?


-Personal opinion on the poem

Web Tools to create posters

Tool 1

Tool 2

Tool 3

Tool 4

Task3  Read the following essay on the poemIGCSE essay on Lionheart 

Do you agree? Is there anything you would add? Leave a comment in the blog.

Task 4 Write an essay (250-350 words)Due Date: Tuesday 10

This poem proudly describes Singapore. The poet cleverly uses the Merlion to symbolize the magnificence and pride of her home country. Comment closely on this.

This mindmap may help you.

Tyres by Adam Thorpe with Juana Zufriategui

The narrative of Tyres is set against the tension of German-occupied France during the Second World War, where relationships are strained, little can be openly communicated and suspicion is rife.

The brutality of war suddenly intervenes in the middle of the story with the killing of the suspected members of the French Resistance movement (the Maquis) and the villagers forced to view the bodies, their ‘guts…literally looped and dripping almost to the floor’, before the hanging of the ringleader nicknamed Petit Ours from the village bridge.

Set against this is the gradually developing love affair between the young 17 year old lad learning to maintain vehicles in his father’s garage and the girl who cycles past each day. The young man’s narration leads the reader gradually to his final act of involvement with the Resistance against the Germans and its effects; ill-luck seems to be the cause of guilt, and the final revelation of the age of the narrator, 44, shows how long that guilt and fidelity has lasted.

In this story, Thorpe sets ordinariness such as working on cars, changing tyres, a developing relationship against extraordinariness: the Second World War and German occupation, to create a small poignant story of war.


  1. (p 396/397) Sum up his boyhood thoughts, opinions and feelings.

Raoul  was a child who`s father started a business the year of his birth.  Years later, Raoul started working on the business of his father as a mechanic. He always saw these as the body and the soul and he said that he is proud of his business. First of all he was scared of the hiss of the compressors, of the great blade that took off the rubber peeling it like an orange. He learnt to see a tyre  as sad when it chin lay flat on the ground. Every time he heard of a local accident, his hear bit faster. He was always, from maturity, bigger than he ever was, but he was never fat.

  1. What attitude does the father, Monsieur Andre Paulhan, have towards the Germans, the Resistance and to his son’s (Raoul) involvement in the war and resistance?

Monsieur André Paulhan and his son, Raoul, has a garage where they repaired French and German cars. They had to has a good attitude towards the Germans because if not his business would bankrupt and they would have bad conditions of life.

  1. Describe his first meeting and emotions with the young girl when Raoul was 14/15 in 1940s and three years later at 17/18. (P399/400)

I noticed her first as a very young girl , just coming into womanhood, when she arrived in the yard with a tyre in ribbons, and caught her ankle on the pedal, walking the bycle towards  me. She was nothing much to look at then, execpt for a mass of  beautiful, glossy black hair, but   she spoke in a very sweet, soft voice,and had a winning smile. She hardly look at me and (both being shy, I suppose) we exchange   only a few commonplaces.”  

 This quotation it is explaining the first meeting between Raoul and the young lady. When the lady was riding her bicycle, one of the tyres broke so she had to enter to the garage where she was about to meet Raoul.

  1. How do these lines reflect the Raoul’s feelings at the end of the story: “Someone    who, if suddenly no longer there, can leave a hole in your heart, and a feeling of doom    until the moment he or she reappears.”

As we can see these lines reflect a lot the feeling of Raoul at the end of the story, he didn’t continue his life when he lost Cecile, he didn’t fell in love again and he never recovered because his heart was broken and, as the lines say, he had a big hole in his heart. This is not a mature reaction because doing this, he was losing his life too, and Cecile would probably want him to move on, and do something for himself. So here it is really clear, that these lines are reflecting the end of the story.

5          p401 How involved in the Resistance does Raoul  think that the young girl and his   father are? What does the threat: “Try a nail or two” imply about the father?

Raoul thinks that the young girl is part of the Maquis, he thinks that she is working for the other side, for France. Raoul also believes that she has realised that his father is negotiating with the Germans. “‘Petit Ours’ she said, all of sudden. I felt renewed panic inside”. This is really bad for Raoul and his father because if the Resistance know that they are traitors, they will kill them. The quote “Try a nail or two”, as we said, implies a lot Raoul’s father, because, if the Resistance notices that they are collaborating with the German, by letting him use the garage, they will murder them. The Resistance is working against the Germans because of all they have done to their country.

  1. (p402) What does Raoul do to bring the girl closer to him? How does his father react?

¨This was about a month after the girl had stopped to thank me. I decided to do something clownish, to make her stop again…I saw the girl in the distance…to my relief, I have to say (nothing can be relied on except death and so forth). There was nobody else on the road. I stepped out into the middle with a bucket full of stones and earth and started to pour it into the pot-hole, the subject of our former exchange…She stopped. ¨You have no right to do that¨  

 This quotation is explaining how the boy wanted to bring her closer to him.  He put a bucket with stones and then he dropped the bucket full of stones into the road. Moreover, the girl said that he would be arrested because he was overstepping the road.

¨His face (no more nor less emaciated that it was before the war, just a little sharper) gleamed with sweat and grace. I smiled back innocently…He wiped his mouth and set the glass down more energetically than usual. ¨Wipe that bloody stupid grin off your face¨ he said ¨Or I will think you are up to something¨…He  must have felt cornered in some way. He wouldn’t have liked that.

In this quotation we can find how the father of Raoul feel about how his son bring the girl closer to him. He feel mad, ¨cornered¨, with anger…etc.

  1. Describe Andre’s feelings about religion and about the Petain government. P403 and  elsewhere.

Raoul’s father dislike Catholics also he thinks that the war was a personal attack on his business because he can not work and earn money without the Germans repairing their cars their. That means that he can not get out of his enemies. Also the narrator speaks about the Jews, he says that the Catholics never mind about the Jews that were taken away by the enemies.

Furthermore, in the story we can see that Raoul continue talking about Cecile Viala, the girl that he looked for years. He said he she never mention again Petit Ours, or anything related with the hide-class and the resistance, including the war too.

8          Finally the romance with Cecile Viala is in the open  with Raoul’s family p403/404    How would you describe their feelings for each other?

As we know, Raoul is very in love with Cecile, he loves her very much. He thinks that she is pleasant, pretty and clever. Raoul adores her because he had made his first promises with someone who loves.

Later on, Raoul proposed marriage to her. In this quote we can read about it.

¨ page 404 line three up to line six-teen¨

This quote is explaining where and how Roul proposed marriage to Cecile under the chestnut tree. Noticeably, she said ¨Yes¨

9.( p405)  What has prompted Raoul to sabotage the Gestapo officer’s inner tube?

One day, when Raoul was in the coffee a man came and said to him that he had to sabotage the German cars because the man knew that his father and him were repairing their cars. Later on, when a german came into the garage to be repair Raoul remembered what the man said to him. So he changed the inner tube for another old inner tube.

  1. What is the faint hope Raoul has for Cecile as she accepts the ride in the car?

Raoul´s faint hope was that Cecile was forced to go into the German car, so he wouldn’t be blame for Cecile’s death. The tyres were in a dangerous state so she was probably going to die.

11 . The story ends with a reluctant mood to shift with the times. Explain how this is true.

The story ends with a reluctant mood to shift with the times because the love of his life is taken from him. Raoul still loves Cecile and he can’t live without her. Also, he is alone in the world of war and the Germans have destroyed so much from his country. He loses all passion for the job he loved because of the accident of Cecile, we can see that business is much better for him at the beginning of the story. In addition, at the end of the story we can appreciate that he stays locked in the past, he continues to place flowers on the road for her and he doesn’t marry anymore, we can say that he destroyed his own life.