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For Heidi with Blue Hair
Transcript of For Heidi with Blue Hair
Fleur Adcock The central character is the girl who dyed her hair blue. She is portrayed as a rebellious and independent girl, and she has developed her own thoughts and personality. We can also see Heidi's strong determination in achieving what she wants, as she is strong minded. "Tell them it won't wash out-not even if I wanted to try." This shows her courage in standing up to what she believes in, and the courage to strive for what she desires.
Her father is recognized as a "freedom-loving father", showing the support he gives to Heidi. Poetic Devices Enjambment: creats a conversational, flowing effect
No rhyme scheme: shows the unconventional style, reflecting the theme of rebellion and individuality
Dialogues: unconventional and vividly
Use of simple vocabulary
Loose Structure: reinforcing the idea of rebellion, the battle against authority and rules
Punctuation: brackets--reflects the informality of tone Point of View&Tone This poem narrates the story of a high school girl who were sent home from school because she dyed her hair blue--'not in a school color.'
It is told from a second person point of view (you), and it creates a unique poetic effect. It feels as if the poet is talking to you, thus making you sympathise with the girl.
The tone is conversational and informal, reflecting the idea of challenge and individuality.
Her language is full of precision and control, and she exudes a distinctive air of knowingness. It isn't hard to guess whose side she is on. Who and what is the subject of this poem?
What do you think the poet’s purpose is in writing this poem?
How does the structure and punctuation reflect theme? (look at caesura, enjambment, commas, full stops, semi colons and other punctuation).
How might the loose structure of the poem reinforce an important idea?
How are teachers and the headmistress presented?
What moods and feelings do you recognise and how can you tell?
How is the ‘rebel’ in the poem made to sound vulnerable? How is she supported? Who or what is this ‘battle’ being fought against? Poem When you dyed your hair blue
(or, at least ultramarine
for the clipped sides, with a crest
of jet-black spikes on top)
you were sent home from school
because, as the headmistress put it,
although dyed hair was not
specifically forbidden, yours
was, apart from anything else,
not done in the school colours.
Tears in the kitchen, telephone-calls
to school from your freedom-loving father:
'She's not a punk in her behaviour;
it's just a style.' (You wiped your eyes,
also not in a school colour.) Kareen Fleur Adcock (known as Fleur Adcock), is a New Zealand poet and editor, of English and Northern Irish ancestry, who has lived much of her life in England.
-Born in Auckland in 1934, but spent her childhood in Britain;
-She studied Classics at the Victoria University of Wellington.;
-She worked as an assistant librarian;
-She was married to two famous New Zealand literary personalities. (Then both were divorced.)
-She has been a freelance writer, living in East Finchley, north London. Questions Themes Challenging social norms and authority Recognising individuality within human beings and expressing oneself
Solidarity and friendship
The relationship between authority and subordinates 'She discussed it with me first -
we checked the rules.' 'And anyway, Dad,
it cost twenty-five dollars.
Tell them it won't wash out -
not even if I wanted to try.
It would have been unfair to mention
your mother's death, but that
shimmered behind the arguments.
The school had nothing else against you;
the teachers twittered and gave in.
Next day your black friend had hers done
in grey, white and flaxen yellow -
the school colours precisely:
an act of solidarity, a wittytease.
The battle was already won. Adcock's poetry is characterized by images drawn from her immediate experience. Although the subject of her poetry often deals with personal matters, it is not confessional. She is often referred to as "the expatriate poet" because her life has been split between New Zealand and England, both countries claiming her as their own. "The awareness of the split in her life makes Adcock concentrate on the present, leading to rich description and clear imagery. She often focuses on particular places, immediate and concrete, to suggest that which is missing, using the present landscape as a backdrop for the 'receding pictures' it emotionally evokes" (Feminist Writers).
Adcock was trained as a classicist and much of her early work emphasizes structure, rhyme, and meter, as evidenced in The Eye of the Hurricane. Since 1980, Adcock's poetry has broken new ground. She experiments with different voices and speakers, moving away from direct observations and into an exploration of the unconscious. Her themes continue to include ancestry/history, love, death, childhood, and sex.
In this poem, we can see her use of loose structure and stream of consciousness.