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English Project Poetry

Specs & Slims
by

Lawrence Wong

on 12 August 2010

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Transcript of English Project Poetry

Poetry Presentations Poem: Daniel at Breakfast By Phyllis McGinley Please turn to Page 94 of Appreciating Poetry... Sit back and enjoy this poem...

His paper propped against the electric toaster
(Nicely adjusted to his morning use),
Daniel at breakfast studies world disaster
And sips his orange juice.

The words dismay him. Headlines shrilly chatter
of famine, storm, death, pestilence, decay.
Daniel is gloomy, reaching for the butter.
he shudders at the way

War stalks the planet still, and men know hunger,
Go shelterless, betrayed, may perish soon.
The coffee's weak again. In sudden anger
Daniel throws down his spoon

And broods a moment on the kitchen faucet
The plumber mended, but has mended ill;
Recalls tomorrow means a dental visit,
Laments the grocery bill.

Then having shifted from his human shoulder
The universal woe, he drains his cup
Rebukes the weather (surely turning colder),
Crumples his napkin up
And, kissing his wife abruptly at the door,
Stamps fiercely off to catch the 8:04

Daniel at Breakfast S

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S ubject-Matter as seen from “laments the grocery bill” and “having shifted from his human shoulder the universal woe” shown through the persona What can we infer? A depiction of
an average, shallow and routine-based man
Only cares about the thing which affects him directly
Forgets quickly about larger world events which he cannot control.
shows a way of life: Living in your own world urpose To encourage people to be more active in aiding world disasters/events

To emphasize the “bubble” people live in and the willingness to prioritize world events over personal matters.

Puts the negligence of the world in a more negative light, such that people simply dismiss global arises as something that cannot be solve.
motions of Persona Daniel's Routine Eagerness to begin his organized routine (“nicely adjusted to his morning use”) + Preparedness Slight discontentment that the things he sees (“world disaster…Of famine, storm, death, pestilence, decay”) does not complement his current emotion (lighthearted and happy) But soon “throws” (“throws down his spoon”) the thought to the back of his head Angers at trivial stuff + Purposeful negligence and ignorance to worldly events Shift his mind to certain trivial unfinished business and meditates moodily agitated (“Crumples his napkin up…kissing his wife abruptly at the door, Stamps fiercely”) as he worries that he will be late for his work raftsmanship : tructure ounds Other Poetic Devices... anguage magery Home (setting) symbolizes a form of catalytic barrier which brings the persona’s worries closer to him. It can also be inferred as the order in the midst of chaos/eye of the storm
Breakfast symbolizes the only period in the day where he is connected to world events. As a result, he feels sad about it. It also symbolizes Daniel’s routine whereby the importance of his personal life is inflated and much greater than worldly events.
Coffee symbolizes the finishing/gulping down of sad events which consists of the trivial matter about his weak coffee and the worldly events. He presumes that by gulping down the coffee, he would forget about the sadness which fills his heart. There is an irony in the fact that coffee is meant to make one be more focus and remember things better, however in this case, coffee is used as a dosage to make people forget things.

Pleasant routine: Persona does not want to be torn from its pleasant routine by world events. Thus, he decides to push them aside to make room for his own personal and happier life.
The throwing of the spoon, “Daniel throws down his spoon”, symbolizes the throwing of the persona’s worries before they get to his mind. He forgets about these little outlets/sources of worries (universal and uncontrollable worries) and begins to ponder about certain unfinished business in his personal life. Contrastingly, it is actually the trivial matters in his life (e.g. weak coffee) which angers him the most. Tone in poem Disappointed
One of purposeful negligence and ignorance (“having shifted from his shoulder the universal woe”)
Done by:
Ryan Chua
Ery
Mathew
Lawrence Personification: “headlines shrilly chatter” and “War stalks he planet still”
Oxymoron: “mended ill”
Onomatopoeia: “sips”, “chatter”
Alliteration: “paper propped”
So how did it enhance the poem? adult-like and straight to the point
shows the rushed lifestyle of modern lives






“studies” world disaster just as easily as he sips his orange juice. The diction is a form of unfeeling.
ovement/Rhythm Generally Steady pace
Though there are parts where pace quickens Movement/Rhythm Continued... Consistent for the first four stanzas
a-b-c-b rhyme scheme
However, the last stanza consists of an "a-b-a-b-c-c" rhythm scheme
Hence, the poem is not consistent as a whole (uneven) ummary Why? Team's POV on Poem We feel that this is a poem which is highly appropriate for students like us






It depicts life to be one whereby time is often insufficient for us to even bother about worldly and universal events.

Though this portrayal may be seen as a negative approach towards this matter, the poem also manages to show the good side of not worrying about not worrying about things one cannot control. (Universal and uncontrollable events)




Continued...

We also feel that this poem gives a very shallow impression of the persona. It also reflects a certain amount of irony, given the scale of things. It also emphasize the poem’s serious yet comical view on the world events’ and personal events’ impact on Daniel.
'+' tive impacts it reduces the amount of things which we worry in life, as a result, make us live carefree and happier lives. Visual
Free-verse
Similar to a Ballad

4 out of 5 stanzas are four lines

Mainly talks about a story



Short verses often refer to the trivial problems he faces. Long verses generally refers to the universal and worldly events which Daniel cannot control. The poem is a reflection of self-centredness in modern lives
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