Find several colour pictures of Canadian scenes such as those available on scenic calendars.
Write two descriptive paragraphs, using as a subject one of the scenic pictures or a remembered scene from your own experience.
- In the first paragraph use a completely objective approach to your description. Your purpose should be to enable the reader to picture the scene. You should avoid using any language that would provide atmosphere to the scene or in any way influence the reader’s attitude to it.
- In the second paragraph use a subjective approach, choosing language to create associations in the mind of the reader–associations that will make the scene appear attractive, unattractive, gloomy, threatening, peaceful, barren, or however you wish.
Be sure to read carefully the introductory information to this poem.
- What is a fantasy? Whose fantasy is described in this poem? Christian’s? The poet’s? Both?
- The poem suggests the wanderings of Christian’s mind in the period of privation preceding his death. Can you distinguish the realistic aspects of his thoughts from the fantasy?
Notice how the isolation of the repeated word “these” encourages the reader to consider, one by one, the details listed in the poem. Is Smith describing the creek or analysing it?
The Tantramar marshes near Sackville, New Brunswick, consist of an area of swampy land protected from the sea by old Acadian dikes. The land is fertile hayland, filled with wildlife.
Both of these poems are descriptions of what the poet sees, but the picture he paints is warmly personal and reflects both the atmosphere of the scene and the poet’s relationship with it. Examine the diction and pay particular attention to the connotations of the words he uses. Consider the figures of speech, the sensory appeal, the slow-moving rhythm. Discuss the way in which these devices combine to create mood and atmosphere for each poem.