Lesson 14 Self-Identity:

Thomas Hardy

Part I: "The Ruined Maid"

Pre-reading question:

1) Who are the speakers in the poem? What is Amelia's friend's attitude towards Amelia ('Melia)?
2) How do the rhythm and rhyme scheme contribute to the poem?
3) Vocabulary: whence (line 3), tatters (line 5), bleak (line 13).

Post-reading questions:

1) What is the controlling irony of the poem?
2) What do you think is Hardy's attitude towards Amelia? Why? What is your attitude towards her? Why?
3) Do you notice any difference between Amelia's speech and that of her friend? Explain.
4) Hardy believed that poetry had to be subjective and personal: "I hold that the mission of poetry is to record impressions, not convictions." What do you think of this statement when held up to "The Ruined Maid"?
5) What does this poem say about women's choices in life?

Part II: "The Road Not Taken"

Pre-reading question:

1) What is the rhyme scheme of the poem?
2) Vocabulary: diverged (line 1).

Post-reading questions:

1) Why do you think the poet emphasizes "the road not taken?"
2) Frost is known for the simplicity of his language and the naturalness of his "sound". How do you think this adds or detracts from the poem?

Related Links:

The Thomas Hardy Association: http://www.yale.edu/hardysoc/Welcome/welcomet.htm

Thomas Hardy Resource Library: http://pages.ripco.net/~mws/hardy.html

Thomas Hardy's World: http://www.gettysburg.edu/academics/english/hardy/

Thomas Hardy On-line: http://webuser.com/hardy/

Academy of American Poets Robert Frost Page: http://www.poets.org/poets/poets.cfm?prmID=196

The Robert Frost Homepage, includes links to Frost reading his poetry: http://www.robertfrost.org/indexgood.html

Robert Frost on the Web: http://www.amherstcommon.com/walking_tour/frost.html

The Friends of Robert Frost: http://www.frostfriends.org/

The Road Not Taken, Frost's lesser known poems: http://frost.freehosting.net/

Modern American Poetry, Frost: http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/a_f/frost/frost.htm

Robert Frost: America's Poet, not academic, but a good place to look for links, especially to the poems: http://www.ketzle.com/frost/

Lesson Starts!