THE RIVER by Valerie Bloom The River's a wanderer, A nomad, a
tramp, He doesn't choose one place To set up his camp. The River's
a winder, Through valley and hill He twists and he turns, He just
cannot be still. The River's a hoarder, And he buries down deep
Those little treasures That he wants to keep. The River's a baby,
He gurgles and hums, And sounds like he's happily Sucking his
thumbs. The River's a singer, As he dances along, The countryside
echoes The notes of his song. The River's a monster Hungry and
vexed, He's gobbled up trees And he'll swallow you next.
SYNOPSIS The River is about the many faces of a river. The river
is a wanderer where he moves all over the place. He does not sit
still and is always in motion. He is also a winder where he twists
and turns. He meanders. He is also a hoarder where he keeps things
deep down in his river bed. Sometimes, he is a baby when he is
happily flowing along. At times, he is a singer as seen through the
happy sounds of the water. Finally, he is also a monster and can
devour trees (most probably referring to a flood)
THEMES 1. The River is a Natural Source of Water The river is a
natural source of water. It is an important element in the water
cycle. It balances the ecosystem. Therefore, many living things
depend on the river to get their source of water. Water is an
important basic need for all living things. Many living things such
as plants, animals and human beings will die without water.
2. The River is a Natural Source of Life The river is also a
natural source of life. It is considered to bury little treasures
that help to support living organisms such as animals, human beings
On the other hand, when the river water overflows, the
surrounding areas are flooded. This natural phenomenon provides a
rich source of fertile soil to farmers to grow their crops as well
as helps them to irrigate their farms. This in turn provides us
with different sources of food for our daily life.
3. The river causes natural disasters In Stanza 6, the poet
warns that the river can at times cause natural disasters. Hence,
the river is described as a monster, hungry and vexed. This usually
happens when there is a heavy downpour which causes the river to
overflow its banks. It displays its power and rage as it gobbles up
or destroys and uproots trees. Sometimes, the rivers wrath can be
seen when lives, properties and livelihood is lost. This is nothing
that Man is unable to control.
4. Man has both positive and negative qualities Man, like the
river, has his positive and negative qualities. Therefore, we must
accept people with their strengths and limitations.
PERSONA The voice used in the poem The River is a he, which is
the third person pronoun. The persona describes what he sees, feels
and hears about the river.
Some of the descriptions relate to his lifes experiences and
knowledge about how a river flows upstream to downstream.
The persona provides details about where the river starts;
meandering through the hills and valleys and finally, ending up in
the sea or ocean.
Apart from being gentle, the persona also warns that the river
can be destructive to both nature and Man.
Language and Style The poem consists of six stanzas. Each stanza
has four lines.There is a rhyming scheme in the poem. Every second
and fourth line in each stanza rhymes: Stanza 2 The Rivers a
winder, Through valley and hill He twists and he turns, He just
cannot be still. From the stanza above, the word hill rhymes with
Stanza 3 The Rivers hoarder, And he buries down deep Those
little treasures That he wants to keep From the stanza above, the
word deep rhymes with keep.
The rhyme scheme used by the poet is a-b-c-b. in other words,
the last word in Line 2 rhymes with the last word in Line 4.
LITERARY DEVICES Metaphor One literary device used in this poem
is the metaphor. The poet shows similarities between the river and
human beings. The river is described as being a wanderer, hoarder,
baby, singer, dancer and monster. The poet also uses the river as a
metaphor to describe our own journey through life. Just like the
river, we start our journey when we are born. Then we grow up and
gradually learn about things and begin to face more challenges.
This part is described in the poem when the river meanders through
hills and valleys. Next, as we mature we have our ups and downs,
happy and sad moments. This is described in Stanza 4 and 5. Then
again, sometimes we behave like monsters and lose our tempers and
hurt or destroy others with our actions. This is like when the
river turns into a monster and causes destruction. Personification
The second literary device used is personification. Even though the
writer talks about the river yet she has been able to give it
human-like abilities, functions and feelings.
This is referred to as personification. The poem clearly shows,
describes and gives ample examples of human characteristics.
Some of these include being a wanderer like a nomad and a tramp.
The river is also a hoarder that buries little treasures and does
not want to part with them. Then the river moves on and becomes a
baby who is happily sucking his thumbs and then as a dancer, the
river sings and dances along the countryside. Finally, the river is
described as a monster that has no mercy.
Contrast The third literary device used is making contrasts.
Here the poet shows the contrasting characteristics of the river. o
One moment the river is gentle like a baby and at other times, it
rears its ugly head and becomes a monster ready to destroy nature.
o Through this technique, the poet shows that the river is just
like us, it has both positive and negative characteristics. Imagery
Imagery refers to images that we can see when we read and
understand the poem. o In this poem, Valerie has successfully
painted a vivid picture of the river and these images are clearly
imprinted in our minds as we read the poem. For examples: Stanza
o The image we conjure up is that of a wanderer like a nomad or
tramp who moves around and cannot sit still. Stanza 2 o The image
formed is that of a river slowly winding down hill, twisting and
turning. Stanza 3 o The river is described like a hoarder who
buries invaluable treasures beneath it. Stanza 4 o The river is
described just like a baby who is sucking on his thumbs. The baby
also makes happy gurgling and humming sounds. Stanza 5 o The river
becomes a singer who dances along to the song which echoes
throughout the countryside. Stanza 6 o An ugly image of the river
is painted. It is described as a monster that hungrily swallows up
trees and human beings.
I WONDER by Jeannie Kirby I wonder by Jeannie Kirby I wonder why
the grass is green And why to each other were often mean? Who
taught us how to curse and hate? And lead us to betray our faith?
Why cant we learn to live and love? And give all praises to him
above Why must we strive to put others down? Why not wear a smile
instead of a frown. Must we forever devise new ways? To hurt each
other instead of praise? For arent we all the same in his sight
Dont we all rise in the morn and sleep at night? For who amongst us
has not shed a tear Or hurt by another who never seemed to care.
And which of us has not done the same To hurt another or caused
some shame. When shall we learn to let go of the past And live each
day like its our very last? Which will you be, an foe or a friend?
Would you still hate today, if this was your end?
I wonder why the grass is green, And why the wind is never seen
The writer was questioning about why the color of the grass is
green and not other colors. He also did question about why the wind
cannot be seen. As we know, we can feel the wind blows and pass us
by everyday in our lives. The writer most probably would be a small
kid, because children only knows that physical contacts only can be
created when an object touches another. For writer in this case,
he/she needs something to be made as evidence of why he can feel
the wind blowing. Who taught the birds to build a nest, And told
the trees to take a rest? This particular kid (person) questioned
why the bird that he saw was building a nest for itself though the
kid knew that no one or no other creatures did teach the bird to do
so. He also knew that animals do not possess the wisdom to invent
something on their own. In this situation, he did not know that it
is just the nature of animals to seek for protection and safe place
to hide. As the time turns to sunset and about to be night time,
the kid wondered why the trees stopped producing oxygen and why
they were doing so and on whose order. And when the moon is not
quite round, Where can the missing bit be found? Because the whole
daytime has been windy, the kid then questioned why he could not
see moon anywhere at the sky because at the moment, it was about to
rain and the
clouds already covered the skies up. He did not know that the
rain comes from the process of condensation and needs the clouds to
turn the air to liquid (rainwater). Who lights the stars, when they
blow out, And makes the lightning flash about? As he could see the
stars that were shining at the skies, they questioned how they
shine and how they could be so bright at the night time. He only
knew that light and brightness only comes from things that are
burning and fired up by human being themselves. Lightning that
stroked many times during the moment caught his attention because
no one create lightning and makes them appear at the sky. Who
paints the rainbow in the sky, And hangs the fluffy clouds so high?
The day after, the kid could see the rainbow appeared at the sky
and the formation of the colors of the rainbow makes him guessing
of who painted and designed such organized pattern of colors. After
the rain, the clouds rise up higher because they are fluffier now,
light and softer, free from the water particles and reveal the
beautiful colors of the rainbow. Why is it now, do you suppose,
That Dad wont tell me if he knows? Last of all, the kid questioned
all the readers why his father (Dad) did not tell him if his Dad
ever knew of why all the panoramas that he had seen happened before
his own eyes. It is because the kid himself is still a young child,
nave, and innocent and his father might not tell him because afraid
that he would not understand of how nature really works.
THEME 1. Curiosity of a child a. Children are by nature
inquisitive and they like to ask questions. 2. The wonders of
nature a. The poem shows readers of how majestic and awe-inspiring
nature can be for those who take the time to stop and appreciate
it. 3. The thirst for knowledge a. Humans, by nature, are
inquisitive beings. We have the innate drive to seek knowledge and
information to better ourselves.
LITERARY DEVICE Point of view o First person The title and the
first two words of 'I Wonder' show us that the poem is told from a
first person point of view. Setting o Outdoors The speaker was
describing the events that one can see out in the open space.
Tone o Inquisitive The repetition of interrogative wh- words
lends an inquisitive tone to 'I Wonder.'
Mood o Puzzlement The inquisitive nature of the speaker incites
the feeling of puzzlement in readers as there is a high possibility
that many cannot answer the questions posed by the speaker.
Poetic Devices 1. Alliteration a. grass green b. birds build c.
tree - take a rest 2. Direct speech Hearing the speaker's questions
first hand gives readers a clearer picture of the challenging time
that they will have in answering the speaker's questions thus
intensifying the mood of puzzlement. 3. End rhyme a. Stanza 1 :
green, seen b. Stanza 2: nest, rest c. Stanza 3: round, found12
d. Stanza 4: out, about e. Stanza 5: sky, high f. Stanza 6:
suppose, knows 4. Imagery a. Visual imagery = sense of sight i.
Grass, birds, trees, moon, stars, lightning, rainbows, and clouds.
5. Personification a. the trees - have the ability to rest b. the
stars - have the ability to blow out the light 6. Repetition a. The
words, 'why' and 'who' are repeated twice and thrice respectively.
The repetition of the interrogative wh- words reinforces that the
speaker's curiosity is not just a fleeting fancy but is a matter
that constantly bugs the speaker.
SIMILARITIES 1. Both of these poems are about nature. 2. These
poems have 6 stanzas for each poem
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TWO POEMS I WONDER 1. 2 lines in every
stanzas 2. Questions about the unique THE RIVER 1. A lines in every
stanza 2.Telling about the unique
characteristics of nature
characteristics of nature
3. The subject is only river
e.g : grass, wind, birds, trees, moon, stars, rainbow,
4. The rhyme is aa
4. The rhyme is abcb
REFLECTION First of all, thanks to our God because give me a
chance to do this coursework. Next, to my family that always
support me to further up my study and to complete this task. During
doing this task, Ive had learn many things about literature. As a
teacher or formerly as religious teacher, I didnt notice what is
important of literature to kid or student, furthermore English
Literature. But, after done this task, more and more knowledge
about literature that I get. I had knew each poem that been written
by a famous writers had their deeply meaning and message. Besides
that, from the task that Ive done, I can get know many great poem
writers which I had never know before this. But, l also have a
weakness while complete this task. Firstly is about my vocabulary
and my experience in doing a coursework. Im usually speak in Malay
and studied literature also in Malay which is my mother tounge, but
while Im trying to challenge myself to complete this task which all
in English, I had found a difficulties. Literary meaning sometimes
never same with standard English sentence meaning. I need to search
in internet or ask for a help from my English Teacher in my school
to discover the meaning of the poem or some sentences. Thats all
what I get when I doing this task. I hope, I can further my
knowledge besides can use this knowledge for my pupils to improve
their skills of learnings.
REFERENCES A collection of Poems, Short Stories and Dramas Form
1 to Form 3, 2009 , Ministry of Education Malaysia, Shah Alam,
Selangor I wonder by Jeanne Kirby ( 2009, Sep 24 ), I wonder by
Jeanne Kirby, retrieved 18 March 2012 from
wonder bu Jeanne Kirby (2010, June 1 ), I wonder by Jeanne Kirby
retrieved 18 March 2012 from