What does the word 'poverty' mean to you? Begin with a quick brainstorm of ideas, associations and images.
Listen to the recording several times and give pupils a moment to think about their ideas. Then pool initial impressions:
- Which are the words that stand out for you?
- What first ideas have you got about the poem?
- What would you like to ask about it?
- What did you think about the way it was performed?
Now read the poem together and develop impressions further. You might want to concentrate on 'lank...dank...rank' at first.
Why are these words being used? What do they mean and what effect do they have?
Pupils may also need support with some other vocabulary (such as 'fidelity', 'orifice', 'artifice', 'chafe' and 'philosophers').
Work together to build up a clear picture of how poverty is personified and the way in which Murray uses the image of the tin wash dish. What is the poet saying about the way society treats those raised in poverty and how they might see themselves?
In pairs (or as a whole class), compile a collage of images that could be shown on a screen when this poem is being performed. Decide if you would want to have backing music too. (If you have access to an interactive whiteboard this could be a powerful whole class activity.)
Display images selected and either listen to the poem again or perform it.