Tag Archives: parallel structure

As in the Beginning

“As in the Beginning” by Mary di Michele is a grimly realistic retelling of events that express regret, anger and bitterness.


A person’s loss of limb can never be adequately recompensed with money; when someone we love is injured, his/her pain can become ours.


  • parallel structure
  • simile
  • alliteration
  • personification
  • understatement


What makes us whole?

Why does the speaker describe the “man” so objectively in the first nine lines of the poem.

How does the tone of the poem change after the first nine lines?

To what extent does the speaker understate or overstate the emotions associated with his/her father’s situation?

Which lines or phrases do you think express what the speaker is feeling most powerfully? What do these lines convey to them?

What is the significance of the title?

“As in the Beginning” by Mary di Michele
A man has two hands and when one
gets caught on the belt and his fingers
are amputated and then patched
he cannot work. His hands are insured
however so he gets some money
for the work his hands have done before.
If he loses a finger he gets a flat sum
of $250 for each digit &/or $100 for a joint
missing for the rest of his stay on earth,
like an empty stool at a beggar’s banquet.
When the hands are my father’s hands
it makes me cry although my pen must keep scratching
its head across the page of another night.
To you my father is a stranger
and perhaps you think the insurance paid is enough.

Give me my father’s hands when they are not broken
and swollen,
give me my father’s hands, young again,
and holding the hands of my mother,
give me my father’s hands still brown and uncallused,
beautiful hands that broke bread for us at table,
hands smooth as marble and naked as the morning,
give me hands without a number tattooed at the wrist,
without the copper sweat of clinging change,
give my father’s hands as they were in the beginning,
and without fear

A Red Red Rose

O my luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
My love is like the melodie
That’s sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonny lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only love!
And fare thee weel, awhile!
And I will come again, my love
Though it were ten thousand mile.
– Robert Burns

“A Red Red Rose” by Robert Burns is a classic song, considered one of the greatest love songs ever written.


The strength and endurance of true love is everlasting.


Rhyme, rhythm, assonance, parallel structure, hyperbole, alliteration, simile, symbolism, apostrophe.


Will the speaker return to his love?

What difficulty do you encounter while reading this poem? How did you deal with the problem?

The poem contains a number of examples of hyperbole. Can you identify them? Which do you think is the greatest exaggeration?

Life in Our Village

“Life in Our Village” by Matei Markwei is an easily understood, childlike , loosely rhyming poem, that expresses a universal truth about youthful love.

Discussion Questions:

What is the universal truth in “Life in Our Village”?

  • Boys and girls will do what comes naturally; love cannot be forbidden or exiled.

What techniques does the poet use to articulate this theme?(give examples)

  • repetition
  • understatement
  • parallel structure

Can adults forbid love from blossoming in the young?

Is humanity weak?

Is it strong to resist love?

To what extent do you see similarities between the attitudes and behaviours expressed in this poem, and those with which you are personally familiar?

What do you like about this poem?

What do you dislike?

“Life in Our Village” by Matei Markwei
In our village
When elders are around,
Boys must not look at girls
And Girls must not look at boys
Because the elder say
That is not good.

Even when night comes
Boys must play separately,
Girls must play separately.
But humanity is weak
So boys and girls meet.

The boys play hide and seek
And the girls play hide and seek.
The boys know where the girls hide
And the girls know where the boys hide –
So in their hide and seek,
Boys seek girls
Girls seek boys,
And each to each sing
Songs of love.