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Simon Armitage explores the ways in which a poem can have both surface and deeper meanings. His reading of 'Give' is combined with images of homelessness in Manchester as well as an interview with a person who has experienced homelessness, describing how it feels to be an outsider in modern society. Armitage then explores possible deeper meanings behind the surface, linking analysis of language and structure to alternative ways of interpreting the poem.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
9 March 2012

Classroom Ideas

Can be used to explore the film director's fairly literal visual interpretation of the poem in the clip. Choose five of the images from the clip eg Armitage copying his poem on to the pavement using chalk at night and discuss why these might have been used. Students are then asked to draft their own storyboard, for a filmed interpretation of the poem. Which lines would go in the sound column of their storyboard and with which images? What deeper meanings have students chosen to explore through their particular choices of images in their storyboards? How have they been able to explore the multiple meanings of many of the lines? The final ideas could be filmed, or recorded on to presentation software. Students could be asked to consider the concluding question of whether the poem is really an outcry over public issues of homelessness, or private ones of love? What else is the poem about?

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