English Literature KS3 / GCSE: Harmonium' by Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage reads his own poem ‘Harmonium’, and analyses the inspiration, themes and language he used in creating it.

His reading of the poem is combined with visuals from his home town of Marsden, and the church where the poem is set.

The themes of fathers and sons, mortality, and the passage of time are explored, along with an explanation and analysis of some key words and phrases.

The elegiac tone of the poem is also considered.

This clip is from the series Simon Armitage: Writing Poems.

Teacher Notes

Can be used to explore the relationship between father and son in the poem.

Students can annotate the poem in relation to this theme.

They could then choose three main images and three main techniques that have been used by Armitage to write about in more detail.

These ideas are presented by students in pairs as, 'our top three most effective ways in which Armitage presents the relationship between father and son'.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching English Literature.

It will be relevant for teaching poetry analysis at KS3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Level 3 in Scotland.

This clip could also be used for teaching general poetry analytics skills at KS4/GCSE/National 5.