Poetry Discussion

Student activity
Images of Australian poet C.J. Dennis
Task No. 1

Poetry Discussion

  1. Ask students if they have ever seen a Triantiwontigongolope?
    The word may provide some clues - "Tri" means three, "anti" is a prefix - it means one that is opposed. "lope" means an easy natural gait of a horse resembling a canter. Read the first four lines of the poems read aloud and students can imagine what the creature is.
  2. Ask students to do a quick sketch of their Triantiwontigongolope. Students share responses.
  3. Display the four lines and ask students to check their drawing against the lines:
    • "Isn't quite a spider" - Does it have 8 legs?
    • "It isn't quite a fly" - Does it have wings? Is it annoying? What kind of eyes would it have?
    • "It is something like a beetle" - Does it have wings, spots, stripes?
    • "And a little like a bee" - Does it have a stinger? Does it make a sound?
  4. Students view the first frames of the film and compare it to their own.
  5. Introduce and analyse the poetic devices that have been used in the poem and give examples:
    • Alliteration - "It trembles if you tickle it or tread upon its toes"
    • Rhyme - toes, nose, shame, name. An A, A, B, B pattern
    • Rhythm - Clap the rhythm of the lines
    • Onomatopoeia - scuttle, purrs and purrs
  6. Why do you think C.J. Dennis wrote a poem about Triantiwontigongolope? Is this a humorous poem? Why? This poem was written in 1921 - does it stil appeal to young people as a humorous poem? Why or why not.
  7. Students attempt to write a humorous poem using poetic devices above.

C.J. Dennis is best known for his humorous poems. Read other poems from : A Book for Kids by C.J. Dennis which was published in 1921. Give students a potten version of C.J. Dennis' life and career.


Task No. 2

Poets of Australia: C.J. Dennis