Analysis Monday – Pawnbroker

Every Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written. Feel free to add your own comments!


What a place of broken promises and lost hopes the pawnbroker proved to be! Every class, every profession, every walk of life was represented in its grubby windows, the detritus of so many lives pinned like butterflies behind the glass. Overhead a wooden sign with three red balls on a blue background hung on rusty chains, refusing to swing in the breeze, as if to assert that nothing here would ever move, that once the owners had lost their possession they would never see them again.

Anthony Horowitz

– Word choice “broken” and “lost” reveals the hopelessness of the pawnbrokers  – developed further by the repetition of “lost”

– Use of a list and repetition of “every” emphasises that anyone and everyone uses a pawnbrokers.

– Description of the exterior helps to develop further that hopeless mood and feeling.

– Transferred Epithet – it is the people who is lacking in energy – drained by the experience of the pawnbrokers.


Poetry Friday; Sheep – C. Kenneth Burrow

This is just a beautiful poem about bedraggled sheep who get a glimpse of the sun!



Huddled, rain-drenched, forlorn they stood,
Their fleeces blown one way;
The wet wind cried in solitude
About the failing day.

Leaves whirled below, aloft; the sky
Sagged like a sodden shroud;
No stir of life, no pleading cry,
Came from the draggled crowd.

Sudden the western portals wide
Opened on that gaunt fold;
Then lo, a flock beautified
With fleeces dripping gold!

C. Kennett Burrow

Analysis Monday – Foreign Correspondent

Every Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written it.

Feel free to add your own analysis in the comments!


“As a kid, I used to think that Foreign Correspondents were the most exciting of people. They were professional seekers of chaos, rushing to the scene of any global disaster, willingly hurling themselves into the fire. It’s what I always wanted to be.

Dom Joly

– Use of contrast to show how unusual these Foreign Correspondents are – they do a job in an area which is in meltdown, and they have to appear to be calm and efficient. Seekers also implies that they hunt for this chaos – that it is a conscious choice.

– Two words, action words, that builds from that idea of them being “Seekers” It shows the speed at which they work and also implies how they choose this life. It also adds to the idea that this is an exciting job.

– Two phrases which highlight the danger of what they are doing

– “Willingly” – builds on the idea of “Seekers” this is something they choose to do. Showing their adventerours, thrill-seeking side

– Simple sentence at the end of the quote and yet it reveals a lot about Dom Joly’s character. It is an effective end to this paragraph.



Poetry Friday; Firebird – Jean Kenward

There is nothing nicer than watching a real fire and the flames dance and fly up.


The Firebird’


Fire – what lets you leap and spring,

fluttering your golden wing in the soft

and smoky air,

sending sparkles everywhere?


Fire – what makes you as you are,

sharing light with sun and star –

sharing all that you may be

with anyone as small as me?


Fire – what show you how to fly smoke

in spirals to the sky?

And, when you sink down

to rest, gives you ashes for a nest?


Jean Kenward



Analysis Mondays – Bus

Every Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written.

Feel free to add your own comments/analysis below!


From a newspaper article about kids not being allowed to drive their bikes to school. (


Thus, every weekday morning, scores of idling cars line up behind dozens of buses disgorging waves of kids. Amidst this, Janette and Adam—each of whom was about 5 feet tall—seemed like a pair of diminutive daredevils wading into a tsunami.

– Use of the word “every” which emphasises that it happens all the time.

– “scores” and “Dozens” – layering up of words to reveal just how busy the school is

– disgorging is such a beautiful word and it again suggests the sheer amount of kids and also the chaotic nature of the movement

– Love the metaphor of these intrepid children managing their way through the chaos (tsunami) – again layering up your understanding through use of word choice. The clever use of diminutive reveals just how brave these children are to push their way through

Poetry Friday; Snow Day – Billy Collins

I found this beautiful poem through a good friend – and it is perfect for today!

Snow Day

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows
the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.
In a while, I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch
sending a cold shower down on us both.
But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news
that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed.
the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with—some will be delighted to hear—
the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and—clap your hands—the Peanuts Play School.
So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.
And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.

Analysis Monday – Blackpool

Every Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written.

Feel free to add your own comments/analysis below!

pablo-s-special-beautifulThis is a short quote that is (unfairly) cruel about eating in Blackpool!

“Just sniffing the air in Blackpool can harden the arteries. Every day prime ingredients arrive here and, before they can even pause to gulp the bracing air, are dumped in the deep fat fryer.”

Jay Rayner (

– This sums up a traditional activity – sniffing the air at a seaside resort to smell the sea – in this case Rayner turns this positive into a negative to show how fattening the food is in Blackpool

– The use of the word “prime” suggests that these are the best ingredients, that should be tasty and healthy but are not in Blackpool

– Use of personification – ties in with the first image – “just sniffing the air” – and also creates a humourous, flippant tone

– “dumped” – word choice – shows the lack of care and ceremony taken with food in Blackpool, is in contrast to the description of the ingredients as “prime.”

Poetry Friday; The Poetry Grand National – Roger Stevens

Love the central image of this poem – and how he uses what each of the features of language are to create this poem.



The Poetry Grand National

The horses line up

They’re under starter’s orders

They’re off


Adverb leaps gracefully over the first fence

Followed by adjective

A sleek grey


Simile is overtaking on the outside

Like a pebble skimming the water


Halfway round the course

And Hyperbole is gaining on the leaders

Travelling at a million miles an hour


Adverb strides smoothly into first place.


Haiku had good odds

But is far behind – and falls

At the last sylla-



And as they flash past the winning post

The crowd is cheering

The winner is


Who quietly takes a bow


Roger Stevens

Analysis Monday – Birthdays

Every Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written.

Feel free to add your own comments/analysis below!

amy lame'

“Birthdays plunge me into a great fog of dissatisfaction. It started on my 19th with a deep trepidation about leaving my teens. You could get away with just about anything by blaming it on teenageness but 20 seemed, like, totally old. Now 20 seems, like, totally a long time ago. A general feeling that I’ve under-achieved my way through life thus far is compounded by another year gone and not much changed. Yet another year where I failed to unpick life’s great mysteries: God, the universe and karaoke.”

Catriona Stewart (

– Great imagery – The imagery of the fog is perfect for describing that feeling that lingers around and makes it difficult to see your way through

– Trepdidation is the perfect word to use here- it implies the dread and fear that is felt as the writer gets a year younger.

– Use of teenage slang (,like, totally) helps to create an informal and humourous tone. It tells the reader that she isn’t taking herself totally seriously.

– Great use of the rule of three to help the self-mocking tone up. She uses an anti-climax (karaoke) to underscore the other two, more serious, points.


Poetry Friday; Valentine – Carol Ann Duffy

Thought this was the perfect Valentine’s poem – suitable for those in love and for those who are not!



Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.

It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.

It promises light

like the careful undressing of love.


It will blind you with tears

like a lover.

It will make your reflection

a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.

Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,

possessive and faithful

as we are,

for as long as we are.

Take it.

Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring,

if you like.


Its scent will cling to your fingers,

cling to your knife.
One of those poems that looks simple on first reading but reveals more the deeper you read.