All languages follow rules of grammar. Sometimes these rules are both confusing and amusing. How logical is English, according to the unknown writer of this poem?
I said, "This'horse, sir, will you shoe?"
I said, "This deed, sir, will you do?"
I said, "This stick, sir, will you break?"
I said, "This coat, sir, will you make?"
1. What four things does the speaker of this poem ask to have done?
A riddle is a puzzling question with a clever answer. Read these English riddles. Try to determine why each was so popular.
1) If Dick's father is John's son,
2) Noah of old three babies had,
3) The man who made it did not want it.
4) Thirty white horses upon a red hill;
5) Two brothers we are,
6) From Heaven I fall, though from earth I begin;
7) As I was going to St. Ives
Answers: 1) grandson 2) Noah 3) coffin 4) teeth
1. How would you answer riddles I and 2? Are there any tricks involved in these riddles?
Telling a lie can seem an easy way out of a difficult situation. Read this poem to see what the poet feels about the dangers of telling a lie.
Dare to be true;
The fault that needs one most
1. According to the speaker, when is a lie “needed"?
by Robert Herrick
Do you always make the most of every moment? What advice does this poem offer about how to live our lives?
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,
That age is best which is the first,
Then be not coy, but use your time;
1. To whom is the speaker giving advice in this poem?
Love is a favorite theme of poets. In what unusual way does this poet express his love for Celia? Is she worthy of his love?
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
1. What does the speaker ask of Celia in the first line? What will he do in return?
by Richard Lovelace
People have different ideas about what it means to be “honorable.” How does the speaker in this poem define the word?
Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
True, a new mistress now I chase,
Yet this inconstancy is such
1. Who is the speaker addressing in the first line?