Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment
CCEA Curriculum Monitoring Programme 2018-19

Suggested tasks for students

Questions on the poem

  1. Explain what is involved in the process of potato gathering in stanzas 1 and 2.
  2. Comment on the physical difficulties involved in gathering in a crop.
  3. The gatherers are compared to several things in the opening stanzas. Explain what these comparisons help you to imagine.
  4. Who is the ‘black Mother’ of stanza 3?
  5. There is a religious quality to the poem. Identify images of worship.
  6. Explain the belief in the ‘famine god’.
  7. What is the labourer’s work symbolic of?

Areas for discussion

Beliefs are evident in the poem

The poem conveys the difficulties of such an activity

Challenges our complacency about where our food comes from?