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CCEA Curriculum Monitoring Programme 2018-19
This is our legacy website and will no longer be kept uptodate from Monday 20th January 2020.

Suggested tasks for students

Questions on the poem

  1. How does the speaker personify the river in the opening verses?
  2. How does the speaker convey his sense of fear and disgust at the sight of the rat in verses 3 and 4?
  3. Comment on the use of pause in verse 3.
  4. How does the speaker characterise the rat in verse 6?
  5. How does Heaney suggest a turning point in the speaker’s development?
  6. How does Heaney recreate the natural rhythms of speech?

Areas for discussion

Childhood fears and phobias

The importance of memories

Nature and its dangers