Thomas Hardy's "Channel Firing"
Presented by Rob Weatherston, Colette Campbell, and Sarah Langley; Education 4280 Section YA (Intermediate/Senior English Curriculum and Instruction)Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
Knowledge: Identify three speakers/ different voices in the poem.
Application: Keeping in mind the substance of God's speech, predict the outcome of the potential war between two current nations in opposition to one another, e. g., the United States and Afghanistan.
Analysis: Analyze the significance of God's speech. What is He saying about the nature of humans?
Questions from previous years:
1. Why did you as readers divide the poem as you did?
2. Who is the poet talking about?
3. Why does the persona mention "Stourton Tower," "Camelot," and "Stonehenge"? What is the coonection or similarity between these places?
4. What is the effect of evoking an image of Stonehenge in the reader's mind?
5. What is a "glebe cow"? How is it important in the poem?
6. What is Stourton Tower? Why is it significant?
7. Who are the speakers in the poem? What is their relationship?
8. Who is "fighting," or preparing to wage war by holding "gunnery practice"?
9. Are the people in the poem dead? What is the purpose of the references to "worms," "coffins," and "skeletons"?
10. Suggest why the poem has been divided up into four line stanzas.
11. Who is doing the "firing" that disturbs the tranquility of the speaker and his neighbours?
12. Who is the main speaker in relation to the others in the poem?
13. Is Hardy's perspective about a specific war, war in general (both?), or a preomonition about the First World War? Explain.
14. Why should this be considered primarily an anti-war poem rather than a poem about the supernatural?
15. What initial improbability must the reader overcome to "suspend disbelief"?
Last modified December 18, 2001