Did I miss anything? - Tom Wayman

Essay by Sydneyx3mHigh School, 11th gradeA, February 2005

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1. a) Every stanza in this poem starts with one-word sentence fragment rather than a complete sentence. A sentence fragment is more effective because it represents the tone of the poem. With only one word used, the poet stresses that nothing or everything was missed without having to explain what exactly in the same sentence. This way one word explains and answers the question what was missed.

b) This poem has very little punctuation - capital letters and line breaks indicating the end of a though, but no punctuation at the end of the sentences. This use of punctuation affects the meaning of the poem because it doesn't finish the poet's idea and leaves the reader with thoughts, ideas and guesses of what else might be said, or might have happened.

2. a)

Stanza # Literal paraphrase of the text The ironic subtext - what is really meant

1 We couldn't do anything when you weren't here, so we just sat at our desks and did nothing.

Do you really think you're so important the whole world stops and twiddles its thumbs when you're not here?

2 I gave an exam worth 40 per cent and reading on which there's a quiz today worth 50 per cent of the term mark. Can you understand how much you miss when you're not in class?

3 Nothing in this course is valuable or meaningful and the activities done are pointless and won't matter to you or to me. Do you really think that missing the class means that nothing new and valuable was taught and that the exercises were assigned without a purpose?

4 Shortly after the beginning of the class an angel appeared and told us what one should do in order to reach perfect wisdom. It was the last day...