The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Affordable pricing from £10/month

Comparing Language in 'Climbing My Grandfather' and Other Poems

In this worksheet, students will be able to use this activity to practice their language comparison skills between 'Climbing My Grandfather' and other poems (in the Love and Relationships cluster).

'Comparing Language in 'Climbing My Grandfather' and Other Poems' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA

Curriculum topic:   Poetry

Curriculum subtopic:   Love and Relationships: 'Climbing My Grandfather'

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Want to compare your language comparison skills in 'Climbing My Grandfather' and other poems in your Love and Relationships cluster?

 

 

Thought bubble

 

 

Well, you've come to the right place. In this activity, you'll learn to practise comparing the way the poets use language to convey different and similar attitudes and ideas. 

 

 

In your exam, you'll do really well to compare the way that poets use language to present their attitudes. You'll do even better if you can compare the way they use language to show different/similar attitudes and ideas. You'll do the best if you can compare the language that is used and how it is used.

 

 

 

 

Here's an example of some good language comparison:

 

 

In 'Climbing My Grandfather', Waterhouse presents an extended metaphor of mountain climbing in words such as "traverse", "summit", "ridge", "net" and "rope". This metaphor symbolises the idea of emotional connection between the speaker and his grandfather through the physical act of climbing the grandfather. 'Sonnet 29' also uses extended metaphor, but very differently. The speaker is comparing her romantic and sexual love for her lover through the metaphor of nature, "my thoughts do twine and bud" and "rustle thy boughs and set thy trunk all bare" which conveys sexual love through natural imagery. 

"I decide to do it for free, without a rope or net..."

 

 

'Climbing My Grandfather' uses an extended metaphor to convey emotional closeness.

 

Tick one other poem which does this.

 

'Porphyria's Lover'

'Before You Were Mine'

'Singh Song!'

'Sonnet 29'

In 'Climbing My Grandfather', Waterhouse uses juxtaposition in the simile "like warm ice".

 

 

What other poem uses juxtaposition? Write the number of the correct answer down below.

1. 'Sonnet 29' ("As wild vines about a tree")

 

2. 'Neutral Tones' ("The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing, Alive enough to have the strength to die")

 

3. 'The Farmer's Bride' ("Her smile went out, and 'twasn't a woman- More like a little frightened fay")

 

4. 'Walking Away' ("With the pathos of a half-fledged thing...")

In 'Climbing My Grandfather', Waterhouse presents the theme of childhood, through symbolism and imagery.

 

What one other poem from the selection below also presents this theme? Write the title of the poem in the text box below.

 

'When We Two Parted'

'Love's Philosophy'

'Follower'

In 'Climbing My Grandfather', Waterhouse uses lots of adjectives to convey the grandfather ("screed cheek", "thick hair", "good heart").

 

What other poem uses the most adjectives to convey a subject?

 

'Neutral Tones'

'Sonnet 29'

'Porphyria's Lover'

How do 'Climbing My Grandfather' and 'Walking Away' use present continuous verbs (verbs which end in -ing).

 

Pick one number out of:

 

1. Where 'Climbing My Grandfather' uses present, continuous verbs to portray the immediate nature of a developing relationship between the speaker and his grandfather, 'Walking Away' uses present, continuous verbs to present the intensity of a painful memory.

 

2. Where 'Climbing My Grandfather' uses present, continuous verbs to portray the immediate nature of a stable relationship between the speaker and his grandfather, 'Walking Away' uses present, continuous verbs to present the intensity of a painful memory.

How does 'Climbing My Grandfather' use language devices which are similar to 'Winter Swans'?

 

 

Pick one option from below. Write the correct number in the text box.

 

1. Both poems use natural imagery and symbolism to connect nature to humanity. In 'Climbing', we have the extended metaphor, symbolically linking the grandfather to a mountain to be climbed. In 'Winter Swans', we have this relationship between the swans and the couple, where the couple are represented, and symbolically linked, to the swans.

 

2. Both poems use nature as a way of conveying an unchanging, positive relationship. In 'Climbing', we have the natural imagery of the "birds" and "clouds", which are positive things. In 'Winter Swans' we also have a positive relationship, which is reflected by nature.

Taking ideas from the question before, how are 'Climbing My Grandfather' and 'Mother, Any Distance' different in the way they present close relationships?

 

Fill out the table below.

Tick the devices which belong to 'Climbing My Grandfather' and/or 'Before You Were Mine'. Some devices are shared by both poems.

 MetaphorsSimilesPossessive pronounsAdjectivesDirect address ('you')Natural imageryContinuous present verbs
'Climbing My Grandfather'
'Before You Were Mine'

Name another poem where, like 'Climbing My Grandfather', there's a semantic field of nature.

 

Pick one out of the options below. Write the title in the text-box.

 

​'Mother Any Distance'

 

'Neutral Tones'

 

'When We Two Parted'

Last one! A little bit easier this time.

 

Name three language devices which link 'Climbing My Grandfather' with 'Follower'.

Extended metaphor/ metaphors

Semantic field

Present continuous verbs

Enjambement

Present tense verbs

Imagery of mountain climbing

  • Question 1

"I decide to do it for free, without a rope or net..."

 

 

'Climbing My Grandfather' uses an extended metaphor to convey emotional closeness.

 

Tick one other poem which does this.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
'Sonnet 29'
EDDIE SAYS
'Sonnet 29' uses an extended metaphor - one of natural imagery, which extends throughout the whole poem. Look at the quotes "my thoughts do twine and bud" and "let these bands of greenery which insphere thee..." at the beginning and end of the poem. Barratt-Browning uses this natural metaphor to show her speaker's feelings towards her lover.
  • Question 2

In 'Climbing My Grandfather', Waterhouse uses juxtaposition in the simile "like warm ice".

 

 

What other poem uses juxtaposition? Write the number of the correct answer down below.

1. 'Sonnet 29' ("As wild vines about a tree")

 

2. 'Neutral Tones' ("The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing, Alive enough to have the strength to die")

 

3. 'The Farmer's Bride' ("Her smile went out, and 'twasn't a woman- More like a little frightened fay")

 

4. 'Walking Away' ("With the pathos of a half-fledged thing...")

CORRECT ANSWER
2
EDDIE SAYS
Good work if you chose option two! Juxtaposition is present in the contrasting language of 'alive' and 'deadest'- note the hyperbole of "deadest". Hyperbole is when a thing is referred to as the most of something (a word that has est on the end of it).
  • Question 3

In 'Climbing My Grandfather', Waterhouse presents the theme of childhood, through symbolism and imagery.

 

What one other poem from the selection below also presents this theme? Write the title of the poem in the text box below.

 

'When We Two Parted'

'Love's Philosophy'

'Follower'

CORRECT ANSWER
'Follower'
EDDIE SAYS
Where 'Climbing My Grandfather' presents the theme of childhood as something which is implied, 'Follower' is quite explicit in the way it presents childhood, using past-tense verbs such as "worked", "would" and "strained" to emphasise the speaker's childhood. Similarly, a shift in time is more explicit in 'Follower', as we see in the last stanza. There's a shift between "I was", to a direct reference to the present in "but today".
  • Question 4

In 'Climbing My Grandfather', Waterhouse uses lots of adjectives to convey the grandfather ("screed cheek", "thick hair", "good heart").

 

What other poem uses the most adjectives to convey a subject?

 

'Neutral Tones'

'Sonnet 29'

'Porphyria's Lover'

CORRECT ANSWER
'Porphyria's Lover'
EDDIE SAYS
Out of all the poems, 'Porphyria's Lover' uses the most adjectives to convey a subject's physical features- "smooth, white shoulder", "yellow hair", "damp hair", "blue eyes", "rosy little head"... There's so many! What's the significance of using lots of adjectives to describe a subject's features? Does this enhance your understanding of the grandfather/Porphyria? Perhaps it's meant to enhance your understanding of the speakers in both poems, more than the subjects!
  • Question 5

How do 'Climbing My Grandfather' and 'Walking Away' use present continuous verbs (verbs which end in -ing).

 

Pick one number out of:

 

1. Where 'Climbing My Grandfather' uses present, continuous verbs to portray the immediate nature of a developing relationship between the speaker and his grandfather, 'Walking Away' uses present, continuous verbs to present the intensity of a painful memory.

 

2. Where 'Climbing My Grandfather' uses present, continuous verbs to portray the immediate nature of a stable relationship between the speaker and his grandfather, 'Walking Away' uses present, continuous verbs to present the intensity of a painful memory.

CORRECT ANSWER
1
EDDIE SAYS
Number one is the correct answer! The immediacy of the present continuous verbs are what makes them so interesting. They aren't just present, but they're continuous, giving them a cyclical or ongoing feel. So, in 'Climbing', this immediacy is presented in the climb, which represents a developing relationship. In 'Walking Away', this immediacy is portrayed within a memory. The memory is so painful and raw for the father (who's the speaker of the poem) that Day-Lewis uses present continuous verb to present immediate intensity.
  • Question 6

How does 'Climbing My Grandfather' use language devices which are similar to 'Winter Swans'?

 

 

Pick one option from below. Write the correct number in the text box.

 

1. Both poems use natural imagery and symbolism to connect nature to humanity. In 'Climbing', we have the extended metaphor, symbolically linking the grandfather to a mountain to be climbed. In 'Winter Swans', we have this relationship between the swans and the couple, where the couple are represented, and symbolically linked, to the swans.

 

2. Both poems use nature as a way of conveying an unchanging, positive relationship. In 'Climbing', we have the natural imagery of the "birds" and "clouds", which are positive things. In 'Winter Swans' we also have a positive relationship, which is reflected by nature.

CORRECT ANSWER
1
EDDIE SAYS
Is this getting easier? Both poems use natural imagery to connect human beings to nature.
  • Question 7

Taking ideas from the question before, how are 'Climbing My Grandfather' and 'Mother, Any Distance' different in the way they present close relationships?

 

Fill out the table below.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is a tricky one, so well done for having a go! Both poems play with the themes of distance and closeness. Where the speaker in 'Mother Any Distance' begins quite close with his mother (the subject), he ends the poem separate and independent. This is kind of the opposite in 'Climbing'- the speaker seems to want to build a close relationship with this grandfather.
  • Question 8

Tick the devices which belong to 'Climbing My Grandfather' and/or 'Before You Were Mine'. Some devices are shared by both poems.

CORRECT ANSWER
 MetaphorsSimilesPossessive pronounsAdjectivesDirect address ('you')Natural imageryContinuous present verbs
'Climbing My Grandfather'
'Before You Were Mine'
EDDIE SAYS
Hopefully, this table will help you revise the differences and similarities. Remember, differences are important, but so are similarities. And if these differences and similarities are expressed through language, structure and even form, then try and find a way to explain how. The simplest explanation will do - start from there and then you can go into detail and start linking language features to themes. E.g: both 'Climbing' and 'Before You Were Mine' use adjectives, yes, but what are these adjectives describing? Are they showing similar attitudes/personality types, or different?
  • Question 9

Name another poem where, like 'Climbing My Grandfather', there's a semantic field of nature.

 

Pick one out of the options below. Write the title in the text-box.

 

​'Mother Any Distance'

 

'Neutral Tones'

 

'When We Two Parted'

CORRECT ANSWER
'Neutral Tones'
EDDIE SAYS
'Neutral Tones' shares a semantic field of nature with 'Climbing'. But, what's more interesting, other than the cool device used, is the fact that both poems use the same semantic field to present very different relationships!
  • Question 10

Last one! A little bit easier this time.

 

Name three language devices which link 'Climbing My Grandfather' with 'Follower'.

CORRECT ANSWER
Extended metaphor/ metaphors
Semantic field
Present continuous verbs
EDDIE SAYS
Both poems share a range of language devices. Think about how these language devices show similar/different themes. Remember, semantic field is basically lots of words which prove that there's a running theme/motif in the poem. Most poems share a semantic field, you just have to find it! So, in 'Follower', there's a semantic field of ploughing/farming; in 'Climbing', hopefully, you've realised there's a semantic field of mountain climbing!
---- OR ----

Sign up for a £1 trial so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started
laptop

Start your £1 trial today.
Subscribe from £10/month.