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Compare the Content in Both 'Kamikaze' and 'Poppies'

In this worksheet, students will identify the key themes in both 'Kamikaze' and 'Poppies' and explain the similarities between the two poems.

'Compare the Content in Both 'Kamikaze' and 'Poppies'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA

Curriculum topic:   Poetry

Curriculum subtopic:   Power and Conflict: 'Kamikaze'

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

For this activity, you will need to turn to the poem 'Kamikaze' by Beatrice Garland and 'Poppies' by Jane Weir. Both poems can be found in the Power and Conflict section of your anthology.

 

planepoppies

 

Both poems highlight the effects that conflict can have on families and men who go to war. The poems use strong imagery to describe how families are destroyed by the end of the poem and will never be the same again. The sadness created in both poems shows the difficulty of internal conflict too. The pilot in 'Kamikaze', who struggles between his love for his country and his need to turn around, and the mother in 'Poppies', who longs to tell her son not to go to war, but also knows that she must allow him this freedom.


In the following questions, you will look further at the similarities between the two poems.

 
 
 

falling plane

 

In order to identify the similarities in 'Kamikaze' and 'Poppies', we need to understand their meaning. Read the poem 'Kamikaze' and match the questions to the correct answers below:

 

Column A

Column B

Who is the narrator of the poem?
He realises what he is about to destroy and lose
What is a 'Kamikaze'?
It is the name for Japanese fighter pilots who wer...
Why does the pilot decide to turn back?
The daughter of the Kamikaze pilot
What happens to the pilot when he returns home?
His family and neighbours ignore him for the rest ...

War graves cemetery

 

Now read the poem 'Poppies' and match the questions to their answers below:

Column A

Column B

Who is the speaker in this poem?
A poppy
What does the mother recall playing with her son?
Being Eskimos
What does she compare his gelled hair with?
The mother
What does she remember pinning to his lapel?
A songbird
What does the speaker release from its cage?
Blackthorns

Patriotism is displayed in both poems.

 

Patriotism = devotion to and vigorous support for one's country

 

The quotations below are all from 'Kamikaze'. Which one do you think supports the idea of patriotism?

"On a green-blue translucent sea"

"A shaven head full of powerful incantations"

"Recounting it later to her children"

"And though he came back"

Now, let's compare the patriotism expressed in 'Kamikaze', with how it is expressed in 'Poppies'.

 

poppy memorial

 

The quotations below are all from 'Poppies'. Choose one which you think shows the patriotism of the mother, even though she doesn't want her son to go to war.

"Before you left, I pinned one onto your lapel"

"Sellotape bandaged around my hand"

"On reaching the top of the hill"

Both poems use nature as a way of signalling a moment of realisation in the narrators.

 

 

underwater sea

 

 

The pilot is struck by the beauty of the nature below him. Choose the quotation which you think reflects this idea:

 

 

"Her father embarked at sunrise"

"On a green-blue translucent sea"

"And his brothers waiting on the shore"

Now, let's compare how nature is used in 'Kamikaze', with how it is used in 'Poppies'.

 

dove

 

 

The following quotations are all from 'Poppies'. Choose the one which you think shows how nature makes the mother decide to give her son freedom.

 

 

 

"A split second and you were away"

"After you'd gone I went into your bedroom, released a song bird from its cage"

"On reaching the top of the hill"

Both poems also look at the power of childhood memories.

 

The pilot looks at the scene below him and remembers a scene from his own childhood.

 

pebbles on beach

 

Choose the quotation below which you think supports the idea of childhood memories.

"Like a huge flag waved first one way"

"The dark shoals of fishes"

"Till gradually we too learned"

"Remembered how he and his brothers waiting on the shore"

Now, let's compare how the idea of childhood memories is used in 'Kamikaze', with how it is used in 'Poppies'.

 

love heart

 

Let's have a look at the mother first in the poem 'Poppies'. Think about how memories of her son cause her sadness; both happy memories of him as a boy and the painful memory of the day he went to war.

 

Which quotations do you think express her memories, and which do not?

 Quotations associated with MemoriesQuotations NOT associated with Memories
"Play at being Eskimos like we did when you were little"
"On reaching the top of the hill"
"After you'd gone I went into your bedroom"
"The dove pulled freely against the sky"
"Hoping to hear your playground voice catching on the wind"

Both poems create the idea of internal conflict, which means that they have a struggle between two ideas and emotions within themselves.

 

 

boats

 

 

The following quotations are all from 'Kamikaze'. Which one do you think describes the moment that the pilot realises the beauty of what he will destroy?

"And though he came back"

"Little fishing boats strung out like bunting"

"Her father embarked at sunrise"

Now, let's compare how internal conflict is presented in 'Kamikaze', with how it is presented in 'Poppies'.

 

soldier fighting

 

Let's have a look at the mother in the poem 'Poppies'. Think about how she hides her feelings, even though she wants to tell her son not to go to war.

 

Which quotations do you think express her internal conflict, and which do not?

 Quotations associated with Internal ConflictQuotations NOT associated with Internal Conflict
"Steeled the softening of my face"
"A split second and you were away"
"I resisted the impulse"
"Later a single dove flew"
"All my words flattened rolled"
"My stomach busy"
"Reaching the top of the hill"
  • Question 1

falling plane

 

In order to identify the similarities in 'Kamikaze' and 'Poppies', we need to understand their meaning. Read the poem 'Kamikaze' and match the questions to the correct answers below:

 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Who is the narrator of the poem?
The daughter of the Kamikaze pilo...
What is a 'Kamikaze'?
It is the name for Japanese fight...
Why does the pilot decide to turn...
He realises what he is about to d...
What happens to the pilot when he...
His family and neighbours ignore ...
EDDIE SAYS
'Kamikaze', a narrative poem, explores a Kamikaze pilot’s journey towards battle, his decision to return, and how he is shunned when he returns home. The story is told by his daughter to her children and there is a sense that, as the generations have passed, there is now sympathy towards the pilot.
  • Question 2

War graves cemetery

 

Now read the poem 'Poppies' and match the questions to their answers below:

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Who is the speaker in this poem?
The mother
What does the mother recall playi...
Being Eskimos
What does she compare his gelled ...
Blackthorns
What does she remember pinning to...
A poppy
What does the speaker release fro...
A songbird
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? The poem is about the nature of grief. The mother is speaking directly to her son, but a son who shifts in time. There is: The son leaving home for school on his own for the first time. The son who has just been killed. Beneath the surface, the son dying violently in a field hospital in Afghanistan.
  • Question 3

Patriotism is displayed in both poems.

 

Patriotism = devotion to and vigorous support for one's country

 

The quotations below are all from 'Kamikaze'. Which one do you think supports the idea of patriotism?

CORRECT ANSWER
"A shaven head full of powerful incantations"
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "A shaven head full of powerful incantations" supports the idea of patriotism, as it describes how the fighter pilot felt as he set off on his journey. His "shaven head" was part of the army uniform and "incantations" are sayings which he would have been repeating to show his love for his country as a good luck charm. At the start of the poem, he is willing to give his life for his country.
  • Question 4

Now, let's compare the patriotism expressed in 'Kamikaze', with how it is expressed in 'Poppies'.

 

poppy memorial

 

The quotations below are all from 'Poppies'. Choose one which you think shows the patriotism of the mother, even though she doesn't want her son to go to war.

CORRECT ANSWER
"Before you left, I pinned one onto your lapel"
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "Before you left, I pinned one onto your lapel" shows that, although the mother is upset that her son is going to war, she still wants to present him correctly to honour his country. The use of the poppy is a symbol of respect for those who have died fighting for their country, and the mother is keen to show this.
  • Question 5

Both poems use nature as a way of signalling a moment of realisation in the narrators.

 

 

underwater sea

 

 

The pilot is struck by the beauty of the nature below him. Choose the quotation which you think reflects this idea:

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
"On a green-blue translucent sea"
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "on a green-blue translucent sea" is used to describe how astounded the pilot is by the beauty of what he views below. The violence that he set out with suddenly seems unimportant compared to the sea and wildlife below him. The sea seems much more important than the politics and violence of war, and he is unable to cause destruction to something so amazing.
  • Question 6

Now, let's compare how nature is used in 'Kamikaze', with how it is used in 'Poppies'.

 

dove

 

 

The following quotations are all from 'Poppies'. Choose the one which you think shows how nature makes the mother decide to give her son freedom.

 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
"After you'd gone I went into your bedroom, released a song bird from its cage"
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get the right quote? Releasing the bird is a metaphor for the mother letting her son go. The songbird is something that she values, something that brings her joy - but she knows that she needs to set it free. Later the songbird is also referred to as a dove, which is a symbol of peace. This could refer to the peace that the boy has found in death.
  • Question 7

Both poems also look at the power of childhood memories.

 

The pilot looks at the scene below him and remembers a scene from his own childhood.

 

pebbles on beach

 

Choose the quotation below which you think supports the idea of childhood memories.

CORRECT ANSWER
"Remembered how he and his brothers waiting on the shore"
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "remembered how he and his brothers waiting on the shore" relates to the idea of childhood memories, as it describes an image from the pilot's childhood, when he remembers playing on the beach with his brothers. This memory makes him reconsider what he is about to do, as he imagines the innocent people who may be doing a similar thing below.
  • Question 8

Now, let's compare how the idea of childhood memories is used in 'Kamikaze', with how it is used in 'Poppies'.

 

love heart

 

Let's have a look at the mother first in the poem 'Poppies'. Think about how memories of her son cause her sadness; both happy memories of him as a boy and the painful memory of the day he went to war.

 

Which quotations do you think express her memories, and which do not?

CORRECT ANSWER
 Quotations associated with MemoriesQuotations NOT associated with Memories
"Play at being Eskimos like we did when you were little"
"On reaching the top of the hill"
"After you'd gone I went into your bedroom"
"The dove pulled freely against the sky"
"Hoping to hear your playground voice catching on the wind"
EDDIE SAYS
This was a tricky one! Much of the poem is centred around the mother's memories, both of her son's childhood and the day he went to war. Memories of his childhood cause her both pleasure and pain because, although it was a happy time, she now misses those times with him. The use of the past tense such as "pinned one onto your lapel" suggests that this was something that has already happened that she remembers vividly.
  • Question 9

Both poems create the idea of internal conflict, which means that they have a struggle between two ideas and emotions within themselves.

 

 

boats

 

 

The following quotations are all from 'Kamikaze'. Which one do you think describes the moment that the pilot realises the beauty of what he will destroy?

CORRECT ANSWER
"Little fishing boats strung out like bunting"
EDDIE SAYS
The quotation "Little fishing boats strung out like bunting" relates to the pilot's internal conflict. The pilot is torn between his earlier determination to carry out his mission and his new desire to not destroy the beautiful image of nature below him. The pilot links the image to his own memories of his home and family, who also made money from fishing. He has to decide which option to take.
  • Question 10

Now, let's compare how internal conflict is presented in 'Kamikaze', with how it is presented in 'Poppies'.

 

soldier fighting

 

Let's have a look at the mother in the poem 'Poppies'. Think about how she hides her feelings, even though she wants to tell her son not to go to war.

 

Which quotations do you think express her internal conflict, and which do not?

CORRECT ANSWER
 Quotations associated with Internal ConflictQuotations NOT associated with Internal Conflict
"Steeled the softening of my face"
"A split second and you were away"
"I resisted the impulse"
"Later a single dove flew"
"All my words flattened rolled"
"My stomach busy"
"Reaching the top of the hill"
EDDIE SAYS
This poem is full of internal conflict and the hardest thing for the mother is that she cannot tell her son how she really feels! For her son's sake, she keeps her emotions bottled up so that she doesn't upset him. The mother struggles to keep the sadness from her face on the day her son goes to war and, by the end of the poem, she is left leaning against a war memorial because her emotions have become too powerful to handle. You've completed the activity! Why not give another one a go?
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