Fragmented Poem: Hitcher

From my previous blog (The English Magpie) in 2008 on unrolling a poem.

The English Magpie

Today my year 11s were studying the brilliant Armitage poem, ‘Hitcher’. As a starter, before reading the poem, they were asked to write a story. Their story began with a man ill in bed with the aswerphone blaring out the message, ‘Come into work today or you’re fired!’ From there on they had to write a story that included the following things: Vauxhall Astra, Leeds, toothbrush, twelve noon, hitchiker, krooklok and weather: moderate to fair. We ended up with some pretty interesting creations – including one with quite a fixation on the toothbrush and its ability to start the car etc.

 Following this activity, pairs/threes were given a post-it note with a fragment of the poem. For example:

  • but the ansaphone kept screaming
  • One more sick-note, mister, and you’re finished. Fired.
  • I picked him up in Leeds.
  • I let him have it
  • – and didn’t even swerve.
  • bouncing off the kerb, then disappearing down the verge.

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