Notes: Clocks

Your questions about Clocks
The Poem is not on the website.

Dear Ms Clarke, I was wondering if you could please clarify your intentions in your piece and how you wanted to describe your relationship and how you wanted it to come across with your son entitled “Clocks” dedicated to Cai. This would be extremely generous and helpful, thank you.

1 My intention:  to tell you, the reader, about something that happened. Look at every word. Use the dictioanry. Google dandelions.

2 Look at the dandelion pictures: golden flower, and seed head. Read. Think.

3 Read the poem for meaning – everything you need is there. All clear and grammatically correct. Follow it.

4 Adult and small child. I do not tell you he is my son. Assume nothing. However, you can write your guess in your exam: something like ‘a small boy, maybe a son, or grandson.’

5 Read for sound – the word-music that makes it a poem, not a story – though it tells a little story too.

Verse 1: Follow the ‘story’. All children ‘name’ things. Say Ffwff-ffwff (pronounced foof-foof) out loud. Sounds like blowing?

lines 4-5: a game we play with children. (I don’t expect you to know this, as it is a cultural matter, but I do expect your teachers to find out and help you). We play ‘tell the time’ by blowing a dandelion seed-head, or ‘clock’. The seeds fly away with every blow (sounds like foof?) Blow, 1 o’clock, blow, 2 o’clock, etc

Verse 2: follow the story, to the magic moment when he listens to the sea, and hears the sound of the wave as ‘ffwff, ffwff’, then looks at the daylight moon, and gives us a beautiful metaphor, final line.