Monday, 28 July 2014

Reading comprehension
This post is meant for students who have studied English for ten to twelve years.

It suggests preparation of reading comprehension exercises to accommodate both quick and below-average learners so they can learn without constraints. The exercises help learners comprehend passages, short and long, and the messages they carry. I’ve termed each exercise as ‘learning experience’. The activities provide a link to what they already know (linguistic and general, both lexis and syntax) to what they’ll gain from these experiences. Also, ‘help’ is provided for ‘below average’ learners so that they’re not embarrassed to seek help either from the teacher or their neighbours. This ‘help’ will hopefully encourage these learners to become involved.

Of course, the teacher must have already identified the ‘quick’ and the ‘below average’ learners.

Passage One
1. Learning objectives
i.  read a passage for and with comprehension by reading in chunks
ii. learn expressions (words and phrases)
iii. read loudly and silently
iv. arrive at a summary by identifying the topic, main and subordinate ideas, by putting the
     main ideas together.
v. make generalisations by discussing critically

2. expressions that may need explanation
• values                            --opinions and feelings about concepts such as success, failure,
                                            learning, leadership
• relative                           --not definitive or absolute, varying from person to person
• pet definitions and }         definitions and descriptions about which we have strong feelings; 
   and descriptions     }       --if necessary we support them when talking about them
• committed to a       }      
   profession              }        --morally bound to a profession      

3. the passage
Teaching in large classes
1 Let me begin with the conclusion. 2 Success or failure is determined to a large extent by performers other than us in the human drama we are part of. 3Learners, syllabus designers, examining bodies, to mention a few. 4Besides, success and failure express values and are hence relative terms. 5We have our own pet definitions and descriptions. 6However, perform we must for we are committed to a profession.

Learning experience 1
Spend 45 minutes so that every student, having reading difficulty, gets a chance to practise.

Some of you may have reading problems. You may be in the habit of going back to where you started before continuing to read; you may be using your finger to continue to read; you may be mouthing the words or moving your lips.
While reading, our eyes take short and long jumps and put words together in small and large bunches (groups). We don’t read every word separately. We don’t pause (stop) at every word. We read words in groups; we call these groups sense groups because meaning comes to us when we read words in groups. As you read, pause only where you find the slash (/). Read as many times as you wish. And then read silently until you get the pauses right. You’ll find now you’re able to understand the passage better.
Ask ‘quick’ readers to mark passage 1 with the minimum number of slashes (/) without of course looking down the page or at the next page where it’s marked so for the benefit of the ‘below average’ learner.    

As the second group are learning to read in groups, ask quick learners to read silently and check the results, appreciate the effort or ask them to take a look at the passage below or in the next page with the minimum pauses—13.

This is now for the ‘below average’ learner:

The reading passage is repeated below three times; the first reading begins with the maximum sense groups, the second reading will include more words in each sense group, the third reading will provide you with the minimum sense groups. 

For instance, read each word in the first sentence individually and then read the words in groups. You’ll see that your mind is unable to get the meaning of the sentence when you read words individually but it’s able to get the meaning when you read words in groups.

Pause at every word
Let/ me/ begin/ with/ the/ conclusion./ Success/ or/ failure/ is/ determined/ to/ a/ large/ extent/ by/ performers/ other/ than/ us/ in/ the/ human drama/ we/ are/part/of./ Learners,/ syllabus designers,/ examining bodies, /to/ mention/ a/ few./ Besides,/ success/ and/ failure/ express/ values/ and/ are/ hence/ relative/ terms./ We/ have/ our/ own/ pet/ definitions/ and/ descriptions./ However,/ perform/ we/ must/ for/ we/ are/ committed/ to/ a/ profession./

Read the words individually:
Let/ me/ begin/ with/ the/ conclusion./

Here you read each word separately and paused (stopped) six times. Because you read each word separately, getting meaning becomes difficult.

Read the words in groups:
Let me/ begin/ with the conclusion./   

Here you read words in 3 small groups, now meaning becoming clear to you.

I’m sure you can see the difference between the two ways. Getting meaning is difficult in the first one while getting meaning is easy in the second one. When we read or speak, it’s natural for us to put words into small or large groups.
Read the words now:
Let me begin/ with the conclusion./

Here you see it’s possible to increase the words in each sense group.

Read the words now:
Let me begin with the conclusion./ 

Here you see it’s possible to read the sentence in one go.

As you can see, you began with 6 pauses (stops), reduced them to 3 in the second attempt, reduced it to 2 in the third attempt, and reduced it to 1 in the fourth attempt.

Now you know you shouldn’t stop at every word but after a few words providing you meaning.

Putting words into small groups
Let me/ begin/ with the conclusion./ Success or failure/ is determined/ to a large extent/ by performers/ other than us/ in the human drama/ we are part of./ Learners,/ syllabus designers,/ examining bodies,/ to mention a few./ Besides,/ success and failure/ express values/ and are/ hence relative terms./ We have/ our own/ pet definitions/ and descriptions./ However,/ perform we must for/ we are committed/ to a profession./ (27 stops)

Practise reading this passage.
Putting more words into groups, making each group larger
Let me begin/ with the conclusion./ Success or failure is determined/ to a large extent/ by performers other than us/ in the human drama/ we are part of./ Learners,/ syllabus designers,/ examining bodies,/ to mention a few./ Besides,/ success and failure express values/ and are hence relative terms./ We have our own/ pet definitions and descriptions./ However,/ perform we must for/ we are committed to a profession./ (19 stops)

Putting maximum number of words, making each group as large as possible
Let me begin with the conclusion./ Success or failure is determined to a large extent/ by performers other than us in the human drama we are part of./ Learners,/ syllabus designers,/ examining bodies,/ to mention a few./ Besides,/ success and failure express values and are hence relative terms./ We have our own pet definitions and descriptions./ However,/ perform we must/ for we are committed to a profession./  (13 stops)

Such reading also helps you with your reading speed.      

Learning experience 2
Here you’ll learn to understand certain expressions used in the passage so you may understand what the writer is telling us.
‘Help’ is provided below the questions only for the ‘below average’ learner.

Use 15 minutes to answer and 30 minutes for discussion.
a. Who may ‘us’ be referring to?
b. i. What does ‘human drama’ refer to?
   ii. Why does the writer use this expression?
c. To what phrase in S.2 does S.3 refer?
d. Whose success or failure is S.2 referring to?
e. Which two words tell us that definitions of success and failure can differ from person to
    person?
f. Why does the writer use the word ‘pet’?
g. Why does the writer use ‘performers’ and NOT ‘actors’?

While the second group are answering, check the responses of the ‘quick’ ones.
Ask them to respond to ‘Learning experience 5’  meant for them.

Learning experience 3
Write down the summary of the passage in one sentence.

Learning experience 4
The quick learners respond to this and the below average learners listen to their responses and learn how to discuss a topic.
a. Do you agree with the writer that success or failure in teaching depends on the learners
    rather than on teachers themselves? Give reasons.
b. What does ‘commitment’ to a profession mean? For instance, learning is, in a manner of     
    speaking, a profession like teaching. What does ‘commitment’ to learning mean?

Learning experience 5
Write a paraphrase of this passage.
Your teacher has already checked some of your responses. Read them to the class so ‘below average’ learners can understand what ‘paraphrasing’ means and how this can be done.

Help for below average learner
L.e. 2
a. to get the answer, connect ‘teaching’ the title with the last word in the passage. 
b. i. to get the answer, use the answer to ‘a’ and S 3 in the passage.
   ii. to get the answer, you need to use what you already know about ‘drama’ and ‘human’
       and what they imply and connect it to answer to (i).
c. S.3 contains examples of people in S.2
d. the answer is the same as that of ‘a’.
e. read S.4.
f. you must know the meaning and implication of ‘pet’.
g. To answer, you must know what we normally by ‘actor’ to get the distinction between the
    two words.
L.e. 3
Approach 1
a. What’s the topic of the paragraph? (it’s in the first sentence)
b. Write down the main ideas and subordinate ideas.
    Main idea is closest to the topic. Subordinate ideas expand the main idea.
c. Put the main ideas together to get the summary.

Approach 2
a. All the words in the paragraph are important, but some are more important than others.
    These some words contain the main ideas. Write down these words (they are only five and
    are found in S.1, S.2 and S.6)
b. Only one of these words contains the topic. Choose this word.
c. Some ideas are directly connected to the topic and others are indirectly connected to the
    topic (they only support and expand).
    Write down these ‘directly connected’ idea(s).
d. Now combine ‘a’ and ‘c’ and you get the summary. 
___________________________________________________________________________
Passage Two
Learning objectives
You will
1. read the passage for comprehension using the slashes
2. comprehend the passage as a whole (skim) and in parts (scan)
    and express this in writing and discussion
3. understand and apply the concepts of hypothesis and analysis  

       It was autumn again,/ October,/ his sixth year in the monastery./  The ruddy glow of     
      sunset /tinted the brilliant maples on the hill./ He heard the rattle/ of the serving hatch,
      then the familiar scrape and thump of a cup and bowl/ being set on the shelf/ beside his
      door. /

    5 He glanced toward the tiny hole/ at the base of the workman wall/ where Stuart Little
       suddenly appeared. /The mouse sat on his haunches,/ raising its forearms /to brush his
       whiskers. /

       All you need /is a knife, fork and bib,/ Drew silently joked,/ amused at/ how the rattle of
       the serving hatch/ had become Stuart Little’s dinner bell./

  10 The mouse scurried over/ as Drew brought the meal/ to the workbench./ Bread and  
       water;/ another fast-day./ His stomach rumbling,/ he noticed Stuart/ trying to climb up his
       robe, /and with a sigh of feigned disgust,/ he tore a piece of bread,/ tossing it down to the
       mouse. /He sat at the bench and bowed his head, /pressing his hands together praying. /

       You know, Stuart, /he thought as he finished, /you’re getting greedy./ I ought to make
  15 you wait to eat/ till grace is finished./ A little religion/ wouldn’t hurt you./ How would y
       you feel about that, huh?/

       He glanced toward the mouse on the floor./

       And frowned./ The mouse lay on its side,/ unmoving./ Drew stared in surprise,/ not  
       moving either./ His chest tensed./ Shocked,/ he held his breath,/ then blinked and    
  20 inhaling slowly,/ bent down to touch Stuart’s side./

       It remained inert./




Drew gently nudged it, feeling the soft sleek fur, but got no response. His throat seemed lined with sand. As he swallowed painfully, he picked Stuart up. The mouse lay still in his palm. It weighed almost nothing. But the weight was dead.

25 Drew’s stomach felt cold. In dismay, he shook his head, baffled. A minute ago, the mouse
      had practically been dancing for its supper.

Was it old age, he wondered. A heart attack? Or a stroke? He didn’t know much about mice, but he vaguely recalled having read somewhere that they didn’t live long. A year or two.

      But that was in the wild, exposed to predators, disease, and cold. What about here, in the
30  cell? He strained to think, telling himself that even with warmth and good care, Stuart
      Little had been bound to die. There wasn’t any way to know how old it had been when it
      showed up last autumn, but in human terms by now it might have been ninety.

      I shouldn’t be surprised. By feeding it, I merely postponed...If it hadn’t died today...

      Tomorrow.

35  He bit his lip, grieving as he set the small corpse back on the floor. And felt guilty  
      because he grieved. A Carthusian was supposed to shut all worldly distractions. God
      alone mattered. The mouse had been temptation that he should have resisted. Now God
      was punishing him, teaching him why he shouldn’t become infatuated with transitory
      creatures.

 40 Death.

      Drew shuddered. No. I wouldn’t change anything. The mouse was fun to have around.
      I’m glad I took care of it.

      His eyes stung, making him blink repeatedly as stared down at his lifeless friend. Terrible
      thoughts occurred to him. What should he do with the body? For sure, he wasn’t going to 45  have a custodian brother dispose of it, perhaps even dump it in the trash. The mouse  
      deserved better. The dignity of burial.

       But where? Through misted vision, he glanced toward his workroom window. Sunset
       had turned to dusk, casting his garden into shadow.

       A cedar bush grew in a corner of the wall. Yes, Drew thought. He’d bury Stuart Little
 50  beneath the shrub. An evergreen, it lived all year. Even in winter, it color would be a  
       reminder.

       His throat felt swollen, aching each time he swallowed. Thirsty, he reached for his cup of
       water, raised it toward his lips, glanced past it toward the thick slab of bread in his bowl.






       And paused.

55  His spine began to tingle.

      He peered down at the bread on the floor, the chunk he’d thrown to Stuart Little. He
      stared at the water in the cup he held. And slowly, cautiously, making sure that no
      liquid spilled over the top,  he eased the container back down on the table.     
      Reflexively, he wiped his hands on the front of his robe.

60  No, he thought. It couldn’t be.

      But what if you’re not imagining?

      His suspicion filled him with shame. In his sixth stern year of penance, did he still
      retain the habit of thinking as he had in his former life? Had his training been that
      effective?

65  Were his instincts that resistant to change?

       But just supposing. You know, for the sake of argument. What kind might it be? Did it
       kill on contact?

       Tensing, he stared at his hands. No, he ‘d touched the mouse. And the bread. Just a
       minute ago. But the mouse had died quickly. In the time Drew had taken to close his    
 70  eyes and say grace. If it’s poison and it kills on contact, even with my greater size, I
       ought to be dead, too.

        He breathed.

        All right, then, it had to be ingested. (You’ve got to stop thinking this way.)

        And it’s powerful. Almost instantaneous.

 75   Assuming it’s poison.

        Of course, just assuming. After all, it’s still possible that Stuart Little died from natural  
        causes.  (But what would have you thought six years ago?)

        He struggled to repress his terrible memories. Now God’s testing me again. He’s using
        this death to learn if I’ve truly purged myself. A man of detachment would never think 80    like this. (But in the old days... Yes? you thought this way all the time.)

        He narrowed his vision till all he saw was the unmoving mouse on the floor. Slowly,    
        frowning so hard he felt the beginnings of a headache, he raised his eyes toward the
        serving hatch beside his door.

        The hatch was closed. But beyond was a corridor. (No, it makes no sense. Not HERE,
85    not NOW! Who? Why?)   






     Besides, he was merely guessing. The only way to know for sure if the bread had been
     poisoned  was to...

     Taste it? Hardly.

     Have it tested? That would take too long.

90 But there was another way. He could investigate the monastery. He stiffened with doubt.   
     The notion repelled him.

     But under the circumstances...

     He stared at the door. In the six years he’d  been here, he’d left his quarters seldom, only
     to convene with the other monks for mandatory communal rituals. Those ventures outside
95 had been keenly disturbing to him, nerve-racking intrusions on his peace of mind.

     But under the circumstances...

     He wiped his sweaty lip. His years of disciplined regimen told him to wait a short while  
     longer until he normally left for vespers. Yes. The decision calmed him. Avoiding  
     extremes, it appealed to his common sense.

100 The vespers bell stayed silent, but in rhythm with his daily cycle, he knew that it should
       have struck by now. He told himself that the mouse’s death had disturbed his judgement.           
       Time was passing with exaggerated slowness, that was all.

      He counted to one hundred. Waited. Started to count again. And stopped.

      With a painful sign, he repressed his inhibitions, broke six years of habit, and opened the
105 door.

[an excerpt from The Fraternity of the Stone by David Morrell, New English Library 1987)


Learning experience 1
The first 20 lines of the passage have been divided into sense groups. Practise reading these lines loudly and silently.
Spend 45 minutes for this.

Learning experience 2
It’s possible to lengthen the sense groups in the first twenty lines. Do it.
Spend 45 minutes for this.

Learning experience 3
At home, mark the rest of the passage with slashes to mark sense groups with maximum length and practise reading loudly and silently. Check with your lecturer if you have put the slashes in the right places.

Learning experience 4
Write down the central (the most important) idea of this passage in one sentence.

Learning experience 5
You’ve already attempted a summary in the passage one.
Read through quickly and write down the summary and bring it to class for discussion.
The process of summarising is also a kind of skimming.

Learning experience 6
This experience will help you develop the ability to scan (=look quickly to identify specific pieces of information).

The information you gathered for learning experience 4 contains the central idea and this central idea is divided into three major ideas that you gathered for learning experience 5. These three major ideas are further expanded into several important details. The process of identifying these important details is known as scanning.    

This experience will help you to identify what a hypothesis is, the procedure to analyse a hypothesis and arrive at a conclusion. This is what scientists and technologists do. But scientific temperament is not the property of scientists alone. It’s a mental disposition. If we have it, it means that our mind are tuned towards accepting or rejecting an idea or thought only after testing it carefully and systematically by (1) carrying out proper experiments (2) analysing the evidence readily available (3) deducing from indirect evidence (circumstantial).

In this passage, it’s the third method that Drew uses. Stuart Little dies after eating the bread piece. Seeing this, Drew forms two hypotheses, analyses them and comes to conclusions.

State these two hypotheses, analyse them and state the conclusions. Do this in class.

Use 50 minutes for writing and another 50 for discussion.

Write down the answer like this:
Hypothesis 1                                                      hypothesis 2
-------------------                                                  -------------------------

Analysis                                                              analysis
------------------------------------------                    ----------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------                     ---------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------                    ---------------------------------------------

Conclusion                                                          conclusion
------------------------------------------                     ---------------------------------------------

Help for the below average learner
L.e. 5
This summary should contain three major ideas. You’ll find these in lines 22—26, 52—72,  90 and 105: Stuart Little’s quick death, possible causes, Drew’s suspicion about someone wanting to kill him and coming out of his cell to investigate the monastery. 

L.e. 6
Hypothesis (assumption)  : an idea or explanation of something that is based on a few known
                                            facts but that has not yet been proved to be true              
analysis                             : look at the hypothesis closely with the available evidence in order
                                            to accept or reject it.
                                      
hypothesis one is available in lines 76—77  and hypothesis two in lines 68—71.
Analysis for one is available in lines 27—34 and for two, in lines 52—60, 72—75, 86—92..
You have to draw your own conclusions.

Learning experience 7
Your teacher will help you learn some interesting synonyms:
scurried—scuttle, glide, rush, hasten, dash, hurry, walk, walk briskly, flee,
                   whisked away (passive), skid, stroll, amble, canter, trot, saunter, promenade,
                   cross, jog, whizz by (past)—all verbs of body movement
stomach rumbling
feigned--pretended
frowned
nudged—pull, push, pinch, twist
baffled—perplexed, puzzled, bewildered, mystified, stunned, dazed (all in the passive)
unmoving, inert, still, corpse, lifeless, the body—a set of beautiful synonyms the writer
      employs to describe Stuart in death
blinked, glance, peer, stare, narrowed his vision, raised his eye—these refer to different
   ways of ‘seeing’—a few more: glimpse, glare, look one in the eye
repress—suppress, oppress
assume—presume, hypothesise, speculate, guess
hardly—contrast with ‘hard’

Learning experience 8
Here is another set of beautiful expressions:
His throat seemed lined with sand
It weighed almost nothing but the weight was dead
Drew’s stomach felt cold (from fear)
His eyes stung
His throat felt swollen
His spine began to tingle

If you’re a quick learner, help your friends (below average) understand and appreciate these.

Learning experience 9
This is for the ‘quick’ learner. If you are one, do these at home and discuss these and help your (below average) friends to draw extra information from a passage and expand their world knowledge, to discuss concepts related to the passage.

1. Summarise the Carthusian philosophy
2. Piece together Drew’s past life
3. Has the philosophy really changed Drew? Explain.
4. Discuss the effectiveness of the writer’s style.
    (paragraph organisation, choice of words, sentence structures)
__________________________________________________________________________

Passage 3
This contains two very appealing poems; enjoy them.

Learning objectives
You’ll
i. read for and with comprehension
ii. appreciate how simple yet how meaningful expressions can be
iii. compare and contrast two treatments of one topic

Learning experience 1
Just take 10 minutes for this.

You’ll now listen to the poem—The Mesh. Listen for the topic (subject matter) of the poem. Also listen for the key words in the poem.

Write down (a) the topic and (b) the key words.

Listening experience 2
Read the poem yourself once or twice       

poem one


The Mesh

We have come to the cross-roads
And I must either leave or come with you.
I lingered over the choice
But in the darkness of my doubts
You lifted the lamp of love
And I saw in your face
The road that I should take.


and answer these questions:
i. Check your answers for ‘b’ of the previous experience. Add or delete.
ii. Poets express their ideas through comparisons and contrasts. Read the poem, identify these
    and write them down.
iii. The speaker in the poem has a problem. What’s it? Is it solved? How?

Spend 40 minutes.

Learning experience 3
Spend 45 minutes.

Poets use pictures (images) to convey messages. Understand the implied messages in each key word.
1. Complete the table:

     Keyword                                 implied meaning                            
a. crossroads                                a very important moment in the speaker’s life when the
                                                     person has to take a decision that will affect his future life  
                                                     and someone else’s, too.

b.

c.


d.

e.

f.

g.

ii. To what effect does the poet use the following: ‘we’, ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘and’ in lines 2 and 6, ‘but’ in line 4 and use of metaphor.

Learning experience 4
i. Obviously there is a man and a woman in this poem. Who’s the ‘I’ in the poem? On what
   basis do you say this?

ii. What is the root cause of the problem?

iii. Hope you enjoyed the poem. What aspect of the poem did you enjoy? If you didn’t enjoy the poem can you say why?

iv. Discuss the appropriateness of the title of the poem.

poem two

Come away, my love

Come away my love, from streets
Where mankind eyes divide.
And show windows reflect our difference.
In the shelter of my faithful room rest.

There, safe from opinions, being behind
Myself, I can see only you;
And in dark eyes your grey
Will dissolve
  
                 The candlelight throws
Two dark shadows on the wall
Which merge into one as I close beside you.
When at last the lights are out,
And I feel your hand in mine,
Two human breaths join in one,
And the piano weaves
Its unchallenged harmony.


Learning experience 5
Spend 10 minutes.

Listen to the poem and listen for the topic and the key words.

Learning experience 6
Spend 35 minutes for writing and discussion.

Read the poem carefully and answer the questions.

i. This poem describes a problem, too.
a. State the problem
b. How different is this problem from that of ‘The Mesh’?

ii. There is a solution.
a. what is it?
b. How different is it from that of ‘The Mesh’?

iii. The poem talks about ‘light’ and ‘darkness’, too.
a. Write down the expressions that refer to these.
b. In what way are these different from those of ‘The Mesh’?

Learning experience 7
i. The poet uses ‘opinions’ to show disapproval of society. What are the expressions that indicate the society’s opinions?
ii. How can the room be ‘faithful’?
iii. What does the speaker have to do to ‘see only you’?
iv. Write down the expressions that tell us the man and the woman belong to two different races.
v. Mention the races the man and the woman belong to.
vi. The last two lines present images. Bring out the imagery in full.

Learning experience 8
This poem is different from the previous one in tone, mood, solution. Discuss these.

Can you guess who the poets could be?  See in key.
_________________________________________________________________________

Help for the ‘below average’ learner

L.e. 2
i. Each line has a key word
ii. comparison—between similar things/ideas  contrast—between item showing differences
iii. read line 2, read the last line, read lines 4 and 5. You have to understand the problems lovers usually face and solve before they can become life partners.

L.e. 3
i. You’ve the key words with you. Try to understand what the poet is conveying.
ii. you should know what a metaphor means; you’ll find metaphor expressed in words: cross-
    roads, darkness, lamp, the road

L.e. 4
i. In your answers to previous experiences you’ve probably used ‘he’ rather than ‘she’ to refer
   to the speaker. What’s your reason—is there any evidence in the poem, or was it your
   world (general) knowledge?
ii. social status, difference of opinion, different religions (nationalities, races)
iii. aspect—theme, thoughts, treatment of the problem, character etc
iv. relate the meaning of ‘mesh’ to human relationships that the poet mentions directly or indirectly.

L.e. 5
Come away, divide, difference, faithful, safe, see, dissolve, dark, merge, join, unchallenged harmony

l. e. 6
i.a. read stanza one  
ii. a. read lines 4, 7. 8. 11, 14.
iii. a. streets and room, shadows and I and you, candlelight and lights are out

l.e 7
i. divide, difference, dark eyes and grey
ii. what happens in society is absent in the room
iii. read line 1 and 4
iv. see lines 3 and 7
v. ask your teacher what ‘imagery’ means and then write it out.

l.e. 8
For instance, the mood in the first poem is mental and analytical while in this it is emotional. The tone there indicates facing the problem squarely and here it is escaping. The solution there is permanent and here, temporary.

       

Don’t miss the next page!


 
  Shall I, wasting in despair,
  die because  a woman’s fair?
  Or make pale my cheeks with care
  Cause another’s rosy are?
  Be she fairer than the day,
  Or the flowery meads in May
  If she be not so to me,
  What care I how fair she be?

  (by George wither)





Caprice
You held a wild flower in your finger-tips
Idly you pressed it to your lips,
Idly you tore its crimson leaves apart...
Alas! It was my heart.

You held a wine-cup in your finger-tips,
Lightly you raised it to indifferent lips,
Lightly you drank and flung away the bowl...
Alas! It was my soul.
(by Sarojini Naidu)


  


False though she be to me and love,                    
    I’ll ne’er pursue revenge;
For still the charmer I approve,
    Though I deplore her change.

In hours of bliss we oft have met;
     They could not always last;
And though the present I regret,
      I’m grateful for the past.

(by William Congreve)