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Something Told The Wild Geese

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Poem Activity

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This poem is about the moment when wild geese know they must fly south and migrate to warmer lands for the winter. You might like to do some research into the long and amazing journeys birds go on when they migrate.

Make a note of the words in the poem which make us think of summer and the words which make us think of winter. How many summer words are there? How many winter words?

How can you use your voice to show the warm, drowsy atmosphere of late summer but also make sure your listeners take notice of the important words, “Snow” and “Frost”. Look at how those words have a dash before them encouraging you to slow down and to emphasise those words.

The last two lines mention “Summer” and “Winter” directly. Try to convey the mystery surrounding migration at this turning point in the year.

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Something told the wild geese
It was time to go.
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered, – “Snow.”
Leaves were green and stirring,
Berries, luster-glossed,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned,—”Frost.”
All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.
Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly,—
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.

Something Told The Wild Geese

by Rachel Field