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Sir Francis Drake

Sugarloaf - Friday


Read the poem below or watch the video of the author reading aloud. 

I Asked the River

'Why do you run?' I asked the river,
'So fast I can't compete.'
'I run,' the river said, 'because
I have some streams to meet.'

'Where do you go?' I asked the river,
'And what do you do there?'
'I go to the valley,' the river said,
'Where I wash the rushes' hair.'

'Why do you sing?' I asked the river,
'Such a sweet and happy tune?'
'Because,' the river smiled,
'I'm having lunch with the sea at noon.'

'Why do you laugh?' I asked the river,
'You'll share the joke I suppose?'
'I woke the mountain,' the river grinned,
'By tickling his toes.'

Then the river shuddered, groaned and sighed,
The song of the streams and the laughter died,
And it whispered sadly, 'I can't, I can't,'
As it limped along like an ancient aunt.

'Now why do you wait?' I asked the river,
'And why is your current so slow?'
'Something holds me back, ' it said.
Its voice was faint and low.

'And is that why you're getting small?
Is that why you sigh?'
'I sigh,' the river said, 'because
I know that soon I'll die.'

'Why don't you fight for your life?' I asked,
'You only foam and seethe.'
'My lungs are clogged,' the river moaned,
'And I can hardly breathe.'

'Perhaps a rest,' I told the river,
'Would help to clear your head.'
'I cannot rest,' the river said,
'There's garbage in my bed.'

'What's this garbage,' I asked, disturbed,
'Which is clogging up your sand?'
'Poisonous waste and wrappers like this,
Which just fell from your hand.'


Poetic Devices Glossary

  • Alliteration – repetition of the sound at a beginning of a word (Peter’s perfect pens)
  • Imagery – words so descriptive they create a picture in the reader’s mind
  • Metaphor – an image created by referring to something as something else (He is a pig)
  • Onomatopoeia – words that sound like their meaning (crash/bang/pop)
  • Personification – giving an object human qualities (the wind whistled)
  • Repetition – words/phrases/sentences and structures repeated
  • Rhyme/Rhythm – the use of rhyming words to give the poem a beat
  • Simile – a comparison of two things using ‘like’ and ‘as’ (as cold as ice)
  • Hyperbole: an exaggeration 


The tone of the poem changes in the second half. 

Explain how the tone of the poem changes after the line: Then the river shuddered, groaned and sighed. 

What image has been created for the reader in the second half? 

Can you make a connection between this poem and another text? How are they similar?

How many poetic devices can you identify? Try your best to find one of each!

Writing Task 

 A large part of poetry is creating an image in the readers head. This is called imagery. The author creates two different images in this poem. 

1) Clean Clear River Water Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free ...

2) What Are the 15 Most Polluted Rivers in the World? | Soapboxie


1) Brainstorm a web of adjectives for each picture. Make sure to use a thesaurus as a tool to find new vocabulary. 

2) After you have completed your brainstorm, choose one image and write a description of the scene. 

Remember to use your success criteria! 


Please send finished product to

I hope you all have a great weekend! Just a reminder that next week is half term break and there won't be any new work uploaded. Make sure to keep up your reading for at least 20 minutes a day! I also challenge everyone to help out at home. Maybe you can hoover, wash the dishes, rake the yard or even make your family breakfast! Send me pictures of whatever you get up to. 

Take care and keep healthy! 

Miss Pritoula