Free Resources for Students and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in China - by Paul Sparks

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Paul Sparks, Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas for Semester 2 Reading Lessons...



Reading: Poetry




"Parcel" by Bill Nagelkerke

Since we came here
Holland's become a parcel,
Wrapped in sweet-smelling
Brown paper,
Sent over each Christmas by the family;
Each year they stuff it with presents
Bought at the Kermis*
And a Dutch calendar.
So next year will be filled
With pictures of windmills;
Of narrow, cobbled streets
And neat brick houses
Where you can see straight inside;
Of snow in December.
I've written to say that
The windmills here are spindly;
That Christmas day is dozy with sunshine;
That the streets are wide and tarseal sticky;
That the houses I see from my window
Are painted weatherboard.

Holland's a parcel,
Wrapped in sweet-smelling
Brown paper.
On Christmas day
We'll unwrap Holland.

*A Kermis is a fair or carnival.



Questions: You can check your answers here



a) Write down five things from the poem which show that Holland is different from the place where the speaker in the poem now lives.







b) Which word best describes how the speaker in this poem is feeling?

(A) Sad
(B) Lonely
(C) Homesick
(D) Rejected



c) What does the line, "The streets are wide and tarseal sticky", tell you about December weather in New Zealand?



d) How does the way the poem ends connect with the way the poem begins?




e) In what way has Holland "become a parcel"?






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