A cheetah is innocently lolling in the long grass. All around are buck, apparently unaware of its presence.
Then, as hunger takes hold, the cheetah looks for its prey. Immediately the buck break into a stampede
and the cheetah gives chase.
A NOTE ON THE POET
Information on Charles Eglington is very sketchy indeed.
We know that he was born in Johannesburg and worked there as a journalist and a magazine editor. His
name, however, is connected more with translations of other people's work -- especially Afrikaans writers
-- than with his own.
There appears to have been only one book of Eglington's poetry published, and that happened after his
death. He did, however, have several poems in the book Homage to Fernando Pessoa, the
Portuguese poet Pessoa apparently being a great influence on Eglington.
(If anyone has any other information on Eglington, we would be very grateful to have it.)
Have you looked at the questions
in the right column?
Read the left column and then answer
the following questions:
"Indolent and kitten-eyed,
This is the bushveld's innocent
The stealthy leopard parodied
With grinning, gangling pup-content."
- The poet paints a picture of a seemingly harmless creature. What words does he use to portray this
innocence? Give the meaning of each word you list. (6)
- Why does the poet speak of "parodied"? (4)
- Comment on the use of alliteration in "with grinning, gangling pup-content". (4)
"Around the vast arena where;
In scattered herds, his grazing prey
Do not suspect in what wild fear
They'll join with him in fatal play."
- What is an OXYMORON? Provide an example of an oxymoron used in these four
- Why does the grazing prey not suspect that the cheetah is there? (4)
"Till hunger draws slack sinews tight
And vibrant as a hunter's bow;
Then, like a fleck of mottled light,
He slides across the still plateau."
- Comment on the simile "vibrant as a hunter's bow". (4)
- One poetry anthology describes "plateau" as a "flat area of land". Is this
"A tremor rakes the herds: they scent
The pungent breeze of his advance;
Heads rear and jerk in vigilant
Compliance with the game of chance."
- The poet twice mentions that the hunt is a game in which the animals partake, although it ultimately
has fatal consequences. Would you like to comment on this game? (4)
"His stealth and swiftness fling a noose
And as his loping strides begin
To blur with speed, he ropes the loose
Buck on the red horizon in."
- What image is the poet using in these lines? (2)