Monday, 27 February 2012

A Miscellany of Annie

Here is a some more English work from Annie Parmeter, written when she was 12 at Moorestown College, St Peter.

In "The Attractions of the Country over the Town", she is clearly not writing from experience - no real country dweller could think that "the air is always fresh"  when fields are manured - and I think it shows. There is a tendency to make lists of one thing against another, and it does not quite have the coherence and descriptive ability of her later work. But her strong descriptive ability still shines through in places.

This is more apparent in the next work, which is simply an exercise in writing sentences which convey effective description, and here are some very powerful descriptions.

Lastly is a very short piece, where clearly her heart was not really in it. It is a very short piece, and the teacher comments as much on the lack of research. I've put it in just for a bit of fun, as Annie had a practice of annotating her English exercise book with her own comments, and these are in the square brackets, which were penciled in later, and show how she reacted to her teacher's comments! I have no idea if the teacher saw them or not, or if they were added after the book was finished.

The Attractions of the Country Over the Town
In town, one is almost suffocated by fumes from the factories and traffic; whereas in the country, the air is always fresh and clean.
The noise in the town is deafening, there are no fields and quiet gardens, nor trees for climbing. There is nowhere to play outside except in a back yard. The only friends you can play with live on a road, so that it is dangerous to play anywhere except inside.
In the country, you can ride for a long way without coming across a road or traffic. One can watch the crops grow and enjoy the flowers and fruit being planted and harvested. The riverbanks are full of fascinating creatures and water plants. You can row on the river, and even find tiny islands to make dens, houses, and castles on. The barns are haylofts are ideal places for hide-n-seek or potato football.
In autumn, the tints of red and gold and falling leaves can be enjoyed better in the country.
In the winter, one can see the old birds' nests against the bare outlines of the trees.

Effective Description
The still night crouched over the bare bones of the gnarled, witch-like trees.

The mist was swirling in and out of their wizened trunks like a skier.
Stars shine in the sky, like diamonds on sapphire velvet.

Frost glows with a greenish light on the ice hard grass.
The evil rays of the searchlight shone through the darkness like diamond rays of stardust.
The romantic moon gently washed the earth with its bluish light.
Soon it was dusk. Colour began to drain from the world, in this twilight. The lights sprang one by one into life piercing the stellar dawn. 
Witches were believed to be old hags [so are you], who collected mushrooms and poisonous toadstools to brew up along with a dead bat or two. They were thought to perform black magic, and rise around the sky on broomsticks when the moon was full. On the back of their broomsticks rode black cats, which nearly always had green eyes. Witches were often thought to be deadly enemies among the fairies.
More research could be done on other supernatural agents [no thanks]

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