The Lost Generation – Palindrome and Tone

The poem below is called Lost Generation and it’s by Jonathan Reed. Here’s it is:

I am part of a lost generation.
And I refuse to believe that
I can change the world.
I realize this may be a shock, but
“Happiness comes from within”
Is a lie, and
“Money will make me happy”
So in thirty years, I will tell my children
They are not the most important thing in my life.
My employer will know that
I have my priorities straight because
Is more important than
I tell you this:
Once upon a time
Families stayed together
But this will not be true in my era.
This is a quick fix society
Experts tell me
Thirty years from now, I will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of my divorce.
I do not concede that
I will live in a country of my own making.
In the future,
Environmental destruction will be the norm.
No longer can it be said that
My peers and I care about this Earth.
It will be evident that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic.
It is foolish to presume that
There is hope.

And all of this will come true unless we reverse it.

Lost Generation is a palindrome poem. The inspiration for this poem came from an Argentinian political advertisement, ‘The Truth’ by RECREAR.

Many teachers use The Lost Generation to teach tone.

Tone, in written composition, is an attitude of a writer toward a subject or an audience. Tone is generally conveyed through the choice of words or the viewpoint of a writer on a particular subject.

Every written piece comprises a central theme or subject matter. The manner in which a writer approaches this theme and subject is the tone. The tone can be formal, informal, serious, comic, sarcastic, sad, and cheerful or it may be any other existing attitudes. Consider the following examples of tone:

The theme of both tone examples is the same. The only way we can differentiate between them is their separate tone. The tone in the first example is casual or informal while, it is more formal in the second.



Martin Luther King’s Dream Remembered

Last week it was 50 years since Martin Luther King delivered his ‘I have a dream’ speech.

Read this report from the NZ Herald:

President Barack Obama hailed Martin Luther King Jr for saving America from oppression but said “constant vigilance” was needed to keep the civil rights icon’s dream of equality alive.

Fifty years after the “I have a dream speech,” America’s first black president stood poignantly on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, where King made an appearance in 1963 which changed history.

“He offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike,” Obama said, in a ringing address, which he admitted beforehand would not match King’s oratory.

“His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time,” Obama said.

Read the rest at The NZ Herald.


Last week we also discussed satire. Satire is a literary technique of writing or art which exposes the follies of its subject (for example, individuals, organisations, or states) to ridicule, often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change.

Famous  examples from literature include George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm. Look at The Onion and The Daily Show for satires of the American news media.

Year 9 and 10 exams – Unfamiliar Texts

In the Year 9 and 10 exams you will sit three papers – response to texts, formal writing and unfamiliar texts.

Today I will talk about the unfamiliar texts paper which will require you to read a range of short texts. The texts that you will be given are ones that you have not previously studied. After you have read the texts you will answer questions that test your understanding of ideas, writing style and language use.

In the exam you will read examples of written and visual language. Examples that may be used from each text type include:

  • written text – a poem, a piece from a novel or a magazine article
  • static visual text – static image, advertisement or cartoon