What are some questions for the poem "The Fly" by Walter de la Mare?

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some comprehension questions for the poem would be:

1. What are the things that are small to humans that must appear large to the fly?

2. What does each of the following look like to the fly: a rosebud, a rosebud's "prickle," a dewdrop, a hair, a mustard-seed, a loaf of bread, a wasp, and grains of salt?

3. What does the word "prickle" in line 4 mean?

Some interpretation questions would be:

1. What different emotions are conveyed by the words "cruel leopard" and "lambkins?"

2. Do you think the poet believes being able to see things from a fly's perspective would be pleasant or unpleasant? Support your answer with lines from the poem.

3. Do you think the poet makes any mistakes in proportionality in the poem? That is, are the comparisons he makes mathematically consistent in scale: x to a human = x to a fly?

Some appreciation and connections questions would be:

1. Have you ever imagined you were tiny and how the world would look? Explain.

2. Can you think of any other stories or poems where the world is described from the perspective of something or someone very small? How do the observations in this poem compare?

3. What do you think the best thing about being as small as a fly would be? What would be the worst thing?

Some analysis questions would be:

1. What is the rhyme scheme in the poem?

2. What are some similes in the poem?

3. What examples of alliteration, assonance, and consonance can you find in the poem?


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