IRJE: May 15 (Tricked)

In Tricked, book four of the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne, Siodhachan (or Atticus) O Suileabhain must train his new apprentice, Granuaile, to become a druid in order to preserve druidic magic. However, the journey from apprenticeship to full druidhood is a long one, requiring twelve years of martial and scholarly training before one can use even the barest hints of magic. One of the scholarly necessities is that of learning numerous languages. When discussing various aspects of druidic power, Atticus tells Granuaile one of the reasons she needs to learn so many languages.

One of the reasons I require you to learn so many languages is that you can use each of them as a different head-space; they’re going to provide you with a frame-work in which to multitask and they’ll also help you avoid mistakes. You’ll want to use Old Irish for you magic and English for everyday use, so that you’re firmly separating your bindings from your regular speech. Then you’re going to want to pick a language to use for elementals that’s different from  either. (p. 37).

Languages are a fascinating thing which are often mistaken for only ways of communicating. They are not. Much more dominantly, they are ways of thinking. Our vocabulary and sentence structures influence the way we think about and interpret the world, and though it is likely exaggeration in the spirit of fantasy to say one can operate in multiple languages at once, I do think that the sentiment of each language being a different head-space is at least in some ways true. I am not bilingual. I know a passable amount of French, but other than that I can only speak English (although my father is fluent in French and my mother in Swedish– I cannot fathom why they didn’t teach me those languages as a child). Still, I have had a great interest in lingual studies for quite a while. Overwhelmingly, I’ve found it impossible to contradict that language shapes thought. A sentence structure is a hierarchical list of all important information: where we place each bit of information determines its value in our minds. Vocabulary is also significant. For instance, in some First Nations languages, the term for plants translates to “those who take care of us.” Having this be the literal meaning of a word unquestionably would shape one’s disposition towards what that thing is, which is showcased in the difference between Indigenous values and those of the broader Western community. This is one of the reasons I so wish to learn more languages throughout my life– a new language unlocks not just words, but new ideas, new ways of living and being.


May 21 PW

Which season of the year do you like best? Why?

I like winter the best. This is because there are several wonderful things that would happen in this season. First of all, we got Christmas Holiday in winter. That means I could have time to relax myself as I would be free of homework for 2 weeks. Instead, I could go to eat all sorts of nice food like hot pot and buffet meals. I could attend Christmas parties too. During that time, I would go back to Hong Kong, so as my friends who study in United Kingdom, United States and Australia. So it is a perfect time for gatherings and reunions.

In addition,  winter in HK isn’t that cold. The coldness is acceptable. Some foreigners would consider it as cool. I don’t think it is cool but I would prefer winter more than summer. The summer in HK is hot and humid. I think the heat in summer is intolerable in HK. For winter, you can always add layers (to wear more) if you feel  cold. However, if you feel hot, there is no way to take off your “skin”. If you want to stay cool during summer, then you could only stay indoor with air-conditioners on. I don’t like to stay indoors all the time, so I don’t like summer. Also, I don’t like spring in HK is because it is a really humid season in HK and everything you touches feel sticky. I hate that feeling so I don’t like spring too. In fact, Autumn is not that bad in terms of its weather. However, winter is better because of the long holidays.

In conclusion, I like winter the most among all the seasons.


May 15 IRJE

In chapter three of The Giver, when Jonas’ father brings Gabriel home, Lily  noted that he has the same pale eyes as Jonas. Most people in the community, except Jonas and one of the Fives, have dark eyes. Lily speculates that Gabe and Jonas share a Birthmother. Mirrors are uncommon there. Jonas has never spent much time looking into one, but he remembers seeing Gabe’s light eyes which have more depth and solemnity than regular eyes.

Lily is enchanted by Gabe and hopes that she will be assigned as a Birthmother as she likes new children and has heard that Birthmothers live better lives. Mother, however, notes that after three births, they become labourers until they enter the House of the Old.  Father suggests instead that Lily might wish to become a Nurturer, should try some volunteer hours at the Nurturing Center when she turns Eight.

The Speaker Lily reminded the people that food should be eaten and never brought back home. Jonas used an apple for the “catch”  game with Asher and saw that the apple’s appearance has changed slightly in mid-air and then return to its original appearance later.

“Then it was in his hand, and he looked at it carefully, but it was the same apple. Unchanged. The same size and shape: a perfect sphere. The same nondescript shade, about the same shade as his own tunic.” (P. 24)

This specific passage seems really interesting to me as it might foreshadow Jonas’s ability to see colour as well as the unusual perfection of all matters perceived by the community. This connects the latter part of the story that Jonas found the community  is made to make the people perceive it as flawless.



PW- May 7th

My sister

 Her eyes are big and blue; you can swim in their optimism like the Pacific sea. Her hair that once glowed like sun, now black to prove shes impulsive. Her heart is so pure, and she cares so much, not always for the better but with the best intentions. It’s easy to admire her free will and the hope that she fronts, though that’s not how she sees herself. “A chipped vase that is no longer usable,” she says, with her pessimistic self-view. The way her self and world view differ so drastically is astonishing. As she is just as much a child of the universe as the trees and the flowers she admires so much. Forced to hold reality in her head, but still, she lives with fairytales in her heart. You are my sister. We can talk without words, fight without cause, and love each other boundlessly.


IRJE May 1st.

Divergent by Veronica Roth, Tobias sarcastically invites her to kill them, but Jeanine explains that she needs to conduct more tests first. Though the previous mind-numbing serum didn’t affect Divergents, she has created another substance that will.

“Eric called Al’s suicide brave, and he was wrong. My mother’s death was brave. I remember how calm she was, how determined. It isn’t just that she died for me; it is brave that she did it without announcing it, without hesitation, and without appearing to consider another option.”

As he prepares to fire, she shoots him in the head. Next, she follows her mother’s directions to the building where her family is hiding. When Caleb lets her in, she sees they are with other members of Abnegation, including Marcus. Tris collapses from blood loss, and Caleb and her father remove the bullet from her shoulder and stitch up her wound. Caleb tells Tris he researched the vault serums as their mother requested.


IR May 15th

In the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Katniss and Peeta are given the chance to train for the games. When Haymitch asks Katniss and Peeta about their skills,  they soon find themselves arguing over how impressive the other is. Katniss explains that Peeta is strong and is a very talented wrestler. Meanwhile, Peeta states that Katniss is capable of shooting arrows through the eyes of squirrels.  Haymitch tells them to stick together, to act as though they are friends, and to spend their time in the training center learning new skills. The Training Center is open to all the tributes for two days. People from districts 1 and 2 train their entire lives for the games and volunteer to take part in them. In District 12, these voluntary tributes are called “careers.” At the training center, the careers spend time together, excluding everyone else as though the other tributes are no threat.

In District 12, we call them the Career Tributes, or just the Careers. And like as not, the winner will be one of them. (p. 94)

I chose this specific quote because it points out the inequality between rich and poor in Panem. In which children s can have their names entered into the reaping multiple times in exchange for extra rations of food, the poor are already more likely than the wealthy to be chosen as tributes. Since the poor are also ill-prepared for the Games when compared with the Career Tributes, they are at a serious disadvantage. Being chosen as a tribute is a death sentence for the poor, whereas Career Tributes often volunteer to compete since winning for them is an honor.

However, there is a huge exception for Katniss and Peeta. They have more abilities than they think. Katniss is good with knives, throwing spears, and with her bow of course. Peeta turns out had a good hand for camouflage.


PW 7th May

In Germany lots of people ride  bicycles. Lots of people ride their bicycles in the town and in the mountains. Right now I want to buy a new bicycle and it is very difficult to find a right one. There are so many types of bicycles so it is very difficult to find the right one. There are also bicycles in all prices available. (from 300 Euro to 11000 Euro)  Now I decided to buy a new e-mountainbike, but now there was a new problem. Because of the Corona virus it is difficult  to get one, because the manufactures don’t produce enough bicycles in the moment. In Germany lots of people want to buy a new bicycles now, for going to their work , because they don’t want to go by public transportation.  For me it was strange that not lots of people ride bicycles in USA or Canada. Everybody goes by their car or public transportation.  I think more people should ride their bike,  so it will be an advantage for the environment.



People receive gifts throughout their life. A gift is an item you give to someone you care about. Gifts are expected to be freely given. When giving a gift, you should not assume that you will get one in return. You receive gifts from friends, family and from those who care about you. They are most often given on Christmas or Birthdays. Whether a gift is given during these important times of the year, or on any special occasion, it is sure to make a person smile. Gifts bring happiness to a person. Not only because of the gift but because it shows that someone cares about you. The person giving the gift wants you to be happy, and they want you to realize that you are special. It doesn’t matter if the gift is expensive or not. What matters is how the gift makes you feel on the inside as either the giver or recipient.

If someone does not give you a gift, it doesn’t mean that they don’t care about you. People who feel the need to give a gift will do so. I feel that if you assume that someone doesn’t care about you because they didn’t give you a gift makes you a bad person. The thing is, not all people like receiving gifts. Yes, it may make them happy but at the same time, it may make them feel bad about themselves. Since they may not have a gift to give in return. If it is your birthday, you are not expected to give gifts. Rather accept them. If it is Christmas, people usually receive and give presents. But again, when someone gives you a gift, they don’t expect you to return the favour. It is up to you. If you feel like giving them a gift as well, then go ahead.

Throughout my life, I have received many gifts. Receiving a gift makes me feel happy.  What I love about giving gifts is seeing the person’s reaction to my gift. Seeing their eyes light up and a smile coming across their face makes my day. Their happiness is what I live for. I love to make people happy and giving gifts is just one of the ways I can do that. I remember earlier this year during the Christmas season, I had bought a packet of Lindor chocolates. As a gift for one of my teachers. Upon handing my gift to my teacher he had rejected my gift for a specific reason. He did not like eating sugar. I continued to try and persuade him to take my gift. But he wouldn’t. At that moment, I felt quite annoyed inside. I ended up giving the chocolates to the teacher common room for them to share.

On Christmas day, I remember wrapping a gift for my cousin. I had decided to use a light blue wrapping paper and add a dark blue ribbon to make it stand out. I had written my name in sharpie and ended up smudging it with the side of my hand. After handing the gift to my cousin I felt uneasy. Seeing my cousin feeling the present with his hands, and hearing the sound of the paper tearing was suspenseful. Within me, I was hoping he would like the gift. When he had taken the gift out he looked at it for a second and then looked at me. A smile across his face. He got up, hugged me and said: “Thank you, brother!”

The best gifts are not always expensive, what matters is the effort, kindness and love someone puts behind the gift.



 During these times we find ourselves becoming incredibly bored very easily. This has forced us to come up with new ideas to try and keep ourselves productive and busy. Since most of us are locked inside of our homes coming up with new ways to stay busy has become much more of a challenge. We have things that we will automatically do without thinking when we are bored. For example, just about everyone when they are bored naturally will gravitate towards their fridge. They will open it, then it will take them about five seconds for them to realize, “why am I here and what am I doing”. Everyone has there habits of what they do when they’re bored. 

So throughout quarantine, I have been trying to find ways to be active to stay in shape, or just to feel useful for something or someone. Two weeks ago I asked my parents If I could build a halfpipe in the backyard. After an hour of trying to convince them that it’s a good idea, they finally gave me the green light. I made sure to never tell them the dimensions of the ramp I would be building because I was gonna make it 16 ft wide, which we did. So after I got permission I texted my two older brothers and within the next day, we started building. The ramp ended up being double our budget but was worth it. We went into building it with no plans, but it turned out amazing. I have been riding the ramp with my friends every day while trying to stay within six feet of each other.

Another thing I have begun doing to stay busy is working out five times a week. Before I started working out I rarely did just due to not having enough time an when did I was just too tired to try. But since quarantine began I have nothing but time, So I wanted to try to see if I could try to challenge myself, mainly just to see if I have enough discipline to do it each of those five days. So far I’ve only missed one of those days but I’m betting that number will get higher knowing me.

Overall I’ve just been trying my best not to become bored easily. Through these two activities, they have been effective but I still do find myself starring at the ceiling wondering what life is right now.


PW: No Trespassing (May 7th)

I live by the ocean. Not on the water; my house is at the top of a hill. I can see most of Victoria, the ocean, and some of Washington state from where I’m situated. I can see the whirling riptides, the boats that are constantly travelling through our harbour, and the rolling clouds. The blue sky is so vast it looks limitless. The ocean is so deep it looks bottomless. It’s a peaceful place to live.

There is a trail on my street that leads to the beach. The path becomes steeper gradually, except at the end, where it is quite abrupt. When we moved to this house six years  ago, I thought I was the luckiest person. To have a beach in my backyard,  and nothing but time to  explore it. I would walk down frequently, despite the challenging trek back up. My parents and I discovered this area, near the bottom of the hill, that was covered in blackberry bushes and broom. There was a fence that always intrigued me, but I always adhered to  the, “No Trespassing, Violators Will be Prosecuted” sign. 

As the years went on, I went to the beach less and less. My priorities changed; my schedule filled up. I  would still go occasionally, but it wasn’t something I made time for. Until now, the time where we have unlimited time. We have online school, and lots of homework, but not so much that  it fills up the entire day. Near the beginning of isolation, I started  walking down to the beach daily. It became a routine that helps me cope with everything;  that helps me stay sane. Regardless of the weather, I would walk down at least once a day.

Like the years prior, I noticed myself being drawn in by the fence that I was not allowed to cross. I could see a path through the chain-link fencing, and there was an opening in the fence that was calling my name. I advanced through the broom and blackberry thorns, surprisingly without a scratch. I maneuvered my way through the opening, and then I was on the other side. I kept going. I kept going through the tall grass, with the ocean on my left. I walked further up, and reached what I thought was  a summit. It wasn’t. I looked around, and the field was enormous. Piles of gravel were placed in a seemingly unstrategic manner, and the  ocean looked beautiful through the multicoloured trees. The wind was refreshing, and the space was so open it was calming. On my right,  there was a hill that I immediately recognized. Not the path that I walked down on, but the hill behind my house that I occasionally take my friends to. It’s a much  steeper hill. And there’s no path. The grass is high,  and there are patches of clovers and flowers throughout. I walked towards it, and when  I reached the bottom,  I started climbing up. As  I got higher, the view got even more beautiful. Although it was steep, I was determined. I made  it to the top, and I could see everything. I could see all of Royal Bay, some of Metchosin, and a large portion of Colwood. I could see the sky, once again vast, and the ocean, once again deep. I could see the city, the clouds, and the trees. And to think that I followed the “No Trespassing” sign all these years. What a shame. 


PW April 21

Write about the most recent book you read. What was good about it (and what wasn’t)? Who would you recommend it to?

Wonder by R.J.Palacio


Wonder is a book written by R.J. Palacio about a boy called August, in other words, Auggie who possesses a rare form of genetic disease and that causes his facial abnormalities. Since his birth, he was homeschooled by his mother until grade four. When he was 10, his parents decided to send him to a private school such that he can learn how to interact with people and get used to the society. “Wonder” is an inspiring story about Auggie’s life – changing experience at school. What makes this book so special is that it is told from 6 different perspectives, which are our protagonist (Auggie), his elder sister (Via), his sister’s friend (Miranda), his sister’s boyfriend (Justin) and his two schoolmates (Summer and Jack). Each person has provided an insight into Auggie’s beautiful personality and has proved to us how amazing life can be.

Things that I like 

What I like about this book is that it brings out an important message that we shouldn’t judge others based on their appearance but their personality. Maybe Auggie is unappealing to others, he is actually a smart, kindhearted and hilarious boy. For example, Auggie has been homeschooled for the past 9 years but his grades are still at the top of the pack. Moreover, I think that it is a smart choice of the author to not describe his appearance at the beginning of the book such that it can let the audience to imagine it themselves. Details were added later by different characters to emphasize the hardship Auggie has been through before from his 27 surgeries. In addition, I think the author clearly understands the emotions of each child. She understands what we are thinking and she knows when we can be horribly mean or incredibly brave and kind.

Things that I don’t like 

On the other hand, the only critic I will give to this book is that the story is too bright and uplifting. In my opinion, someone like Auggie should have a more complex and complicated character, but it came across that his character is very simple. I found the story a bit difficult to believe in because Auggie seems to fit into everything perfectly without struggling. For instance, it is only his first time going to a public school but it seems like he deals with all those trials and problems easily. I think the author should try to include Auggie’s feelings and emotions towards his struggles as well in order to make the story more realistic.

To whom would I recommend it to? 

I would recommend this book to everyone because this is an inspiring story that teaches us how to be empathetic and accepts others’ flaws. Moreover, the words used in the book are quite simple and the way how the characters speak is casual, so young readers would also be able to understand the story. In conclusion, I enjoyed this book very much and I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did.



PW: May 7 (The Ballad of Inquisitorb)

From mortal man to divine god,

His journey was one long.

He fought for freedom’s followers,

Against those wroth and wrong.


For countless days he stayed enslaved

And waited for his time.

He met while there an elven wretch,

Sullied with sin and grime,


And side by side they dueled with fate,

Their swords and bows in hand.

The bloody clash was scarcely won,

That, you must understand–


He worked and fought for what he had,

His land, his fame, his gold.

Not once was e’er he granted ease,

Not by the gods of old.


For they, you see, resented he,

Who sought to take their throne.

Thus mighty sir Inquisitorb

Was forced to hie alone.


From Fort Joy all to Lucian’s tomb,

He practiced, trained, prepared.

Bearing his stalwart dwarven blade,

He never poorly fared.


Inquisitorb’s Inquisisword

Through men and beasts did cleave.

With every grand and deadly strike,

A tale its blade did weave.


His foes always their ends did greet,

Thus was it Braccus fell.

Out from the hand of our new God

Was cast the gallant spell:


A tentacle lashed forth from he,

and struck it Braccus true.

Out of the mouth of our hero,

A “Brac no mag!” quick flew.


To Lord Inquisitorb’s great shock,

Concurrent with his words,

Another voice did cry out twin:

A “Brac no mag!” to gird.


Thus Braccus was encircled by

A call from every side,

As down he went, he screamed with rage,

Then promptly coughed and died.


So goes the tale of our lord’s rise,

From slave to mighty god.

For bravery we worship he

Who blazed the path we trod.



India is a wonderful country, all of my international friends have always wished to visit it for the food, the culture, and the monuments. Although I was born and raised in Dubai and it will always be my home, India is somewhere I will visit often for the food.

There are many factors that I like and hate about India. The street foods are extremely spicy and finger-licking delicious. We eat bread glazed with butter and enormous amounts of spices with friend cutlets, hand made swirled ice cream on cones, round fried crisps dipped in sweet and spicy flavoured waters and a lot more. I love the culture, the way in which we celebrate festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Janmashtami, Navratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, etc. We gather in large family groups, about 200 people and more, to worship our Gods and our beliefs. Although I am an atheist, I do enjoy celebrating these festivals with my cousins and having fun.

Besides the food and culture, the factors that I hate about India are the people, the pollution and the environment. India is one of the most unsafe countries for women to live in, over thirty-thousand women are raped every year. The amount of pollution in the air is extremely unsafe to breathe in, most of the people leave trash on the sides of roads. I do not like the uncleanliness, and the thinking of our society is horrendous. There is a gradual change happening, but it will take a lot of time.

Besides all these factors, I am proud of my country. Coming from a nation of culture and tradition is amazing. I will stand up for my land’s national anthem with pride and hope in my eyes for what we as a country have been through.



PW: May 7th

Wuhan is my home.

I love all of Wuhan; of its colourful buildings bursting through the ever-gray sky, its heavy mist floating above the river, and most of all, the charming ladies. (Wuhan women are very pretty!)

At the same time, I hate all of Wuhan. I hate how people are so far apart, how things come and go, and how one could feel so alone in a crowded subway on a Sunday night.

There’s nothing waiting for me there, not anymore. I love and hate Wuhan, but it no longer matters. It’s an ever-changing, and never-changing city. I haven’t changed either, I am still the person who loves riding the subway on Sunday nights. I still admire the pretty girls from afar. I still watch three movies at the theatre in a row, alone. But Wuhan is just a pile of blurry memories, the more I think about it, the more it fades away. I’ll need to leave before it leaves me.


PW MAY 7th

What will the world be like in 50 years? 

Little has been done to combat climate change, and the seas have risen considerably. Numerous cities are either submerged or transformed into a flooded land. Not forgetting that among these casualties, there are other big and powerful disasters occurring.

However, things aren’t completely bad. There have been significant advances in technology that have led to wide innovations in robotics, cloning, AI, 3D printing, and genetics. This will continue to improve as the years go by.  I don’t know why, but I have a feeling that by 2050 we’ll be able to send memories, emotions, and feelings across the internet. Brain science will have exploded, and it will have revolutionized in great communication.

Going back to climate change, bodies of water will be contaminated, wildlife will have suffered, and the polar ice caps melted. The thing is we’re already in it. Global warming has already caused irreversible changes. The only more significant change will be anything large-scale we, as the inhabitants of the Earth, do to slow its onset. I think once something devastating occurs, then we will finally be engaged in a much-needed global strategy to fix the worst side we brought from the climate. This is really sad because we should’ve done something about it years ago.



Personal Writing May 7th

If you were invisible for a day, where would you go and what would you do?


In movies, we always see that some people have the ability to make themselves invisible and do whatever they like, have you thought of having such ability as well? I have always dreamt of having such ability. If I could become invisible for a day, I would do the following things:

First, I would go to find the person whom I dislike most and play tricks on him. I would sneak into his room and turn his room into a mess. I would drag all his clothes out of the wardrobe and throw them everywhere in the room.  Next, I would hide his mobile phone and laptop in a secret place in his room. Maybe putting them under the bed is a good option. When I leave that room, I would close the door and apply glue to the keyhole so that the door can’t be opened easily.

After that, I think I would be pretty hungry. So I would go to a hotel and have a buffet lunch. As you know, the bill for having a buffet meal is very expensive. So I could only go to have buffet meals with my parents. Now, I am invisible, of cause I would take this chance to go into the restaurant and eat all sorts of nice food. Another good thing is that there would not be a time limit, so I could eat as long as I like. 

At night, I would go home and stay inside my room. I would get my computer and mobile phone with me. When I was at home, my parents always stop me from watching youtube videos and playing online games. Now, I could take this chance to watch youtube videos and play online games for a long time. In that case, my mum won’t shout at me and I could finally do these things in peace.


April 21 Pw

For a long time, I’ve always wanted a dog as a pet. I’ve pestered my parents about getting a dog ever since I could talk. I would get rejected over and over again because they don’t think I’m mature enough to take care of a dog yet. One day, my parents surprised me and told me they thought I was old enough to get a dog as a pet. I was jumping up and down because of how happy I am.  A few days later, my family and I went on our way to the pet store to pick out a dog. After debating for a while, we settled on a brown pomeranian to join our family. We waited for the staff to fill in the information for the pet, and soon we were on our way home. We made sure our new dog had everything it needs and left it alone for the day (pets need some time to get used to a new environment). Things were going great with our pomeranian, but little did we know something horrible was going to happen. A few days later, she started acting ill. We took it to the vet, and we were told it was because she wasn’t used to the environment. We got some medicine from the vet and went home. We thought she was going to get better soon, but her health started to decrease until she was seriously ill. We took her to the vet again, and the vet told us to leave her at the animal hospital. We left her at the hospital, hoping the IV drip would help her. Sometime later, we received the sad news that she passed away. Even though I only had her for a few days, I’m glad I got a chance to have a pet.


“John Anderson, My Jo”

In all poems there is the theme about love, but each poem shows different types of love. Some poems describe the love in a happy way other poems describe the love in a sad way like Shakespeare.  The poem John Anderson, My Jo written by Robert Burns expresses the long standing aging kind of love. The speaker seems to be an aged faithful married woman, speaking about her equally ancient and faithful husband. The subject in the poem describes a love over many years. It is a long way up and down of a hill. The speaker expresses his eternal love and states that now it is the time to go the last way of their life doing this hand in hand and together. The end of this way is probably their death.  In the poem the speaker states the appearance change of John. First he is described as a raven with his bent bonnie brow and then described with a beld brow and looking like the snow. Line 1-4  describes the youth of John and line 5-8 describes the old age and death. Although John became old the love is still the same as at the beginning. The love was the whole life so strong so that now it is the time to go together the hill down.

On the contrary the poem A Red, Red Rose, is written by a speaker who is a youthful, amorous male. The poem is a promise of love, in which he leaves her but promises to come back. The love will passed far into the future. The love is described with expressions of nature.

The poems Bonie Doon by Robert Burns is written by a speaker, an unhappy lover, who describes the pain of love with the beauty of countrysite, which seems to be unaffected by his grief.

All three poems have different number of stanzas. Every stanza of  Bonie Doon and A Red, Red Rose have four lines  and on the other hand John Anderson My Jo has only 2 stanzas with 8 lines.  The poem John Anderson My Jo has a mixed rhyme scheme.  Other poems either have a standard rhyme scheme  like  A Red, Red Rose with ABCB or no rhyme scheme.

Each poem has key words as repetition, like my jo in the poem John Anderson, My Jo .  The mood of all three poems is the eternity and the tone is everlasting love.


John Anderson, My Jo

“John Anderson, My Jo,” by Robert Burns, presents a form of love that we haven’t seen in other works. This poem shows a side of love that’s beautiful, serene, and reflective.  It is not dramatic, nor is it begging for attention. The speaker does not appear needy, or jealous; she is simply in love. I consider the lifestyle that she demonstrates to be appealing and attainable, especially for later life. Rather than focusing on the initial stages of love, this poem is a quintessential example of what changes occur over time, in a healthy relationship.

One of the first observations I made when reading this poem was the speaker. Although we have read a wide variety of poetry, all of which featuring speakers with different views, this is the first poem that is spoken by a woman. She presents love in a refreshing manner, because it doesn’t focus on unhealthy ideas.  The relationship between herself and John appears to be honest and healthy, unlike others we have seen. For example, in “Song. To My Inconstant Mistress,” there is an extremely harsh portrayal of punishment the ex-beloved should receive. Although it’s due to unfaithful situations that aren’t present in “John Anderson, My Jo,” it still puts the topic of healthy relationships into question. If the two were truly in love in  “Song. To My Inconstant Mistress,” would the speaker genuinely want his beloved to be damned to hell? He could be saying those things solely out of pain, but in comparison, the relationship seems to lack the love and caring attributes that we see in “John Anderson, My Jo”.  In this poem, the speaker is reminiscing about her experiences with her lover, which is very admirable. When she says, “When we were first acquent, / Your locks were like the raven, / Your bonie brow was brent;” (ll. 2-4), it demonstrates how well she remembers their first encounter. This shows that he had an impact on her immediately, and the later lines show how that connection only grew.

Frequently, we consider love as the typical first stage of it: passionate, intense, and full of sparks. Love may stay that way for certain couples, but I believe it often evolves into something resembling the love shown in “John Anderson, My Jo”. The love shown in this poem is different to the love shown in others. There’s no doubt in it, especially since the speaker is reflecting on what has occurred, rather that the uncertainty of the future. Talking about the past in this manner shows how their love has withstood the test of time, which can be a good measure of how sincere it is. The metaphor of the two climbing a mountain is a wonderful way of showing that, “We clamb the hill thegither; . . . Now we maun totter down, John,” (ll. 10, 13). These lines represent how they were able to overcome difficulties, and how their love stayed strong despite any challenges. The speaker doesn’t appear to be trying to prove anything to herself like the speaker is in, “Sonnet 116”.  She isn’t questioning her love, or proving what it means. Ultimately, this love feels wholesome, happy, and true.

This poem follows a rhyme scheme of ABCB. When reading it aloud, it gives a strong sing-song effect that is only intensified after listening to the song itself. The ABCB rhyme gives me the impression of suspense within the quatrain, because you have to wait for the rhyme. I associate that with gratification, and how we appreciate something more when we have to wait, but are expecting it. We know the B rhyme will repeat itself, but it isn’t as sudden or regular as simple couplet rhymes. For instance, when she says, “John Anderson my jo, John, / We clamb the hill thegither; / And many a canty day, John, / We’ve had wi’ane anither:” (ll. 9-12), the rhyme only feels complete when she says “anither,” due to that sense of gratification. Similarly, I have noticed that the syllables correspond with the rhymes. Whenever there is a repeating B line, they have the same amount of syllables. For example, the lines, “When we were first acquent, . . . Your bone brow was brent;” (ll. 2, 4) each have 6 syllables, and the lines, “We clamb the hill thegither; . . . We’ve had wi’ane anither:” (ll. 10, 12) each have 7 syllables. The correlation between the rhymes and the syllables increases the song-like effect of the rhyme, as well as how it affects the audience.

Love can be many things. We’ve discussed the wide varieties of that word, whether it be referring to your lover, your favorite movie, your friends, or your family. Furthermore, romantic love can be divided beyond that. As love goes through stages, it changes, which is inevitable. Romantic love can be many things, but ultimately, I believe what they have in this poem is as good of a definition as any.


Mr. MacKnight's Grade 10 English class.