1. a) Every stanza in this poem starts with one-word sentence fragment rather than a complete sentence. A sentence fragment is more effective because it represents the tone of the poem. With only one word used, the poet stresses that nothing or everything was missed without having to explain what exactly in the same sentence. This way one word explains and answers the question what was missed.
b) This poem has very little punctuation — capital letters and line breaks indicating the end of a though, but no punctuation at the end of the sentences.
This use of punctuation affects the meaning of the poem because it doesn’t finish the poet’s idea and leaves the reader with thoughts, ideas and guesses of what else might be said, or might have happened.
2. a) Stanza # Literal paraphrase of the text
The ironic subtext — what is really meant
- We couldn’t do anything when you weren’t here, so we just sat at our desks and did nothing.