Tuesday, 6 December 2016

FORM ONE : Sad I Ams by Trevor Millum

The Poet
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Trevor Millum

Born Woking, Surrey, 1945. BA Birmingham 1967. PhD Birmingham 1970. PGCE University of Zambia 1971. Subsequently teacher, writer and software developer.
Professional Officer for NATE 1998-2004. Creator of 'Poetry Place' on the Teachit website (teachit.co.uk/poetryplace).

Sad I Ams

I am
   the ring
   from an empty Cola can
   the scrapings
   from an unwashed porridge pan
   the severed arm
   of last year’s Action man.

I am
   the envelope
   on which the gum is gone
   the Sellotape
   where you can’t find the end
   the toothless stapler, springless bulldog clip
   the dried up liquid paper
   that mars instead of mends
   the stamped addressed reply
   that you forgot
   to send.

I am
   the battery in which no charge is left
   the starter motor which remains inert
   the tyre on which the tread is worn
   the sparking plug which shows no sign of spark
   the carburettor chocked by bits of dirt
   the chromium trim from which the shine has gone.

I am
   a garden
   overgrown with weeds
   a library book
   that no one ever reads
   a stray
   which no one thinks to feed
   the piece of good advice
   which no one seems to need.

1. The poem consists of four stanzas.
2. Each stanza consists different number of lines.
3. There is no clear rhyme scheme in the poem.
4. Stanza 1 and 4 do not rhyme while stanza  2 and 3 have some rhyme scheme.
5. The poem is about neglecting or discarding things which are of no use to us anymore.
6. The persona compares himself/herself to numerous  things that are no longer needed.
7. The title Sads I Ams implies a gloomy tone to the poem.


In the first stanza, the poet is describes himself as the things that are usually thrown away 
because they have become useless to the owner

  • the ring of the can is usually thrown away  after we open the can
Image result for ring from an empty cola

  • the scrapings should be cleaned when the pans are put to wash –nobody wants to keep the dirt on the pan 
  •  Image result for food scrapings
  • And finally -when the toy’s arm is broken- the ‘action’ figure toy becomes distorted- next year a new action figure would become more popular.
Image result for broken toy of action man

In the second stanza, the poet is now describing used things that cannot be used any longer.

Image result for unrecyclable old envelopes
  • the envelope where the gum doesn’t stick- perhaps it is an old envelope; 
Related image

  • Sellotape that is old or not marked where the end is impossible to find; 

Image result for broken stapler

  • stapler that has no place to attach the bullets- thus, it has become not functional; 

Image result for spring -less bulldog clip

  • spring -less bulldog clip: one without spring would not be able to function;

Image result for liquid paper

  • liquid paper  that is dry; 

Image result for envelopes address

  • and an envelope that he had already put the stamp on but had forgotten to post.

The third stanza also describes things that have become useless to the owner.
Image result for car battery

  •  Battery that needs to be charged- it shows that the car cannot be driven; 

Image result for starter motor

  • starter motor which does not work
Image result for tyres without tread
  •  tyre has no threads anymore - it becomes dangerous to drive with such tyres as they have no grip
  • Image result for spark plugs
  • Spark plug that does not work-the engine of the car would not start if the plugs do not function; 
Image result for carburetor
  • carburettor that needs to be serviced before it can be used
Related image

  • and chromium plating which is not shining!

In the final or fourth stanza, the poet describes things that are not paid attention to such as: 

the garden that is not taken care of which is full of weeds-Image result for garden full of weeds
which implies that no one has cleaned the garden;

 a library bookImage result for outdated library book which is probably outdated that no one wants to borrow it; an animal such as a stray dogImage result for stray dogs that no one takes care of and finally good advice Image result for good advicesthat no one heeds.

No specific time and place is mentioned.

The gender is not mentioned, It can be assumed that the persona  is an elderly person as he feels neglected and likens himself/ herself to various objects which  has no use to anyone anymore.

 It is gloomy and depressing. The persona manages to evoke a feeling of sympathy in the reader for the persona as well as the discarded things.

1. Rejection
2. Being neglected
3. Being forgotten
4. Feeling  of uselessness

1. Appreciating others
2. Recyling

All the unwanted things the persona liken himself/herself to.

All the unwanted items  describe the  unwanted things vividly

Below are some popular questions:

What happens to the action man?
Its arm is broken

2. What is the condition of the porridge pan?

It is unwashed/dirty.

3. What happens to the envelope?

The gum is gone.

4. What does the phrase ‘toothless stapler’ mean?

The stapler has no staple.

5. What happens to the liquid paper?

It has dried up.

6. Why do you think the starter motor remains inert?

It has broken.

7. What happens if someone uses a tyre with thread that is worn?

It is dangerous and may cause accident.

8. Why do you think the garden is overgrown with weeds?

No one uses the garden anymore/No one stays there anymore.

9. What would you do if you see a hungry stray on the street?

Feed them/bring them to animal shelter.

10. Less and less people like to go to the library these days. Why?

Because people can access to a lot of things using the internet at home.

11. What is the mood of the persona?


12. What does the person forget to send?

A stamped addressed reply/ A return letter

13. In your opinion, how can we make the chromium trim shine again?

Wash and polish it.

14. Suggest two things that can cheer the person up.

i. Share their sadness with someone.

ii. Listen to some happy music.

15. If you could give an advice to your younger self, what would that be?

Don’t give up easily when there is a challenge/ Be brave/ Help people/ Don’t be afraid to make mistakes/e


  1. Really helpful, pictures of things mentioned in the poem r boosting comprehension...thank you

  2. It really helpful. My teacher told us to find these pictures and I found this link. I just copy it all and print.

  3. Sad I ams Questions :
    How can we prevent a garden from being overgrown with weeds?
    (*Somebody know the answer ?)