Resource 5: Verbs and adverbs in the poem My Drum by Francis Faller

Background information / subject knowledge for teacher

In this version of the poem the verbs have been underlined and the adverbs are in bold type.

It beats
patientlyNote 1: patiently is an adverb of manner, which describes how the drum beats: calmly, over and over again without getting upset or angry.
like water
drippingNote 2: dripping is part of the full verb ‘is dripping’: like water [that is] dripping – the poet decided to leave out ‘that is’.
a gutter
or proudly Note 3: proudly is also an adverb that describes how the drum beats: with pride, as though it is very pleased with itself.
as the pounding of the sea
My drum. My drum.
It summons love.
It hammers anger out.
It calls for freedom.
It never stops Note 4: never is an adverb of time that adds information to the verb ‘stops’: the drum does not ever stop.
even when nobody
hears my drum
but me.
My drum greets
that passes by:
the rising sun
the rain battering Note 5: battering is part of the full verb ‘is battering’: the rain [that is] battering.
the wind that blows
a family of cranes
home across the sky.
It greets the cricket
chirping out its glee.
It greets the workers
whose drills and picks
are digging holes
monotonously.Note 6: monotonously is an adverb of manner which describes how the digging goes on and on in a boring, repeated way.
I follow it
into laughter
I lead it through
throbbing pain.
It’s a sparrow pecking seed Note 7: It’s is the short form of It is and ‘is’ is a verb, though not an action verb.
it’s a stick along the fence
it’s a rapid fire gun.
My drum. My drum.
Nervously it beats Note 8: Nervously is an adverb of manner that describes how the drum beats: as though the drum is anxious or a little afraid.
a welcome
just for you.
Will you hear it
with delight?
Will you run away in fright?
A drum is only
skin and wood
so will you come?

Note 9: ‘will come’ is in the future tense but it is in the question form ‘will you come?’

You should.

You should is a shortened form of You should come – also action in the future.

You should.
My little drum
was yesterday so weak.Note 10: was is the past tense of ‘is’.
Today it’s beating
Strong.Note 11: Strong would usually be written ‘strongly’: it is an adverb which describes how the drum is beating.
Surely it wasn’t stretched Note 12: wasn’t stretched is a verb in the past tense.
across this world
to play for nothing.
Though it never Note 13: never is an adverb of time (see Note 4).
gets reply
I think
I could not live Note 14: could not live and should die are verbs that refer to the future because the suggestion is that the poet would not be able to live in the future without the drum.
if the song
of my drum
should die.Note 15: Pupils may be puzzled by words ending in ‘ing’. Sometimes these words are part of a verb: I am singing. Sometimes they are nouns: The singing of the choir was excellent. Sometimes they are adjectives that describe nouns: The singing canaries flew to the top of their cage. In this poem dripping, battering, chirping, digging, pecking, beating are parts of verbs. The pounding is a noun. Throbbing is an adjective describing pain. Everything is a pronoun that stands in place of the nouns that follow it in verse 2. For nothing is an expression that means ‘without payment’ or ‘for no reason’.

Resource 4: A praise poem

Resource 6: Writing frame to support planning a story