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MATRIX INTERMEDIATE WORKBOOK
Units:   1   |  2   |   3   |   4   |   5   |  6   |   7   |   8   |   9   |   10  

Unit 8 What if ... ?

  • Reading
    Unit 8 Reading. Poets and pop stars.
  • Vocabulary

  • Grammar

  • Writing
  • Reading

    Poets and pop stars

    The nineteenth-century British poets, Shelley and Byron, wrote poems which were as popular as today's pop songs. And song writers such as John Lennon and Paul McCartney have written some of the twentieth century's best verse. So what's the difference between pop songs and poetry?

    1 A few years ago, pop poets such as Murray Lachlan Young began to set poetry to rock music with some surprising results. People thought that poetry was the new rock 'n' roll. However, despite the brief popularity of a few pop poets, poetry and pop music didn't seem to mix. But are they really so different?

    2 If you look back at the origins of poetry, there is a strong connection between poems and popular music. In Greek mythology, for example, the muse* Erato is pictured with a lyre* in her hand, and looks just like the ancestor of the modern rock star with his electric guitar. In addition, the poets Shelley and Byron were as famous in the nineteenth century as the pop stars of today.

    3 But despite their common origins, there are many differences between poetry and pop music. Pop songs are always written for a public performance, whereas poetry often isn't. And the lyrics in pop songs sometimes have less rhythm than those in poetry. This is because the music provides the rhythm rather than the words. Pop lyrics are also simpler and often keep on saying the same thing. This repetition works well in a performance and means that pop songs are easier for people to sing and learn by heart.

    4 Both songs and poems tell a story or talk about feelings. Songs in particular deal with the different stages in a relationship, such as falling in love or breaking up. The words and ideas in songs are usually easier to understand than those in 'serious' poetry. However, talented performers like Paul McCartney, or new stars like Robbie Williams, often give simple songs more expression when they perform them. And some of the best lines from pop lyrics are as beautiful as poetry. Look at this extract from John Lennon's Imagine.

    Imagine there's no heaven it's easy if you try
    no hell below us above us only sky
    imagine all the people living for today...
    You may say I'm a dreamer
    but I'm not the only one
    I hope some day you'll join us and the world will be as one

    So although pop music and poetry have many differences, they do have one important thing in common: the power to make us think about how we feel.


    The Daily Express
    * muse = a goddess who protected and encouraged music and poetry

    * a lyre = an ancient musical instrument with strings

    Exam training

    Matching headings

    • Before you look at the headings, try and identify the key points in each paragraph.
    • Read the first and last sentences of each paragraph. These often summarise the content.
    • There may be an extra heading you do not need to use. Check carefully to make sure this heading doesn't fit anywhere.

    1 Matching headings

    Read the article and match these headings to paragraphs 1-4. There is one heading you do not need to use.

    a a common beginning

    b an unsuccessful experiment

    c a chance to dream

    d some differences

    e a similar message

    2a 1b 4c 3d

    2 Understanding the text

    Now read the text carefully and answer these questions.

    1 How are Shelley and Byron similar to today's pop stars?
      The poets Shelley and Byron were as famous in the nineteenth century as the pop stars of today.
    2 What did pop poets try to do?
      They tried to set poetry to rock music
    3 Who was the world's first 'rock star'?
      The Greek godness Erato looks just like the ancestor of the modern rock star with his electric guitar.
    4 Name two differences between pop lyrics and poetry.
      Pop songs are always written for a public performance, whereas poetry often isn't. And the lyrics in pop songs simpler and have less rhythm than those in poetry.
    5 How can a pop star's performance affect a song?
      Talented performers often give simple songs more expression when they perform them.
    6 What do both poetry and pop music enable us to do?
      They both awaken thoughts and feelings and let your imagination go. Great poetry and music inspired by love make you feel love. They enable us to feel the spiritual greatness of man.

    3 Meanings

    Explain the meaning of these words from the text.

    1 a strong connection between (line 7)

    2 common origins (line 14)

    3 learn by heart (line 22)

    4 falling in love (line 25)

    5 breaking up (line 25)


    a strong connection between - a link

    common origins - common beginnings

    learn by heart - to remember

    falling in love - to start to love someone romantically and sexually

    breaking up - to part


    Unit 1. BORN TO BE BRILLIANT. Reading. In the mind's eye.
    Unit 1. BORN TO BE BRILLIANT. Vocabulary. Phrasal verbs with more than one meaning.
    Unit 1. BORN TO BE BRILLIANT. Grammar. Modals. Remember + ing or to-inf.
    Unit 1. BORN TO BE BRILLIANT. Writing descriptions. Travel and sightseeing.

    Unit 2. THE WRONG MAN. Reading. A sense of identity.
    Unit 2. THE WRONG MAN. Vocabulary. Crime. Match the people with the definitions.
    Unit 2. THE WRONG MAN. Grammar. Present simple, present continuous and present perfect.
    Unit 2. THE WRONG MAN. Writing a profile. Words describing appearance.

    Unit 3. TIMES PAST. Reading. BRINGING the past to life.

    Unit 3. TIMES PAST. Vocabulary. TV programmes.
    Unit 3. TIMES PAST. Grammar. Regular and Irregular Verbs.
    Unit 3. TIMES PAST. Writing a Talk. The Millenium Dome.

    Unit 4. SMALL BEGINNINGS. Reading. The man who really founded New York.
    Unit 4. SMALL BEGINNINGS. Vocabulary. Nouns, verbs, adjectives.
    Unit 4. SMALL BEGINNINGS. Grammar. The Future. Will.
    Unit 4. SMALL BEGINNINGS. Writing a letter of complaint.

    Unit 5. FAME AND FORTUNE. Reading. A dream come true? How winning a lottery can affect your life?
    Unit 5.  FAME AND FORTUNE. Vocabulary. Prepositions. Money.
    Unit 5.  FAME AND FORTUNE. Grammar. Modals. Language patterns: verb + noun/pronoun + infinitive with to.
    Unit 5.  FAME AND FORTUNE. Writing a composition. The Lottery.

    Unit 6. TAKING RISKS.  Reading. GENERATION EXTREME.
    Unit 6. TAKING RISKS. Vocabulary. Phrasal verbs with take.
    Unit 6. TAKING RISKS. Grammar. Relative pronoun. Who, whom, which or that Quiz. Purpose and result. Language patterns: verb + direct object + (to) do.
    Unit 6. TAKING RISKS. Writing a biography.

    Unit 7. MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. Reading. Getting your Message Across.
    Unit 7. MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. Vocabulary. Adjectives ending in -ed an -ing. Feelings. Body language.
    Unit 7. MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. Grammar. Present perfect and past simple; present perfect simple and continuous; the passive.
    Unit 7. MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. Writing a report. ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE INTERNET TO YOUNG PEOPLE.
     

    Unit 8. WHAT IF ... ? Reading. Poets and pop stars.
    Unit 8.  WHAT IF ... ? Vocabulary. Words to do with poetry and music.
    Unit 8.  WHAT IF ... ? Grammar. Conditionals. The verbs tell, talk, say and speak.
    Unit 8.  WHAT IF ... ? Writing a discursive composition. An ideal job.

    Unit 9. TRAVELLERS' TALES. Reading. A trip to America.
    Unit 9. TRAVELLERS' TALES. Vocabulary. Describing a journey.
    Unit 9. TRAVELLERS' TALES. Grammar. Past simple, past continuous or past perfect? Reflexive verbs.
    Unit 9. TRAVELLERS' TALES. Writing a story. My holiday nightmare.

    Unit 10. THE RIGHT CHOICE. Reading. DANGER: woman at work.
    Unit 10. THE RIGHT CHOICE. Vocabulary. Negative prefixes. Phrasal verbs give up • get on • turn down • take on • fit in
    Unit 10. THE RIGHT CHOICE. Grammar. Reported Speech. Direct and indirect objects.
    Unit 10. THE RIGHT CHOICE. Writing a job application.