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GCSE: Other Poets

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  1. Abel Meeropols Strange Fruit uses an extended metaphor of fruit representing lynched African Americans

    The sibilance of ‘pastoral scene’ and long vowel sounds of ‘gallant south’ auditorily create a continuous tone, a lingering effect, structuring moods of sorrow for readers, reinforcing Meeropol’s idea that conflict is an ongoing condition, and we too experience this. Meeropol’s disturbing imagery of lynched victims in, “Here is fruit for the crows to pluck, For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck” and “For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop” employs cacophony and understatement to emphasise the frequent horror of lynching.

    • Word count: 1164
  2. In her poem, "Away Melancholy", how does Smith attempt to encourage her readers to feel more optimistic about life?

    This shows us how every living thing in the world has something to do and no matter how sad we feel- everything in nature will continue to happen, the way it should. The seasons will change, and the ant will carry his ‘meat’, regardless of how you feel. This encourages the reader to feel more optimistic about life, as they realize how their life and hardships are a very little and insignificant issue. Every single living thing has obstacles it will face, and each will try its best to get through it.

    • Word count: 632
  3. How does Anne Stevenson use literary devices to explore the theme of life and creation in "The Spirit Is Too Blunt an Instrument"?

    The use of the word ‘observe’ further advocates this as she is demanding the reader to look at this gorgeous and prominent feature of a baby. Secondly, describing the fingernails as ‘sharp crescents’ is another way the poet uses imagery to demonstrate the theme of creation, as the reader continues to picture the beauty of the baby. This brings about the emotion of admiration in the reader as they realize the complexity of the body and how beautiful the creation is.

    • Word count: 793
  4. How does Robert Lowell portray anguish and frustration with struggling to write in his poem Night Sweat?

    The use of the word “embalms” is quite disturbing, as it suggests that the reader feels dead or in need of preserving as the sweat encloses him in his bed. This will therefore create an image of a dead body in the reader’s mind, which brings about the emotion of frightfulness in the reader. Moreover, in this same line, the poet uses hyperbole to express his frustration towards his writer’s block.

    • Word count: 508
  5. Analysis of "First Date She and First Date He" by Wendy Cope.

    She doesn?t like to lie and she admits this in the line ?it wasn?t exactly a lie?. She tries to defend herself but there is a little lie associated with her comment. The allusion to classical musicians ?Vivaldi and Bach? shows that she wants to come out as interesting. ?half dark? is a metaphorical comparison to their relationship since both of them are not entirely honest with each other. The superlative ?hardest? further implies that she is interested in him and tries to impress him. In the monologue of ?He?, a pattern can be seen as if he is responding to the girl without talking.

    • Word count: 575
  6. Write about the poem Famine Shadows. You should describe what Dunlop writes about and how he uses language to convey the speakers thoughts and feelings.

    It is also described as, ?Like a storm whipped up? with perverse intensity.? This simile makes use of pathetic fallacy, as the speaker compares the famine to an abrupt and harsh storm. Furthermore, the strong adjective, ?perverse,? symbolises a deep sense of disorder and injustice. We are told that the speaker felt like, ?skin and bone... beyond redemption.? This infers how hopeless the situation was, as it describes people physically wasting away. Dunlop proceeds to directly contrast the, ?Lords of lands, castled masters,? to the, ?fevered cabins of the poor.? This juxtaposition is the crux of the poem: the speaker laments the injustice of how the rich left the poor to suffer.

    • Word count: 572
  7. Write about the poem Basking Shark: Achill Island. You should describe what the poet writes about and how he uses language to convey the speakers thoughts and feelings.

    The alliteration of, ?hillocks hid,? further emphasises this point. The speaker proceeds to write about shooting a cat with a pellet gun until it drowned. They are described to have, ?clawed,? the pellets into its flesh. Clawed would normally be used to describe a cat attacking something, but the tables are turned and it is the predators doing the clawing. Before the cat drowns it is said to feel, ?ancient jungle fear.? This could allude back to the big cats of the jungle and the fear they would have of human hunters.

    • Word count: 747
  8. Write about the poem After the Titanic. You should describe what the poet writes about and how he uses language to convey the speakers thoughts and feelings.

    He claims to have, “sat shivering,” and, “turned to ice.” The sibilance in the first statement serves to emphasise how desperately cold it was, and the clichéd ice metaphor that follows is highly ironic considering the fate of the Titanic. The speaker uses bleak imagery to convey his trauma, such as his use of cacophonous words like, “Pandemonium,” and “Shredded.” These convey to the reader how chaotic that night on the ship was and how it continues to haunt the speaker even now.

    • Word count: 630
  9. Analysis of poem: Half Caste (1996) by John Agard

    The repetition of the words ?explain yurself? shows the poet?s frustration. He wonders if inanimate objects can become half-caste ? Picasso?s painting in which colours are mixed to create a half-caste canvas, Tchaikovsky?s music on a piano with black and white key create a half caste symphony. The world of nature provides striking examples. Light and shadow mix in the sky to create half-caste weather. England always has ?half caste weather?. Even the clouds are half-caste ? so thick and dark and mean that they block the rays of the sun.

    • Word count: 840
  10. Analysis of Dis Poetry by Benjamin Zephaniah

    The fact that he writes ?I?ve tried Shakespeare, but dis is de stuff I like? goes to show how people should not be confined to specific types of poetry, or forced to respect poetry from history, but instead that everyone should be allowed to enjoy whatever form of poetry pleases them. Zephaniah also writes how ?dis poetry is fer de wise an foolish?, which further illustrates his point that poetry should be accessible to all. He also writes how ?anybody can do it fe free? and that ?dis poetry is fe yu an me?, further showcasing his views on how poetry should be widespread and accessible.

    • Word count: 746
  11. Analysis of Modern Love by Douglas Dunn

    Furthermore, it could also suggest that to achieve these ?minutes?, there has been a cost involved, whether monetary or purely symbolic. In addition, it says there is ?not much to show for love?, further portray how this love is ineffectual, and that not much has been achieved by this love. The fact that they are ?in a house that is not theirs? further shows what length this couple has to go to to put up the facade of modern love.

    • Word count: 656
  12. Praise Song for my Mother by Grace Nichols Analysis

    She uses many of these metaphors, using the term ?You were? to convey the different roles her mother played in her life, that although she was just a woman, she was to her, the ?moon?s eye? and the ?sunrise?. The use of the past tense in ?you were? shows that her mother may have passed away, and that this is not only a celebration of her mother, but also a celebration of her mother?s life, and that the poem is a sort of mourning of her mother.

    • Word count: 906

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