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GCSE: Other Poets

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Analysis of "The Mother" by Gwendolyn Brooks

    But despite her lifestyle, these babies she loved and cherished with all her heart. The poem quite clearly shows the repentance, ?The Mother? is feeling, maybe now she is older, wiser or even alone. The words are sensed with such desire, with the first and second line of the poem, she is revealing how hysterical she is at aborting her babies. But it shows too how unconditionally she loved them, how much she dreamed of giving them a normal cherished life. It?s plain to see ?The Mother? chose to abort more than once, maybe several as she refers to (children)

    • Word count: 1872
  10. Explore the ways in which Simon Armitage presents the experience of the speaker in the poem, "Out, of the Blue"

    The speaker is in a very high position in the crashing building. We can tell this by them mentioning that they are in the "small clouds, but waving, waving. By mentioning the clouds, we get an image of the height of where he is and of the smoke in the burned down building. The writer uses repetition in the phrase above. He uses this technique many times and the repetition of these verbs slows the pace of the poem and echoes the sense of falling through the air.

    • Word count: 691
  11. Explore how Porter comments on life in A Consumers Report. Use examples from the poem to support your answer.

    Porter first comments on life as ?[having] it as a gift?, suggesting that he himself did not choose to live life, and comments on the spontaneous nature of life in which people are not able to choose what kind of life they will live in. He also carries on with ?I didn?t feel much while using it?, suggesting that many people may not value their life while they are still living out the beginnings of it, and Porter gives evidence for this by suggesting that ?I?d have liked to be more excited? about receiving the product of life.

    • Word count: 793
  12. Explore how the poet presents his thoughts and feelings about what is happening in the world around him in One World Down the Drain

    The poem opens with the casual statement: ?It?s goodbye half of Egypt, The Maldives take a dive, And not much more of Bangladesh, Looks likely to survive.?, Demonstrating the use of blithe statements where the poet chooses to use a casual tone in order to draw the reader in, presenting the opening stanza with a similar tone to a song in order to create a positive effect on the reader and encourage them to think about the statements. The locations mentioned have been selected by the poet due to the fact that currently they are the most risk from the

    • Word count: 1242
  13. Drawing parallels with other poems in the Book of Matches explore the ways in which Armitage effectively conveys experience in Hitcher

    However, these sonnets are often imperfect in form (irregular meter and pararhyme) and it seems that Armitage?s philosophy and experience influence his poetry and do not allow him to write in the perfect and romantic form of a true sonnet. In the poem ?Hitcher?, there a five, five line stanzas, which almost have a syllabically regular structure, despite its irregular rhyme scheme. It is written in the form of a monologue that allows the reader to gain insight into the mind of this killer and adds to the immediacy and the authenticity of the poem.

    • Word count: 1128
  14. Analysis of 'Continuum' by Allen Curnow

    In Continuum, we get a glimpse of what it really is like. This is a major problem for Curnow as he struggles to find ideas for his poem. The final theme of the ebb and flow of thought is beautifully portrayed in the Continuum where the poet acquires ideas but they swiftly slip away with the change of his mood. It implies the mercurial quality of mind and shows the quick discovery and disappearance of thoughts. The title, Continuum, suggests a tedious, unrelenting cycle; an unceasing, arduous series which is the process of writing a poem.

    • Word count: 617
  15. How does Simon Armitages style of writing make "The Convergence of the Twain" such a powerful and moving poem?

    This permeates and espousals the premeditated nature of the disaster. Armitage uses several techniques in the first stanza, to help move and dismay the audience. The first stanza immediately places the reader in the immediate time of the collapse. With Assonance helping the poem flow along easily, Armitage delves further into the scene with his descriptions. The poem opens in the tone of subdued peace, which is reinforced through references to ?air?, ?free sky? and an ?unlimited? space and yet in this emptiness, this ?air?, there had been something.

    • Word count: 1267
  16. Commentary on "Even Tho" by Grace Nichols.

    The poetry is written from a female?s perspective and in this poem the narrator is addressing the lover (man). The poem is first person narrative, mainly expressed by the first person singular ?I?. In 1st stanza the poet is talking about the woman?s fear that the man she loves will try to ?devour? her and destroy her completely by taking away her independence. In the 2nd stanza the poet refers to the natural world and the food imagery (fruit metaphor)

    • Word count: 461
  17. Word choice, juxtaposition, contrast, irony and imagery are just some of the techniques that author MacCaig uses to convey his personal views on the hypocrisy of the church in his poem Assisi.

    The alliteration "tiny twisted" describes the physical deformites in a callous manner. The alliteration is used to convey that the author has no sympathy for the begger as he is described as a freak of nature. The use of onomatiopia suggests the heaviness of the begger's body and the lack of contorl he has over it. Tone is created by the casual use of brutral language and sarcasm, "over whom" is callous but helps us to realise that the poet wants us to have compassion for the begger. The irony of the situation is that the begger is placed outside a church dedicated to the man known as "brother of the poor".

    • Word count: 1167
  18. Compare and contrast Jackie Kays presentation of childhood in Yellow and Brendon Gallacher.

    Meanwhile, in ?Brendon Gallacher?, Kay uses a contrasting tone to convey the change in her feelings. The first three stanzas have a bright and cheerful tone which shifts to a depressed one in the final two stanzas, resembling her sadness at the death of Brendon. The poem?s acoustics appear like pleading with Kay?s constant repetition of ?my Brendon Gallacher?.

    • Word count: 547
  19. An Unknown Girl. Throughout the poem, devices such as symbolism, similes and metaphors are used to portray her desire of discovering her cultural identity

    In addition, her urge of becoming part of the Indian culture is given through the use of simile. ?I am clinging to these firm peacock lines, like people who cling to the sides of the train.? The peacock is the national symbol for India, which could represent her desperation to be part of the culture.

    • Word count: 460
  20. In Barter by Sara Teasdale, the author uses many literary techniques to enrich the poem

    We can feel the heat of the flames from the fire, touching our skin. We have the impression that we are next to the fire, the image is very well chosen. In the example they also talk about the fire who sings, and when I thought of the fire touching my skin, I immediately thought of that song, that music, without even knowing that it was at the end of the sentence.

    • Word count: 448
  21. A poem in which the poet takes a pessimistic stance about the world as he experiences it is Hotel Room, 12th Floor by Norman MacCaig

    The suffering of the people is not a problem to the government, but the mess that they leave behind is. Also, the mention of the blood being ?glazed? on the sidewalks as if it has been piled up and dried into the ground. MacCaig continues to express his pessimism towards New York?s society by highlighting the nature of the city, he shows this through his description of the night, ?it?s uncivilised darkness?. The poet?s singles out the word ?uncivilised? to emphasises the citizen?s primative behaviour and lack of control.

    • Word count: 876
  22. How does the poet show how she feels about her mother in Praise Song for My Mother?

    All of which are very similar in format, although, the rhythm is not carried all the way through. The fourth begins in the same way as the first three but is extended, emphasising the poem?s final line about the daughter?s ?wide futures? and expanding horizons, as if reflecting the way her mother?s care allowed her to develop and move on. ?Praise Song for My Mother? is a free verse, meaning it does not adhere to regular rhyme or rhythm, writing in this way augments the fluidity and the reading of the poem. The lack of punctuation means that there is no pause, adding to the flowing pace and has a softer effect and tone on the reader.

    • Word count: 1047
  23. Hunting Snake is a poem written by an author called Judith Wright.

    Wright loves nature so much and respects it that she uses the adjective ?gentlest? to help describe the sky. She uses personification to show how the season seems like a pleasant human being by using the phrase ?late season?s grace.? The poems rhythm and pace seems steady at this point until the third line where she has the encounter with the snake. Wright introduces the snake in line three but makes the reader wonder whether she stopped because of the fear or beauty of the creature.

    • Word count: 645
  24. How does the poets mood change throughout the poem In Paris With You by James Fenton?

    In the second stanza Fenton makes it quite clear that he is ?on the rebound?. He uses alliteration in the phrase ?I've been bamboozled?. Fenton is angry at the way he has been treated and refers to his previous relationship as a ?mess?. Once again, the tone towards the end of the stanza becomes more upbeat since he has met someone new and they are together in Paris. In this stanza he shows self pity, ?Yes I?m angry at the way I?ve been bamboozled and resentful at the mess I?ve been through.? Fenton is not in the least bit interested in sightseeing, and is insulting of Paris' famous attractions in the third stanza.

    • Word count: 714
  25. In the poem Ballad of Birmingham written in 1969, Dudley Randall chooses to tell the story of the war in Birmingham, Alabama

    more committed to their countries than the adults as the mother forbids her to go whilst the young child tells her mother that she won?t be alone as ?other children will go with me?. It is somehow ironic that a young child would be more concerned of the freedom of her country than her mother, an adult. It is even more surprising that children would be going to the freedom march ?to make our [their] country free? and the adults don?t.

    • Word count: 1045

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