Analysing poetry

Timed well with the english lit exam on friday for WJEC people!! This is for analysing poetry, will be useful for the unseen poetry section of the exam. Used the poem 'Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping' by Grace Nichols as an example. Sorry the word processing wasn't better, I did this on a mac and I haven't got used to the 'text edit' software yet.

Good luck with exams! Comments much appreciated!

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How to Handle Unseen Poetry in your Literature Exam


The Fat Black Woman Goes Shopping
Grace Nichols

Shopping in London winter
is a real drag for the fat black woman
going from store to store
in search of accommodating clothes
and de weather so cold

Look at the frozen…

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the choice is lean

Nothing much beyond size 14

· First let's look at the MEANING of the poem. What's
the plot? What message is the poet trying to say? Is there just one
meaning, or a deeper one? Which bits of the poem convey this
meaning the most?

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used as a double meaning because it can refer to the dragging movement
of the woman's body, but it also reflects her irritated attitude towards the
shopping trip.

Another theme in this poem is the woman's previous nationality and
culture as a Swahili/Yoruba woman. An example of this is the…

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clothing but is also a reference to slimness and a good womanly

· Look at the mood/tone of the poem. What feelings are
behind the text? When is this mood conveyed? Is there a purpose
of the text?
Personally I think the mood of this poem is quite spiteful…

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so I know where I'm missing bits out. If you disagree with any
of the points I've made or want to add some, please comment
the more ideas the merrier! Good luck with exams!


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