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AQA Best Words
Pre 1914 Poetry
Revision Booklet

To Autumn John Keats
The title ­ this is an apostrophe poem (one that is addressed to someone or something),
which immediately personifies the season itself. The season of autumn is often associated with the
slow nearend of the year, and this…

Page 2

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The structure ­ the poem has a three eleven lines stanzas which demonstrate the
progression through the season, from the end of summer and harvesting the crops, to finally, the
approaching winter and its connotations of death.

Stanza one ­ the fruitfulness of autumn ­ this represents the life…

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John Clare uses a traditional, even structure, with regular syllables and iambic tetrameter used steadily
throughout. Although this seems at odds with the passion that John Clare is describing within the poem, it is
typical of the Renaissance period in which the poem was written, which was concerned with reviving…

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The poem is the form of a dramatic monologue, so that the reader very quickly becomes aware of the
fact that they are only hearing the Duke's point of view. We are left to create an impression of him and his
personality not only from what he says, but also…

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The structure of the poem is very important ­ it is divided into three stanzas of differing lengths, all with
different ways of attempting to persuade the mistress to capitulate:

Stanza One:
In the first stanza the lyrical voice uses elaborate and hyperbolic compliments to attempt to lure his

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The Shakespearean sonnet, is based on a far older poetic form, but Shakespeare's sonnets are
specifically written in iambic pentameter (5 pairs of syllables in a line, with the emphasis on the second syllable ­
`Shall I compare thee to..) which gives them a highly polished, structured and carefully planned…

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As this poem was traditionally passed down from one generation to the next by word of mouth, it is
important that it has a strict structure and rhyme scheme to make it easier to remember. From the late middle ages
onwards, travelling storytellers known as jongleurs travelled the country, telling…

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Again, this is an apostrophe poem (one that is written to a person or an object), and the fact that Burns directs
this to a mouse is important. Burns was from a poor farming background, and was largely selftaught when it
came to reading and writing. He would have been…

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lyrical voice appears to be determined to woo his mistress, and the closely controlled prosody demonstrates just
how much planning and forethought he has given this idea.

Stanza One:
The reader becomes aware of what the lyrical voice wants, and how his mistress is denying him this. In
order to…

Page 10

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Quatrain One:
The start of the sonnet mirrors the ceremonial words of wedding vows, where a minister asks
whether there are any `just impediments' to the marriage. The lyrical voice seems be bitter in his
opening lines, and there is heavy irony on the word `true', implying his betrayal in…


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