AQA Poetry Cluster: Place Themes for Poems

Here is a powerpoint describing the different themes in the Poetry Cluster: Place. It has which poems go into which general theme, and then how they fit into that theme. Hopefully its helpful :)

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Poetry Place: Different Themes
By Cora Hurley…read more

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Theme: Place…read more

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Home is often an important place:
· Hard Water
­ This poem is a celebration of the poet's home town. Using
phrases from the Midlands dialect ­ `hey up me duck', `don't
get mardy' ­ suggests she's proud of her roots and culture.
· Price we pay for the sun
­ This poem is about the Caribbean islands where the poet
grew up
­ The islands are an important part of her history. She shows
how closely she's tied to them by linking the weather and
landscape of the islands to members of her family: `my
mothers breasts/like sleeping volcanoes'
­ The narrator seems proud to come from the islands, even
though they're a difficult place to live. She celebrates their
culture by writing in the local Caribbean dialect of Patois…read more

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Some places are associated with Special memories:
· Crossing the Loch
­ The poet is remembering a place where a significant
event in her life took place.
­ The journey across the loch was special. It represented a
time when she was young, brave and adventurous. She
and her friends had their whole futures ahead of them.
­ The poet remembers this time and place fondly. She
seems a bit nostalgic. Perhaps it's somewhere she
wishes she could return to, but is unable to.…read more

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Sometimes a place changes us:
· The Prelude
­ The narrator has his views of the world changed by a
dramatic encounter with a mountain.
­ To begin with he's happy and confident, but the encounter
changes him ­ he's left `in grave / and serious mood'. The
effect is long lasting
­ His outlook on life is turned completely upside down by this
event. The world around him appears to be different ­ he's
no longer sure of himself
· Below the Green Corrie
­ The poet says that the mountains in this poem have
`enriched' his life
­ The mountains are great and powerful. They give up some of
this power to the poet when they fill him with their
­ The mountains change the poet's life for the better. He
seems grateful for his experience of them…read more

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Some places are bleak or depressing:
· London
­ Blake does not like what he sees as he walks through the streets of
­ This urban landscape is full of misery and suffering. The language he uses
to describe the city is dark and dramatic, e.g. `black'ning church', `Runs in
­ There seems to be no escape from the relentless horror around him.
­ The poet gives the impression that the whole city is like this ­ `each
chartered street' ­ and that every section of society is affected ­ `palace
walls' and `chimney sweeper's cry'.
· A Vision
­ People once had visions of the future as the ideal place to live. In this
poem, today is that future and the reality is very different.
­ The present is harsh and bleak ­ old dreams of beauty and perfection
were never realised
­ The dreams are made to seem childish and fake, all `fairground rides' and
`fuzzy felt grass'.
­ This contrasts with the stark, realistic images of the present, e.g. `north
wind' and `landfill site'…read more

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Paul Dutton


A highly detailed presentation which helps revision of this theme.

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