Place Cluster- Poetry

These were made for the AQA Moon On the Tides 'Place Cluster' but I think some of the poems are used by other exam boards so check just in case!

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The Blackbird of Glanmore
What Happens
Arrives home from boarding school sees a blackbird on the grass- remembers a blackbird on the roof weeks
before his brother's death
A recognises comparisons between the twitchy blackbird and his brother excited to see him home
Instead of seeing the blackbird as an omen e welcomes the sight- the stillness after his brother's death is
broken by the bird
6 stanzas, six lines with final line separated giving it emphasis e.g. `It's you, blackbird, I love'
In other stanzas line 5 is held by enjambement- there's a pause before the neighbour voices their views on
the blackbird
The short lived panic of the bird is temporary but Heaney waits a moment before exclaiming `In front of my
house of life'
There are also pauses (caesuras) within lines. E.g. Line 7: `I park, pause, take heed. / Breath. Just Breath' slows
the poem- pause as he connects the blackbird to his brother's death.
No rhyme scheme ­ natural- like hearing the speaker's thoughts.
Poem is circular- returns to where it began
The first stanza has a musical quality- references old English poetry
Sustained consonants such as `r', `l' and `v' are used. This is called consonance.
Alliteration used
Onomatopoeia and alliteration of sharp letters `c' and `t' to recreate the blackbird's call of alarm after the
clunk of the gate lock
Second line uses an oxymoron `Filling the stillness with life'
Similar with `Little Stillness Dancer' the opposite, the blackbird's pure being fills the stillness with life but his
life was stilled- the opposite.
The assonant `ee' sound of `heed' and the repeated `breath' slows the poem and allows the reader to
Conflict between life and death. Language connected with death interspersed with `living' words
Contemplating the sad loss of his brother with life's small delights.
Compound words such as `haunter-son' and `hedge-hop' condensing more than one idea in one word
Stanza four directly quotes the neighbour to emphasise extent of superstition
Remember lines he once translated in lines 10- 12
31 he addresses the blackbird `I am absolute. / For you'
In Shakespeare's Measure for Measure a young man condemned to die is told `Be absolute for death, either
death or life/ Shall thereby be sweeter' (Your life will better if you can approach death without fear)
Heaney has decided to celebrate life because he appreciates life is short and unpredictable
Love of nature- delight in the blackbird (the last line)
When Heaney writes `it's you, blackbird, I love' talking about his brother
Many lines refer to both the blackbird and the boy
Shifting perspective of life and death
Nature can console for continuing grief
Memory of love is stronger than the fear of death
Celebration of life despite the loss of a child

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Page 2

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A Vision
What Happens
Describes ambitious and unrealistic plans people once had to turn towns into futuristic utopias
He describes finding the plans on the landfill site- vision was always unlikely
5 Four lined stanzas of free verse
1st line- immediate statement-`once' instant clue to poet's disillusionment.…read more

Page 3

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The Moment
What Happens
Man thinking he's in charge of the world- but really nature is
Human endeavour and achievement can lead to a sense of achievement that means people feel they can own
a part of nature- colony, land, etc
The second stanza strips man of these claims
The final stanza reminds man that he conquered nothing, he owns nothing
1st stanza is just one long sentence
The sharp change (enjambement) surprises the reader- human achievement to nature tearing it down
The pause…read more

Page 4

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Cold Knap Lake
What Happens
A memory from her childhood- a girl was pulled from a lake, resuscitated by the poet's mother, taken home
by her father and beaten
Reflecting on the memory- wonders if she really witnessed it or whether her mind has created a false
memory from accounts of others
Love of fairy tales
Wonders if there is something more sinister to the memory that she can't remember
Alternating 4 and six line stanzas
Rhyming couplet at the end- full rhyme- stressed…read more

Page 5

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Price we pay for sun
What Happens
Explores different views of the Caribbean
Tourists view it as perfect holiday destination
Residents live in poverty
While the wealthy can afford their Caribbean holiday the West Indians `pay' daily by their hard lifestyle and
3 separate free verse stanzas
The last 3 lines are separate to summarise the message and bring it home to the reader
Rhythm of poem places emphasis on the last word of a line
However on lines 10 and 16 the…read more

Page 6

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What Happens
Personal viewpoint of the Chernobyl Disaster
Welsh- Wales suffered from the Fallout- lamb became inedible
Fearful of what the wind would bring across
Despite the poisonous effect on the land and animals
The ending is positive- the disaster forced countries to talk to each other and become more tolerant
7 three-lined stanzas of free verse
The stand- alone line with two clear caesuras is divide into 3, bringing together Russian, Welsh and English-
The enjambement between lines 9 and 10…read more

Page 7

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Crossing the Loch
What Happens
Poet recalls coming out of a pub with friends and thinking it would be a good idea to row out
They reach deep waters and their jokiness turns to fear
Suddenly phosphorescence lights up the boat- magical experience
She reflects on how it was a stupid, youthful thing to do but also feels that without their youthful foolishness
gave them a magical experience
Begins with `remember'- the reader knows it is a recollection
Use of enjambement and caesura sounds…read more

Page 8

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Hard Water
What Happens
Celebrates the qualities of the hard water of where she grew up in the Midlands
`Anaesthetic' water from the tap and heavy, uncompromising rain
Compares the water to the characteristics of the people in her town- plain spoken/ hard working/ honest
Those who grew up there retain a strong sense of their identity
Three free-verse stanzas unequal length
First 3 lines describe her experience of `soft' water on holiday in whales
But her allegiance is shown immediately by the…read more

Page 9

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What Happens
Blake hated the effects of the Industrial Revolution on England
He describes London as corrupt and ailing, industrialisation promotes poverty, child labour, disease and
Four 4-lined stanzas (quatrains)
Alternate lines rhyme
Metre, Iambic Tetrameter creates a tightly structured poem- sense of entrapment which entirely mirrors the
lives of the people of London `chartered'
Sometimes the heavy beat falls on the first 1st syllable of the line to place extra stress on a word like `marks'
and `blasts'
The second stanza…read more

Page 10

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The Prelude
What Happens
As a child he stole a small boat one summer evening and rowed it into a lake
Towards a ridge on the horizon however a huge menacing mountain appeared `like a living thing'
He ran home terrified and was `grave and serious' he was haunted by the experience- threatening
One continuous stanza of free verse
Slow and calm iambic pentameter is ideal for the descriptive and reflective narrative
Frequent enjambement adds a sense of storytelling- makes the reader feel part…read more


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