AS Poetry Key Notes

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: _Phoebo_
  • Created on: 27-04-16 17:14

To His Coy Mistress - Andrew Marvell

Key Info:

  • Metaphysial poet - therefore a poem typical of its period
  • Oliver Cromwell went against Charles I during the period - perhaps a link between the woman not co-operating with the sepaker?
  • Iambic tretameter
  • AABB  rhyme scheme - creating couplets
  • Coy Mistress = shy young woman

Main themes / points:

  • Trying to convince a woman to have sex with him
  • Makes a big point about running out of time; eg, "times winged Charriot", "once our Time devoir"
  • Also talks about love; if he had the time to love her, he would "Love you ten years before the Flood"
  • He says "...should show your Heart...you deserve this State" - you should have sex with me, you don't deserve to die as a virgin
1 of 14

The Flea - John Donne

Key Info:

  • Metaphysical poet
  • AABB rhyme scheme; each new rhyme generally indroduces a new idea
  • Iambic pentameter and tetrameter
  • Trading between different countires (India) was allowed during the period written - mix between two foreign bloods? Or flea representing a new culture?

Key themes / points:

  • Talks of a man wanting to have sex with a "maidenhead" - Donne uses the flea the place they will unite "in this flea, our two bloods mingled be"
  • He further develops his argument when the woman kills the flea within the middle stanza of the poem; saying that the fleas life was "sacrilege, three sins in killing thee"
  • He then concludes his argument by using the end three lines - he uses rhyme to unite them - by using the point "learn how false, fears be...honour, when thou yield'st to me...as this flea's death took life from thee" ie; don't be scared to sleep with me, you should grasp the oppertunity as a sorry for killing the flea
2 of 14

Who so list to hount - Sir Thomas Wyatt

Key info:

  • Italian sonnet, as part of the renaisance period 
  • Henry VIII reigned in this period; also his daughter married James I in 1503, when Wyatt was born
  • Generally masculine, ABBA rhyme
  • Unconsistant Iambic pentameter (tricaic in line 7 because of trochee 'faynting')

Main themes / points

  • Speaker 'chasing' after a woman
  • As the poem develops, he doesn't have much self belief, "vayne travaill" (hopeless chase) as he falls "farthest cometh behinde"
  • Because of the referances of wealth (i.e "Diamondes" and "Cesars"),and jealousy, it could be seen as a referance to Henry VIII wife, Anne Boleyn, whom supposedly had an affair with Wyatt
  • His jealousy / annoyance is shown by the phrase "Noli me tangere" meaning 'Don't touch me'
3 of 14

Sonnet 116 - William Shakespeare

Key Info:

  • Inconsistant iambic rhythm
  • Made up of three quatrains, followed by an ending couplet (AA)
  • ABAB rhyme scheme
  • Could be reference to MAry Queen of Scots' marriage to Darnley as she was a significant chracter within the period

Main themes / points:

  • Speaker talking about marriage and love
  • "Mindes" could refer to the two minds that need to connect to make true love; or the impediment value of a Church of England ceremony ("Let me not" not love you)
  • Love doesn't change when circumstances do
  • Love leads us through life
  • It is priceless
  • Death will find you and time is short
  • If these ideas, [Shakespeare has] never written, and nobody has ever loved before
4 of 14

The Scrutiny - Richard Lovelace

Key Info:

  • Iambic tretameter and pentameter 
  • ABABB rhyme scheme (sound based not spelling)
  • Metaphysical poet
  • Link to Cavaliers / Charles I could be faithful to his country
  • Lyrical poetry

Main themes / points:

  • It's impossible for the speaker to stay faithful because he gets "tedious"
  • Remaining foresworn for twelve hours is aan achievement to him
  • He would try to find a beautiful virgin that is faithful - she would be different from anyone else and they "sound for Treasure"
5 of 14

A Song (Absent from Thee) - John Wilmot

Key info:

  • Written by the Earl of Rochester (a drunk who was described to be a part of a "merry gang" by Marvell
  • Restoration period
  • Iambic tetrameter
  • ABAB rhyme
  • Written in four quatrains
  • Written to a woman or God?!

Main themes / points:

  • Mixes open ideas of love and religion, which would have been shocking in the period
  • When the speaker is away from his love, he "languish still"
  • It is hard to distinguish sometimes wheather he is talking of God or a 'whore' "thy safe bosom I retire"
  • "Faithless to thee, false" may be refering to God or a woman
6 of 14

The Garden of Love - William Blake

Key Info:

  • Written during the Industrial Revolution as part of 'the Songs of Innocence'
  • Anapestic trimeter
  • ABCB rhyme scheme

Main themes / points:

  • He talks of a chapel that has been built "where i used to play on the green", marking that he garden has changed for the worst
  • It was described as where "so many sweet flowers bore", suuggesting a link to the Garden of Eden
  • "'Thou Shalt Not' writ over the door" with the consistant stressed rhythm called a 'mollosous' suggests that this place is stopping people from being truly happy; perhaps even religion
  • "priests...walking their rounds" give the priests an 'evil' persona, presenting a never-ending ritual that the speaker doesn't agree with
  • "Briars...desires" shows internal rhyme within the last line; could be interpretated as the sexual desires between Adam and Eve
7 of 14

Song (Ae Fond Kiss) - Robert Burns

Key Info:

  • Femenine rhyme 
  • AABB rhyme scheme (in couplets)
  • Trochaic tetrameter rhythm - like a song
  • Scottish writer who writes for Agnes McLehose who he loved, but she departed to Jamacia to her husband

Main themes / points:

  • "Kiss" is a kiss godbye as Agnes, refered to as "Nancy" who departs from Scotland
  • "Sever" - seperation; they were once '1', similar to Donne's 'The Flea'
  • Use of personal pronouns at the end of the lines in stanza two shows close relationship, eg "the star of hope she leaves him" - enphasising a loss of someone
  • "We had ne'er been broken-hearted" - conflict with himslef - he wouldn't be feeling this pain if he had never met this girl
  • Last stanza, fist line is same as the beginning; there are also a dash on the last lines of stanza five and six - these both suggest a never ending and unfinished element
8 of 14

She Walks in Beauty - Lord Byron

Key Info:

  • Iambic tetrameter 
  • ABAB rhyme scheme
  • Written in the romantic period; obsesed with politics and science

Main themes / points:

  • Everything about the character is beautiful, hence the noun-filled third stanza, "cheek", "brow", "smiles" etc 
  • "like the night", "best of dark and bright" - she is perfection, is a balenced character (contrast between light and dark)
  • Second staza explores how she "softly lightens" "their dwelling place"
  • "cloudless climes and starry skies" = reference to science?
9 of 14

Remember - Christina Rossetti

Key Info:

  • Wrote when Rossetti was 19 in the height of the Vicotrian period
  • Relates to her father being consistantly sick (bronctitus) and so death was a realistic and close subject
  • Iambic pentameter
  • ABBA rhyme scheme

Main themes / points:

  • Talking of the speakers death, and her wanting to be remembered
  • Full of personal pronouns, suggesting that the speaker is herself 
  • Imperitives are common throughout
  • Caesura used in line 7 making it seem important
  • "Vestiege" = small part of
  • "Should" in the last two linnes highlights future
10 of 14

The Ruined Maid - Thomas Hardy

Key Info:

  • Anapestic rhythm; waltz-like
  • AABB rhyme scheme
  • Victorian era
  • Two speakers?

Main themes / points:

  • Speaker talking of how a prostitute has changed since she moved from the country to the city for work 
  • Animalistic referances, "hands were like paws", "bright feathers"
  • The lady in question has a family that highly cares about her; "You left us in tatters" - not talking of lack of money, but lack of seeing her
  • She has become 'posh'; "little gloves", "talking quite fits'ee", "polish is gained"
11 of 14

At an Inn - Thomas Hardy

Key Info:

  • Victorian era with metaphysical elements; talks of his longed love Florence Henniker
  • ABAB rhyme scheme
  • Inconsistant iambic 'thirds'

Main themes / points:

  • Talks of two "strangers" staying at an inn, and being misinterpretated as a couple by the workers in the first stanza, "they warmed [us as if]...us more than friends" he enjoys this element
  • Metaphysical elements seen in the second stanza; "the spheres above" - calling to God from help / 'kill me now' in embarrasment
  • He talks of what the workers would expect, "the kiss zeal foretold", but the "bloom not ours"
  • He then argues why should they be in love, "why shaped us for his [cupid] sport in after-hours?"
  • The speaker also explores being bored "palised unto death" and despiration to get out of the awkward atmosphere!
12 of 14

La Belle Dame sans Merci. A Ballad - John Keats

Key Info:

  • Romantic period - elements of metaphysical
  • Iambic tetarmeter, ABCB rhyme scheme

Main themes / points:

  • Speaker 1 begins by saying that they have found a knight suffering at the end of Autumn 
  • He is infact dying, "on thy cheeks a fading rose"
  • Speaker 2, the knight, then talks in the 'III' stanza, saying he met a beautiful lady "a faery's child" indicating she is a witch (metaphysical?)
  • He fell in love with the mystery woman, and he thought she did too, "she did love"
  • There is a suggestion that they had sex, but not for certain, "set her on my pacing speed"
  • "Manna-dew" = referance to bible - 'food of heaven' - she is angelic
  • He then had a 'dream' on a "cold hill side" (where he was found in the first place- flashback?) where "pale warriors" (ghosts?) warn him of the lady in question; "Thee hath in thrall!"
  • He then wakes up on the very hill side, and the last stanza is a repetition of the first, indicating a cycle
13 of 14

Non Sum Qualias - Ernest Dowson

Key Info:

  • Title translation - "I am not as I was in the reign of good Cynara"
  • Iambic hexameter
  • ABA (CBC) rhyme scheme
  • French

Main themes / points:

  • Talks of not being faithful, "bought red mouth" - similarly to The Scrutiny (Lovelace) and The Ruined Maid (Hardy)
  • However, Cynara is the one that he is in love with and he exclaims, "I have been faithfull to thee...in my fashion" - which is the last line of every stanza, showing that he feels the need to repeat his plea of innocence
  • Talks of alchohol suggests he is drunk, "kisses and the wine", "stronger wine" and is trying to to get away from the fact he can't possibly stay faithful
  • He is "sick of an old passion" , linking back to the fact that he is sorry for unable to stay faithful, yet "i have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion"
14 of 14

Comments

LostInWork

Report

*Looks to the heavens and THANKS GOD she found awesome revision notes by an amazing person*

Was about to give up on English Lit AS Exam, *Wipes Tear* but you saved me, thank you so much for these notes.

rockboy3080

Report

These are great

lauraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Report

God bless!

JetFire

Report

Lol, just watching the relieved comments makes me smile ;)

Saz88024

Report

thankyou, i was struggling with how to revise, the flash cards are soo helpful

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all poetry resources »