AS Poetry Key Notes

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  • 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
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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
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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'
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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
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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"
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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
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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"
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Comments

LostInWork

*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.

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