English Poems

London - William Blake

Romantic poem (nature,anti industrial revolution, childhood and innocence)

Context - Industrial Revolution (1700s), Pollution and smog, Bad work conditions and jobs being taken over by machines. 

Form/Strucute - 4 stanzas, each of equal length however the lines in stanza 2 are shorter, maybe to emphasise the pain being described within it. Has an ABAB rhyming scheme to emphasise the horror the writer is portraying (adds to the flow).

Language - Repetition of 'in every' shows us how bad it was and how everyone was suffering, also how the pain seemed endless? kept coming?

- 'every black'ning Church appalls' - Metaphor to show how the churches are doing nothing to help the poor therefore are 'black' with sin for not aiding them. 

Blake uses the techniques to put upmost emphais on the poor and how they suffer, also to show how the cycle is never ending. 

Makes the reader feel sympathy as we can relate to this even in the modern day as some place/countries are suffering due to being poor.

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Dulce Et Decorum Est - Wilfred Owen

About a gas attack in the trenches, showing what the soldiers went through on a daily basis. Owen is anti war and anti propaganda - wanted people to know the truth.

Context - WW1 trench warfare, gas attacks, propaganda, unaware of PTSD.

Form/Structure - 4 stanzas of irrregular length showing that nothing about war is natural or regular. 3rd Stanza is only 2 lines long and are made seperate showing how it is always there for him (in his dreams) - he's always reliving it and is never free. 

Language - Emotive verbs 'clumsy' 'yelling' 'stumbling' 'flound'ring' are not confident verbs or actions. Leaves the reader concerned for their safety and for the war. Thinking about the inevitable reality of death. 'clumsy'  - the equipment was of poor quality and wouldnt help them or keep them alive. - 'sea' is a metaphor for gas. 'thick' 'green' gives idea of polluted sea. Poisoned and deadly.

Intention - To inform the reader of the reality of war and how the soldiers are neglected by the generals.

Reader reaction - reader feels bad and sympathetic towards the soldiers and can relate to having loved ones in war. 

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Ozymandias - Percy Bysshe Shelly

Context - Shelly was a romantic poet. The poem is about a traveller speaking to the writer and telling them about a statue they have found of a once great king (Rameses II) who built temples for himself. Shelly's critisism of people who class themselves as invincible is obvious in the poem. 

Form/Structure - 14 line poem using iambic pentameter with only 1 stanza. This could be because its telling a brief story that would be better off flowng smoothly completely through to make sure the attention isnt taken off of the king who is considered 'all mighty' and 'powerful'.

Language - 'Stands stretch' - sibilance of 's' which flows off of the tounge to show the flow of decay of the statue as he is slowly forgotten about. - Iambic pentameter in the line 'The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed' stresses on the most inmportant sylabols. this adds a rhymical flow to the poem to show that everything under the kings command flowed and was smooth with no quesions asked.

Intention - To show how kings were concidered  Gods and that they were 'worshipped'  only to prove the opposite as after they had died they were considered harsh and cruel therfore being forgotten about. Also as its a romantic poem its against people being ranked 'higher' in a social higherachy.

Reaction - The reader is angered towards the king as the story tells his harsh ruling. Sees the king as arrogant.

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Hawk Roosting - Ted Hughes

Context - Hughes grew up in the countryside, which is shown in many of his texts. 

Poem is written as a dramatic monologue.

Form/Structure - 6 stanzas of equal length, which express strong ideas. Stanza 1&2 are about his physical superiority. 3&4 are revealing his power of/over nature. 5&6 is him justifying his actions. Poem begins and ends with 'I' which suggests the idea that he ris a ruler and will continue to rule. Regular form suggest the hawk (killer)is calm.

Language - repetition of the adjective 'hook' (to trap) which stresses his determination and natural/phsyical construction is built for cruelty. The repetition/use of the personal pronoun 'i' demonstrates the hawks confidence in himself. 'my' (possessive pronoun) shows his arrogance and self belief reinforced by short phrases as he doesnt feel the need to explain himself. 'Creation' has a capitalized 'C' implies he sees himself as god like?

Intention - The hawk may be a metaphor for  dictator or leader who has gained power and is justifying himself? Writting about death from the view of a killer? Wanted to show 'nature thinking'

Reader - The reader may interpret it as a  leader who has seized power and needs to justify himself. 

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Key Quotes

Hawk Roosting -

  • 'It took the whole of Creation'
  • 'Between my hooked head and hooked feet'
  • 'I am going to keep things like this'

Ozymandias - 

  • 'Sands stretch'
  • King of kings' 
  • 'The hand that mocked them'

Dulce Et Decorum Est - 

  • 'Green sea'
  • 'Yelling out and stumbling'
  • 'If you could hear'

London -  

  • 'Every black'ning church appalls'
  • 'In every cry of every man'
  • 'New born Infant's tear'
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