English Literature GCSE - Comparing Poems Advice

  • Created by: Ben V.
  • Created on: 14-05-13 10:21

Getting Started with Comparing Poems

Alright- so in your exam the question might ask you to compare the themes of two of the poems, if it asks you to do that then you need to know immediately what poems are similar to one another.

Now, this may sound hard- but it's really easy if you just get the main gist of each poem.

FOR EXAMPLE = The poem 'HOUR' has the theme of LOVE as well as the theme of TIME being important.

Now, when asked to compare, you need to think- what other poem in the cluster is about LOVE, or TIME. Or even both! So, what other poems have the idea of LOVE and TIME?


The Manhunt explores ideas of LOVE and TIME, remember? When his wife tries to restore their relationship. However, the wounds (Both physically and mentally), will require time to heal)

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Comparing Poems (Linking Poems by form of Relation

Alright, now that we've established the basics of comparing poems. I'll give you a poem, and you think of one that you think would be good to compare it to.

Just scroll down on each page to see if you picked a suitable response.

Alright, so- Question 1, this is a question based on the form of relationship the poem is based on. Now, you could be asked a question on this, or anything else. But for now, here's the first qurstion.

Nettles explores the theme of a strong family relationship, what other poems in the cluster share this theme of a strong family relationship?

The most suitable poems to respond to this would have been:

HarmoniumBrothersSister Maude

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Comparing Poems (Linking Poems through Imagery)

Alright, now that we've covered that Poems can be compared through the form of relationship that it contains. We can now move on to the next topic of interest.


Now, Imagery is the way that a poem or a text makes you think, it presents the connotations of what it's saying. By this I mean, when you use the word "bang", it'll bring up thoughts of a loud noise, or an explosion. That's imagery.

Here's question 2, to do with Imagery.

In Quickdraw, Carol Ann Duffy uses imagery to show us the theme of the Wild West being in play throughout the poem. Name another poem that also uses imagery to present a certain theme in the poem.

The appropriate responses to this question would be:


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Now, hopefully you'll understand that comparing poems isn't as hard as it may seem. All you need to do is think of the main ideas of the poem, and see what other poems share those ideas!

I hope you've found this useful, if you'd like to continue your work on learning how to compare poems- I've saught out some good resources on GetRevising that'll be of help.

Comparing Nettles: http://getrevising.co.uk/revision-notes/nettlesenglish_literature_relationships_aqa_gcse_past_questi

 Comparing Brothers: http://getrevising.co.uk/revision-notes/brothersenglish_literature_relationships_aqa_gcse_past

Comparing The Manhunt: http://getrevising.co.uk/revision-notes/the_manhuntenglish_literature_relationships_aqa_gcse_past

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Comparing Quickdraw: http://getrevising.co.uk/revision-notes/quickdrawenglish_literature_relationships_aqa_gcse_past

Comparing Hour: http://getrevising.co.uk/revision-notes/hourenglish_literature_relationships_aqa_gcse_past

Comparing In Paris With You: http://getrevising.co.uk/revision-notes/in_paris_with_youenglish_literature_relationships_aqa_gcse_p

All credit for the above documents resides with Esther the Bunny. See her profile and all her resources here:


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Ben Venn

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