GCSE edexcel ENGLISH LIT POETRY

War Photographer LSF

- Photographer is presented as a predator through 'seek out', 'finger pressed'

- Contrast of stanzas 2 and 3: lightness vs heavy burden, emphasises inequality

- Sibilance in stanza 2 suggests lighthearted giggling, while in stanza 3 it suggests how sinsiter and evil war is

- Repetition of '-as' suggests no difference between 2 events

- Ellipsis in stanza 3 emphasises we don't know fate of baby

- Caesura after 'the almost-smile' suggests happiness cut short

- We learn about what happened to the girl before we hear what the newspaper published

- Dramatic monologue, 1st person: 1st stanza is present tense as if photographer is confessing and then moves to past tense when remembering his/her crimes

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War Photographer KEY QUOTES

'People eat, sleep, love normally/while I seek out the tragic'

'I took a pair of peach, sun-glided girls/rolling, silk-crumpled, on the grass/in champagne giggles'

'a small girl/staggering down some devastated street'

'my finger pressed'

'the first bomb of the morning/shattered the stones'

'mouth too small for her dark scream''

'Their caption read/'Even in hell the human spirit/triumphs over all'

'As arbitrary as a blood stain on the wall

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What Were They Like? LSF

- Broken structure of the poem with questions & answers, perhaps reflects the broken nature of the Vietnamese culture

- Patronising language in opening stanza is distorted into the pain of the Vietnamese in the 2nd stanza

- Both persona are not from Vietnamese culture. They are 'other' and different, referred to by 'they'

- Past tense, 'What were they like?'

- Images of beauty juxtaposed with destruction

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What Were They Like? KEY QUOTES

'1) Did the people of Viet Nam/use lanterns of stone?'

'1) Sir, their light hearts turned to stone'

'Sir, laughter is bitter to the burned mouth'

'When bombs smashed those mirrors/there was time only to scream'

'Who can say? It is silent now'

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Belfast Confetti LSF

- Extended metaphor of punctuation represents war-torn streets, suggesting conflict has left speaker speechless

- Punctuation represents events and damage: 'raining exclamation marks' is shouting, 'asterisk on the map' looks like exploding bomb, also suggests something missing. 'hyphenated line' and '...' represents bullets

- Assonance of 'blocked with stops...' emphasises feelings of being trapped

- Metaphor 'labyrinth', refers to the Minotaur myth, suggests how trapped he feels and that his home has become unreal

- Lines are interrupted by enjambment and caesura: representing the chaos of the streets, and dead ends speaker faces e.g. 'street. Dead end again.'

- Poem is structured on page with long then short lines representing the dead ends the speaker faces; also represents lines of bullet fire

- Rhetorical questions at end represent questions police are firing at him and also suggests the conflict has left the speaker with a lack of identity

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Belfast Confetti KEY QUOTES

'It was raining exclamation marks'

'a fount of broken type'

'an asterisk on the map'

'This hypenated line, a burst/a rapid fire...'

'All the alleyways and side streets blocked with stops/colons'

'I know this labyrinth so well'

'Crimea/street. Dead end again.'

'What is/my name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going? A/fullisade of questions marks.'

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Catrin LSF

- Repetition of 'I can remember...', is a memory she returns to again and again

- Language of conflict throughout the poem shows pain of birth

- Motherhood presented as a battle

- Oxymoron: 'wild, tender'

- Metaphors: symbolise both difficulty of birth/motherhood and the love

- Stuctural features such as 2 stanzas and use of enjambment and caesura - symbolise the fight for mother and daughter to become separate entities

- Rhyme of 'strong, long' childlike but proud

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Catrin KEY QUOTES

'I can remember you, child'

'the tight/Red rope of love'

'a hot, white room'

'our struggle to become separate. We want, we shouted, to be two, to be ourselves.'

'still I am fighting/you off'

'that old rope, tightening about my life'

'you ask may you skate in the dark, for one more hour'

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No Problem LSF

- Poet's own voice

- Uses dialect throughout - shows pride in his identity

- Intentionally spelling the words phonetically to emphasise his accent

- Repetition of the refrain, 'I am not de problem' - those who are prejudiced/racist are the problem

- 2 stanzas - represents divide

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No Problem KEY QUOTES

' I am not de problem'

'I can do more dan dance'

'Black is not de problem/mother country get it right'

'I am born academic/but dey got me on de run'

'branded athletic'

'sum of me best friends are white'

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The Man He Killed LSF

- Both speaker and man he killed are nameless, universal, so could be anyone

- Each stanza opens with a speech mark suggesting a story being told - a dramatic monologue

- Regular metre and ABAB rhyme scheme create chatty informal tone - juxtaposed with subject of death/killing

- Simple vocabulary suggests common working class speaker - Dorset dialect eg nipperkin

- No imagery, straight forward description

- Uses lots of repetition and parallel sentence structures to emphasise the pairings of the speaker and the man he's killed, such as 'face to face' and 'I shot him as he at me'

- 3rd stanza, repetition of foe suggests the speaker trying to convince himself, but tails off with 'although' at end of line

- Hypens in 4th stanza show the faltering in his reasoning

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The Man He Killed KEY QUOTES

'I shot at him as he at me, And killed him in his place'

'I shot him dead because - Because he was my foe, Justo so: my foe of course he was; That's clear enough; although'

'Off-hand like - just as I'

'quaint and curious war is!'

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The Charge of the Light Brigade LSF

- Strong rhythm throughout - formed of dactylic dimeter

- Rhyme used to further emphasise this

- 6 numbered stanzas - could this refer to the 600 soldiers?

- Refrain of 'six hundred' used to emphasie the sacrifice they made

- Rhetorical question poses a problem for the reader

- Graphic use of metaphor

- Lots of alliteration to focus on

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The Charge of the Light Brigade KEY QUOTES

'Half a league, half a league, half a league onward'

'Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred'

'Theirs not the reason why, theirs but to do and die'

'Cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them, cannon in front of them'

'Stormed at with shot and shell'

'When can their glory fade?'

'Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade'

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Half Caste LSF

- Poem is written in a mixture of English dialects; Standard English, Caribbean and Creole form are all used

- Structured with short lines and almost no punctuation (he uses '/' instead of a full stop) to convery the direct and confronational nature of the message. It makes the poem go quickly so it feels like someone 'kicking off' at you (rant)

- Poem doesn't rhyme, but the words do have a rhythm which is reinforced by the repetition of phrases like: 'What yu mean' and: 'de whole of'

- Direct address, imperative: 'Explain yuself' challenges the reader and their presumed prejudice

- Extended metaphor of 'half' a person, Agard making a point about ideas of purity, equating mixed race with 'less than whole'

- Poem relies on comparisons to make us see how illogical it is to judge things that are in contrasting colours as only 'half' worthy. Imagery of Picasso, Tchaikovsky, British weather - examples valued by white culture, mixing seen as positive and creating something beautiful

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Half Caste KEY QUOTES

'yu mean when picasso mix red an green is a half caste canvas/'

'ah listening to yu wid de keen half of mih ear'

'I half-caste human being caste half a shadow'

'but yu must come back tomorrow wid de whole of yu eye'

'an i will tell yu de other half of my story'

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Exposure LSF

- 8 stanzas of 5 lines: last line of each stanza is significantly shorter

- ABBA rhyme scheme for first 4 lines

- Generally follows Hexameter

- Repeated use of rhetorical questions

- Repetition of 'but nothing happens'

- Personification of the weather - is this the real enemy?

- Various forms of alliteration (assonsance, sibiliance...)

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Exposure KEY QUOTES

'But nothing happens'

'Is it that we are dying?'

'Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war'

'Sudden successive flights of bullets streak the silence'

'The merciless iced east winds that knife us'

'For the love of God seems dying'

'All their eyes are ice'

'We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy'

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The Prelude LSF

- Blank verse (iambic pentameter with no rhyme) like a narrative

- Part of an epic poem

- Conversational tone

- Images of Nature having authority over man

- Nature as beautiful and also dangerous

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The Prelude KEY QUOTES

'One summer evening (led by her)'

'Went heaving through the water like a swan;'

'a huge peak, black and huge'

'the grim shape/Towered up between me and the stars'

'But huge and mighty forms...were a trouble to my dreams'

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The Class Game LSF

- Direct address. A challenge? A game?

- Rhetorical questions - accusing tone?

- Dialect used to show she is not living up to view of her

- Rhyme is AABB sing song teasing tone

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The Class Game KEY QUOTES

'How can you tell what class I'm from?'

'Cos we live in a corpy, not like some/In a pretty little semi, out of Wirral way'

'A cleaner is me mother/A docker is me brother'

'And I'm proud of the class that I am from'

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The Destruction of Sennacherib LSF

- Anapestic meter - di di DUM di di DUM - sounds like horses hooves, getting out of control

- Strict quatrains with couplets (AABB) rhyme scheme - simple truth - like bible story

- Long list structure - 'And...And...And...' events overwhelming

- Natural imagery to make the biblical story seem like a fable/parable 'like a wolf on the fold'

- Sensuous imagery throughout - emphasising wealth and glamour of invaders 'purple and gold', 'stars on the sea'

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The Destruction of Sennacherib KEY QUOTES

'The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold/And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold'

'the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea'

'For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast'

'the tents were all silent, the banners alone/the lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown'

'And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail...And the idols are broke...'

'The might of the Gentile...Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord'

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Poppies LSF

- Different time phrases give it a sense of universality: 'three days before', 'after you'd gone' - it ends with suspended on the hill between past and present

- Balanced and regular stanzas are disrupted by caesura and enjambment: reflects the mother trying to control her emotion

- Poetic persona of a mother grieving for her son for he has died or is fighting in a war

- Imagery of birds and doves give a sense of freedom

- Moving details of motherly love

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Poppies KEY QUOTES

'Three days before Armistice Sunday/and poppies had already been placed/on individual war graves'

'crimped petals/spasms of paper red'

'to the front door, threw/it open, the world overflowing/like a treasure chest'

'released a song bird from its cage'

'the war memorial,/leaned against it like a wishbone'

'I listened, hoping to hear/your playground voice catching on the wind'

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A Poison Tree LSF

- 1st person narrative: examining a basic human emotion which can be felt by anyone

- An extended metaphor of a tree growing in the speaker's garden demonstrates how the anger continues to grow

- Written in quatrains

- Each stanza consists of a pair of rhyming couplets in the regular repeated pattern AABB

- The rhythm of the poem is also straightforward and regular (trochaic trimeter and iambic tetrameter)

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A Poison Tree KEY QUOTES

'I was angry with my foe:/I told it not, my wrath did grow'

'And I water'd it in fears./Night and morning with my tears'

'And it grew both day and night,/Till it bore an apple bright;'

'And he knew that it was mine,/And into my garden stole'

'In the morning glad I see, My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree'

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Cousin Kate LSF

- Poem is a monologue, directly addressed to 'Cousin Kate'

- Traditional ballad (ABAB rhyme scheme) alternating lines of iambic trimeter and tetrameter

- Images are pastoral in nature

- Rhetorical questions/oxymorons - convey speaker's confusion

- Passive verbs emphasise the powerlessness of women - the speaker and Cousin Kate are passive whereas the nobleman is active

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Cousin Kate KEY QUOTES

'Why did the great lord find me out/And praise my flaxen hair?'

'He wore me like a golden knot'

'He saw you at your father's gate,/Chose you and cast by me'

'Call me an outcast thing'

'You sit in gold and sing'

'O Cousin Kate, my love was true,/Your love was writ in sand'

'My fair-haired son, my shame, my pride,/Cling closer, closery yet'

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