GCSE English Lit: Key Poems

Poems

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  • Created by: clare
  • Created on: 13-04-11 10:06

On my First Sonne - Ben Jonson

What it's about

  • A father who is mourning the death of his 7 year old son and is saying goodbye to him.

Themes

  • Death - Death of his son
  • Parent/child relationships - Talks about his love and pride for his son "child of my right hand, and joy"
  • Love - Loves his son - "lov'd boy"

Structure

  • Rhyming couplets
  • Says goodbye to his son
  • He envies his son because he is in heaven
  • His son is his best creation and he doesn't want to love anything too much because he will lose it.
  • Controlled, one stanza poem - shows that he wants to control his emotions.
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Language

  • Pride and affection - "child of my right hand and joy", "rest in soft peace"
  • Metaphors - "best peice of poetry", " seven yeeres tho'wert lent to me"
  • Death - "thy fate" "here doth lye"

Attitudes and feelings

  • Grief - is upset about the death of his son
  • Uncertainty - Wonders whether it is better to be alive or dead

Links

  • Death - 'Mid Term Break', 'October'
  • Parent/child - 'Catrin', 'Affliction of Margaret'
  • Love - 'Sonnet', 'Mali'
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The Affliction of Margaret - William Wordsworth

What it's about

  • A mother who has lost her son for 7 years and is unsure whether he is dead of alive and is desperate to see him

Themes

  • Parent/child - Describes her love and pride for her son and is miserable without him
  • Strong emotions - her descperation and pain takes over her life and she can't be happy without knowing he is ok.

Structure

  • Long poem - suggest the time she has been worrying about him
  • Rhyming couplets
  • She is pain for the loss of her son
  • Talks about how good-looking he was - she was proud of him
  • Children don't realise how much thier mothers worry about them
  • She is so desperate that she 'looks for ghosts'
  • No- one understands her grief
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Language

  • Obsessive - "an object beauteous to behold", "I look for Ghosts", "Of Him I wait for day and night", "My apprehensions come in crowds"
  • Pain and Fear - "was ever darkness like this?","I suffered long", "tears like dew", "weeping for him when no one knew"
  • Reflective - talks directly to his son - "where art thou", "seven years, alas!" - tries to understand - "wishes, vain as mine"

Attitudes and feelings

  • Sympathy - the Poet makes the reader feel sorry for Margaret
  • Anxiety - Is worried about her son, she wants to talk to him
  • Despiration - It seems nothing matters to her except her son

Links

  • Parent/child - 'Follower', 'Catrin', 'Mali'
  • Strong emotions - 'The Laboratory', 'The Field-Mouse'
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Patroliing Barnegat - Walt Whitman

What it's about

  • Describes a fierce storm at night on Barnegat, a bay in America
  • People are patrolling the beach and they see a shipwreck in the distance

Themes

  • Nature - the nature of the storm is powerful and 'wild'.
  • Danger - the storm has power over the patrollers, causes a shipwreck - 'red signal flaring' - red shows danger

Structure

  • One block stanza and one long sentence - shows the storm going on and on and also the strength of the storm
  • Rhyming is used and each line ends with 'ing' words to create a sense of the storm happening right now
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Language

  • War-like language - references to war e.g. 'advancing', 'cutting swirl' (swords), 'confronting', 'warily watching' - the watchmen are fighting against the enemy i.e. the storm.
  • Dramatic language - 'demoniac laughter', 'savagest trinity lashing' (trinity refering to the 'waves, air, midnight')
  • Sounds of the storm - onomatopoeia - 'incessant undertone muttering', 'horse roar' - rough and powerful, 'slush and sand spirts of snow fierce slanting' - alliteration, sounds of the waves

Attitudes and feelings

  • Wariness and caution toward the storm - it is dangerous
  • The poet respects the power of nature
  • The poet has admiration for the watchmen's bravery

Links

  • Nature - 'Sonnet', 'Storm on the island'
  • Danger - 'Cold knap lake', 'little boy lost',
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Language

  • Visual Imagery - 'summer beaming forth', 'white wool sack clouds' (purity, softness), 'gold' instead of yellow - idealistic view, 'bright beetles' -alliteration enforcing idea of brightness.
  • Peacefulness - 'reed clumps rustle' - onomatopoeia, 'clear deep lake', 'flower head swings', 'happy wings'

Attitudes and feelings

  • Love for nature, summer and its beauty
  • Tranquility - relaxed and at peace
  • Happiness to be in the countyside and seeing natures beauty

Links

  • Nature - 'Blackberry picking', 'October'
  • Love - 'Catrin', 'Mali'
  • Imagery - 'Patrolling Barnegat', 'Inversnaid'
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At a Potato Digging - Seamus Heaney

What it's about

  • The poem moves between a modern day potato harvest and remembering the Potato Famine in 1845 when thousands of people died of hunger

Themes

  • Death - The poet talks about the many deaths of people in Ireland who starved
  • Politics - Shows the difficulties that occur in certain countries - the famine in Ireland

Structure

  • Long poem shows the how long the potato famine went on for
  • In sections I and IV
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Language

Attitudes and feelings

Links

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Death of a Naturalist - Seamus Heaney

What it's about

Themes

Structure

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Language

Attitudes and feelings

Links

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Digging - Seamus Heaney

What it's about

Themes

Structure

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Language

Attitudes and feelings

Links

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Storm on the Island - Seamus Heaney

What it's about

Themes

Structure

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Language

Attitudes and feelings

Links

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Catrin - Gillian Clarke

What it's about

Themes

Structure

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Language

Attitudes and feelings

Links

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A Difficult Birth, Easter 1998 - Gillian Clarke

What it's about

Themes

Structure

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Language

Attitudes and feelings

Links

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The Field-Mouse - Gillian Clarke

What it's about

Themes

Structure

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Language

Attitudes and feelings

Links

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Cold Knap Lake - Gillian Clarke

What it's about

Themes

Structure

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Language

Attitudes and feelings

Links

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Comments

Anita

thanks!!

kieran hextalll

this helped a lot !!

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