Poetry Edexcel relationships context

  • Created by: GCSE 9
  • Created on: 10-04-17 13:41

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

  • The title of Keats' poem alludes to an earlier poem of the same name by the French poet Alain Chartier, which was written around 1420.
  • Although the plots differ, both poems touch upon the idea that a perfect, romantic relationship is impossible to achieve, a common feature of the Courtly Romance tradition.
  • Keats was part of the Romantic Movement.
  • The Romantics often used idealised medieval archetypes, such as knights and maidens, in order to explore ideas about love, duty and honour.
  • The Romantics were also drawn to supernatural and magical themes as this allowed them to investigate concepts such as reality, perception and illusions.
  • Keats had TB while writing this poem. TB influenced poems tone & subject.
  • He was also undecided about whether to enter into a relationship with Fanny Brawne, who he loved but whose friends disapproved of the possible match with Keats.
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A Child To His Sick Grandfather

  • Baillie was a Scottish playwright and poet, and a contemporary of the Romantic literary figure William Wordsworth.
  • Wordsworth commented that poetry should be inspired by "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings," which the poet then reflects upon at a later date in a state of "tranquillity", the tension between the original emotion and the reflective process produces the art.
  • Baillie's poem does indeed seem to explore a moment of intense emotion but in a controlled and reflective way, making it very much in keeping with the Romantic literary tradition.
  • Baillie often used the theme of youth versus age in her writing.
  • Romantic period showing taking a childlike perspective on important issues to understand them clearly.
  • Own father died in 1783 and book containing this poem published in 1790 could explain why the poem refers both to Grandfather in the title, but changes to 'dad' in the poem as she merges into her own grief.
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She Walks in Beauty

  • Byron was a key poet of the Romantic Movement, which rejected the values of the Age of Enlightenment that had preceded it.
  • The Romantics valued emotion and imagination over rational thought and logic 
  • The natural world is a key motif in the Romantic Movement, and in this poem, Byron uses it in order to draw a portrait of the unimaginably beautiful woman. 
  • Byron is said to have been inspired to write this poem after seeing a lady called Mrs Anne Wilmot. 
  • The Romantic Movement was captivated by foreign cultures, so it is interesting that Byron mentions "cloudless climes", possibly referring to a hot, dry country. This allusion could suggest that the woman‟s beauty is as intriguing as one of the foreign countries so much admired by the Romantics.
  • Writers of the Romantic Movement often felt that the natural world inspired awe within them, but Byron seems to exchange all of nature for a single person in this poem. The poem makes the woman sound perfect and untouchable, and elevates her to a goddess-like state. 
  • This effect is enhanced when Byron states that she is "at peace with all below", as if she is looking down on mortals like Byron.
  • Byron seeing the wife of a friend and feeling compelled to talk about her beauty.
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A complaint

  • This poem typifies the Romantics interest in exploring intense emotions of an individual.
  • It is possible that this poem was written in response to the relationship Wordsworth had with the fellow Romantic poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
  • Wordsworth and Coleridge shared a great friendship, collaborated on work together and inspired each other.
  • However, at times the relationship was strained by artistic differences and issues surrounding Coleridge's opium addiction.
  • Reflecting failed relationship between Wordsworth and Coleridge caused by Coleridge 'not taking heed' of Wordsworth and demanding too much help/attention.
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Neutral Tones

  • Much of Hardy's work is characterised by an air of melancholy and this poem is no exception.
  • Despite a rapidly industrialising world, Hardy drew inspiration from the natural world around him and this is reflected in the outdoor setting of Neutral Tones.
  • Hardy kept it private for 20 years after writing showing how much the relationship had affected him.
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Sonnet 43

  • This is the penultimate sonnet in a series called Sonnets From The Portuguese. This title implies that they had been translated from Portuguese, but in fact they were original compositions written by Browning.
  • They were written as an expression of Browning's love for her husband, Robert, who was also a poet.
  • Love sonnet by a female poet- not typical.
  • Deals with stereotypical love- she's a woman.
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My Last Duchess

  • The Duke in the poem is based on the Renaissance figure Alfonso II, ruler of Ferrara, who did indeed have a wife who died in mysterious circumstances. 
  • However, Browning is not just telling a tale from history, he is using the Duke to explore the idea that there is a strong drive in human nature to control and dominate. 
  • The last Duchess could be seen as a symbol for anyone, or any group of vulnerable people.
  • Girl is thirteen and he's in his mid-40s. Contextually in 18 hundreds, this is seen as normal.
  • Patriarchal society
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First Date

  • First Date is one poem in a collection called The Audience. 
  • This collection consists of ten poems that explore the different types of people frequently found in the audience of a classical concert.
  • Amongst the characters are The Cougher, and The Traditionalist as well as the two people on their First Date. 
  • The collection was commissioned by the Endellion Quartet to celebrate their 30th anniversary.
  • When performed, the poems have a musical accompaniment.
  • Linked to Romantic Period as written to be understood by all and try to explain how people feel.
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  • In the UK alone, Valentine's Day is an excuse for a multi-million pound spending spree, with chocolates, flowers and jewellery being popular choices for presents. 
  • Valentine's Day is often chosen as the date on which to make a marriage proposal.
  • In her poem, Duffy challenges the commercialisation of Valentine's Day and whether it really is the best time to propose.
  • There is a strong poetic tradition of turning unlikely objects into metaphors for love, especially within the genre of Metaphysical Poetry. For instance, in his poem The Flea, John Donne, uses the blood sucking insect as the focus for an exploration of love and relationships.
  • Linked to Romantic Period as written to be understood by all and try to explain how people feel.
  • She was a feminist and eals with social issues.
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One Flesh

  • This poem has its roots in Christianity and takes its title from the story of Adam and Eve. In Genesis, chapter 2, verses 23 to 24 it says “The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man.'That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.'
  • The couple in the poem have been joined by the sacrament of marriage, so despite the suffering they now endure as a result of their mutual isolation, they patiently endure their situation because they are devout and will not break their holy union.
  • Jennings was religious and wrote about the loss of faith and religion in the 1960s reflected by the drifting apart in the relationship.
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I Wanna be Yours

  • Although presented here as a printed version, Cooper Clarke's poem is really designed to be delivered by the poet himself in live performances. 
  • As a result, there is no definitive version of the poem as changes occurs in the imagery, delivery, pace and tone of each performance. 
  • Since the 1970s he has collaborated with musicians and bands. This poem in particular was covered by The Artic Monkeys on their 2013 album A:M.  
  • Cooper Clarke applauded this version, saying that The Artic Monkeys had found the 'romantic heart' of the poem in their rendition.
  • Linked to romantic period as everyday objects are trying to reduce complex ideas to simple terms.
  • Punk poet showing rejection of complex views of love- simple and straightforward.
  • He was an addict, so poem implies he needs support from someone.
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Loves dog

  • A fascination with lists and repetition is evident in much of Hadfield's poetry and Love’s Dog is no exception.
  • Jen inspired to write poem by Edwin Morgan 'what i hate about love is it's dog'. She said 'That phrase of Edwin Morgan's (...) stayed with me for a long time; it speaks to me of the effort and deliberation of love'
  • Obsessed about love and the meaning of love.
  • Linked to romantic period as using everyday objects to explain complex emotions. Presenting the different side of love in contrast to most love poetry which presents an idealised view.
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  • Scannell fought in World War II and is a celebrated war poet. His experience of war and of writing about war is evident in the poem Nettles.
  • Father's anger of son being killed in war and his realisation that he was not able to keep him safe.
  • Fought in WW2.
  • Injured in the war.
  • He had a darker side as he beat the women in his life and was abusive. That is why his poem is based on famiilie's and children.
  • Scannell had PTSD. It is a condition that can lead to violence, fear, sudden flashes of uncontrollable jealousy, difficulties in forming lasting relationships, and an overwhelming sense of shame.
  • Poem based on abuse he put his wife through.
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The Manhunt

  • Simon Armitage worked with veterans of modern conflicts in order to turn their testimonies into verse, so that their experiences could be shared with the public. 
  • Armitage had a specific couple, Eddie and Laura, in mind when he wrote this poem, and through it he explores the physical and psychological aftermath that conflict has upon soldiers and their partners.
  • Eddie says that his wife Laura is 'one of his biggest saviours' in terms of helping him to cope with the trauma he suffered as a result of his injuries and the experiences of being in armed combat.
  • Based on Eddie Beddoes' life.
  • Simon deals with social problems
  • The effects of war is long lasting. PTSD.
  • The poem also presents the theme of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and how it can affect ex-soldiers.
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My Father Would Not Show Us

  • De Kok begins her poem with the quote 'Which way do we face to talk to the dead?' by Rainer Maria Rilke. 
  • In many of his poems and novels, Rilke explored the themes of life, death and human existence, so by starting her poem with this quote, de Kok is immediately giving her readers a context and reference point for this work.
  • Addresses own childhood and the fact that her father died when she was young.
  • Since she refers to her and her siblings as “us” in the context of having lived with their father at the time of his death, it is clear that she was young when he died, and that his death came as a great shock to her.
  • The effects of this loss are described throughout the poem as the speaker describes the present state of her dead father as he lies in a coffin, to the man with the “wry smile” whom she had always known.
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these are extremely helpful, thank you so much !!!

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