Power and Conflict Poetry (AQA Anthology of Poetry)

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Ozymandias - Percy Bysshe Shelley I

The poem is about:

  • The narrator meets a traveller who tells him about a statue standing in the middle of the desert.
  • It's a statue of a king who ruled over a past civilisation. His face is oroud and he arrogantly boasts about how powerful he is in an  inscription on the statue's base.
  • However, the statue has falled down and crumbled away

Form, structure and language etc.:

FORM: The poem is a sonnet, with a turning-point (volta) at line 9 like a Petrarchan sonnet. However, it doesn't follow a regular sonnet rhyme scheme, prehaps reflecting the way that human power and structures can be destroyed. It uses iambic pentameter, but this is also often disrupted. The story is about a second-hand account, which distances the reader even further from the dead king.

STRUCTURE: The narrator builds up an image of the statue by focusing on different parts of it in turn. The poem ends by describing the enormous desert, which helps to sum up the insignificance of the statue.

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Ozymandias - Percy Bysshe Shelley II

IRONY: There's nothing left to show for the ruler's arrogant boasting or his great civilisation. The ruined statue can be seen as a symbol for the temporary nature of political power or human achievement. Shelley's use of irony reflects his hatred of oppression and his belief that it is possible to overturn social and political order.

LANGUAGE OF POWER: The poem focuses on the power of Ozymandias, representing human  power. However his power has been lost and is only visible due to the power of art. Ultimately, nature has ruined the statue, showing that nature and time have more power than anything else.

ANGRY LANGUAGE: The tyranny of the ruler is suggested through aggresive language.

Feelings and attitudes in the poem are:

  • PRIDE - The ruler was proud of what he'd achieved. He called on other rulers to admire what he did.
  • ARROGANCE - The inscription shows that the ruler believed that he was the most powerful ruler in the land - nobody else could compete with him. He also thought he was better than those he ruled.
  • POWER - Human civilisations and achievements are insignificant compared to the passing of time. Art has the power to preserve elements of human existence, but it is also only temporary.
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London - William Blake I

The poem is about:

  • The narrator is describing a walk round the city of London.
  • He says that everwhere he goes, the people he meets are affected by misery and despair.
  • This misery seems relentles. No one can escape it - not even the young and innocent.
  • People in power (like Church, the monarchy and wealthy landowners) seem to be behind the problems, and do nothing to help the people in need.

Form, structure, language etc.:

FORM: This is a dramatic monologue - the first-person narrator speaks passionately and personally about the suffering her sees. The ABAB rhyme scheme is unbroken and seems to echo the relentless misery of the city. The regular rhythm could reflect the sound of his feet as he trudges around.

STRUCTURE: The narrator presents relentless  images of downtrodden, deprived people. The first two stanzas focus on people he sees and hears, before the focus shifts in stanza three to the institutions he holds responsible. The final stanza returns to looking at people, showing how even newborn babies are affected.

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London - William Blake II

RHETORIC: The narrator uses rhetorical language to persuade you of his point of view - he uses powerful, emotive words and images to reinforce the horror of the situation. Repetition is used to emphasise the number of people affected, and to show how society needs to change.

USE OF THE SENSES: The poem includes the depressing sights and sounds of the city - the first stanza is about what he sees, the second what he hears, and the last two stanzas combine the visual and aural.

CONTRASTS: These are used to show how evertrhing is affected and nothing pure or innocent remains.

Feelings and attitudes include:

  • ANGER - Emotive language and repetition show the narrator's anger at the situation. He mentions 'every black'ning church' and 'palace walls', suggesting he's especially angry at the people in power, who could do something to change things but don't.
  • HOPELESSNESS - The 'mind-forged manacles' suggest that the people themselves are also to blame - they're trapped by their own attitudes. They apear hopeless because they're not able (or even trying) to help themselves.
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The Prelude: Stealing the Boat - William Wordswort

The poem is about:

  • The extract begins on a summer evening when the narrator finds a boat tied to a tree. He unties the boat and takes it out on the lake.
  • Initially the narrator seems happy and confident and he describes a beautiful scene. A mountain appears on the horizon and the narrator is afraid of its size and power.
  • He turns the boat around and goes home, but his view on nature has changed.

Form, structue and language etc.:

FORM: This extract is a first person narrative. It sounds personal and describes a turning point in the poet's life. The use of blank verse (unrhymed verse in iambic pentameter) makes it sound serious and important, and the regular rhythm makes it sound like natural speech.

STRUCTURE:  There are three main sections in the extract. In the first the tone is fairly light and carefree. There's a distinct change when the mountain appears - the tone becomes darker and more fearful. In the final section, the narrator reflects on how the experience has changed him.

BEAUTIFUL LANGUAGE: The poem begins with a series of pretty, pastoral images of nature.

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The Prelude: Stealing the Boat - William Wordswort

CONFIDENT LANGUAGE: The narrator appears sure of himself at first - almost arrogant in his view of himself and his place in the world. He gives the impression of feeling powerful.

DRAMATIC LANGUAGE: The initial glimse of threatening language becomes more intense after the mountain appears. The narrator comes to understand how powerful natuer is.

FEARFUL LANGUAGE: The narrator is far less confident at the end of the extract. He's troubled by the 'huge and mighty forms' of nature he's glimpsed. The experience has a lasting, haunting effect on him.

Feelings and attitudes are:

  • CONFIDENCE - The narrator feels comfortable and in control to start with, but his confidence in himself and the world around him is shaken by this one event.
  • FEAR - Nature is shown to be more powerful than a human being. The narrator is left with a feeling of awe and respect for nature, but he's also scared by it.
  • REFLECTION - The poem ends with the narrator reflecting on how he's been changed by the event. His thoughts and dreams are still troubled by what he's experienced.
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My Last Duchess - Robert Browning I

The poem is about:

  • The Duke proudly points out the portrait of the Duchess (his former wife) to a visitor.
  • The Duke was angered by the Duchess' behaviour - she was friendly towards everyone and he was annoying that she treated him just like anyone else.
  • He acted to stop the Duchess' flirtatious behaviour, but he doesn't say how he did this. There are strong hints that he had her murdered.
  • The Duke and his guest walk away from the painting and the reader discovers that the Duke's visitor has come to arrange the Duke's next marriage.

Form, structure and language etc.:

FORM: The poem is a dramatic monologue written in imabic pentameter. This reinforces the impression that the Duke is in conversation with his visitor. The rhyming couplets show the Duke's desire for control, but the enjambment suggests that he gets carried away with his anger and passions. This creates a picture of a somewhat unstable characted, whose obsessing with power is unsettling.

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My Last Duchess - Robert Browning II

STRUCTURE: The poem is framed by the visit to the Duke's gallery, but the Duke gets caught up in talking about the Duchess instead of just describing the art. The poem builds toards a kind of confession, before the identity of the visitor is revealed, and the Duke moves on to talking about another artwork.

POWER AND OBJECTIFICATION: The Duke felt the need to have power and control over the Duchess. He saw her as another of his possessions, to be collected and admired, just like his expensive artworks.

DRAMATIC IRONY: The things the Duke says about the Duchess seem quite innocent, but they often have more sinister meanings for the reader. There's a gap between what the Duke tells his listener and what the poet allows us to read between the lines

STATUS: Status is really important to the Duke. He cares about how others see him.

Feelings and attitudes are:

  • PRIDE - The Duke is very proud of his possessions and his status.
  • JEALOUSY - He couldn't stand the way the Duchess treated him the same as everyone else.
  • POWER - The Duke enjoys the control he has over the painting. He didn't have this power over the Duchess when she was alive.
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The Charge of the Light Brigade - Alfred Tennyson

The poem is about:

  • The poem describes a disastroud battle between British cavalry (soliders on hourse back) and Russian forces during the Crimean War. (1853-1856)
  • A misunderstanding meant the Light Brigade were ordered to advance into a valley surrounded by enemy soliders
  • The cavalry were only armed with swords, whereas the Russian soldiers had guns. The Light Brigade were virtually defenceless against their enemies, and many of them were killed.

Form, structure and language etc:

  • FORM - The poem's narrated in the third person, making it seem more like a story. The regular relentless rhythm creates a fast pace, imitating the cavalry's advance and the energy of the battle. Rhyming couplets and triplets drive the poem forwards, but the momentum is broken by unrhymed lines, which could mirror the horses stumbling and soldiers falling. The overall lack of rhyme scheme hints at the chaos of war.
  • STRUCTURE - The poem tells the story of the battle in chronological order, from the charge of the men in the first three stanzas, to the battle in the fourth and the retreat in the fifth. the final stanza is shorter and summarises the heroism of the brigade.
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The Charge of the Light Brigade - Alfred Tennyson

  • REPETITION - Repetition creates a sense of impending doom and inevitablity. Reptition of 'six hundred' at the end of each stanza reinforces the idea of the large numbers of men involved, with the references to them summarising the story of the battle.
  • HEROIC LANGUAGE - Adverbs like 'boldly' and verbs like 'charging emphasise the men's bravery. Respectful language shows how the narrator feels the soliders should be remembered.
  • VIOLENT LANGUAGE - The narrator chooses powerful verbs and adjectives to give a strong sense of the violence of the battle, adn uses sounds to create a vivd, noisy, hellish setting.

Feelings and attitudes:

  • ADMIRATION - The narrator admires the bravery and sacrifice of the men because they obeyed orders even though they knew death was likely. He thinks that the world should recognise their bravery and appreciate their sacrifice.
  • PATRIOTISM - The men followed the orders because of their duty to their country, and the speaker portrays them as heroes for doing this.
  • HORROR - There's a suggestion that the narrator is horrified by the violence of the battle.
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Exposure - Wilfred Owen I

The poem is about:

  • Soliders in the trenches of World War I are awake at night, afraid of an enemy attack.
  • However, nature seems to be their main enemy - it's freezing cold, windy and snowing.
  • The men imagine returning home, but the doors there are closed to them. They believe that sacrificing themselves in the war is the the only way of keeping their loved ones at home safe.
  • They return to thinking about their deaths in the icy, bleak trenches.

Form, structure, language etc.:

  • FORM - The poem's written in the present tense, using the first person plural (eg: 'our', 'we', 'us'). This collective voice shows how the experience was shared by soldiers across the war. Each stanza has a regular rhyme scheme (ABBAC), reflecting on the monotonous nature of the men's experience but the rhymes are often half-rhymes (eg: 'snow' and 'renew'). The rhyme scheme offers no comfort or satisfaction - the rhymes are jagged like the reality of the men's experience and reflect their confusion and fading energy. Each stanza ends with a half line, leaving a gap which mirrors the lack of activity or hope for the men.
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Exposure - Wilfred Owen II

  • STRUCTURE - The poem has eight stanzas, but there's no real progression - the last stanza ends with the same words as the first one, reflecting the monotomy of life in the trenches and the absence of change.
  • QUESTIONS - The poem uses rhetorical questions to ask why the men are exposed to such dreadful conditions, and whether there's any point to their suffering.
  • BLEAK LANGUAGE - The poem includes lots of bleack imagery to remind the reader of the men's pain, the awful weather and the lack of hope for the soliders. assonance, onomatopoeia and carefully chosen verbs add to the bleak mood and make the description vivid and distressing.
  • PERSONIFICATION - Nature is repeatedly personified, making it seem the real enemy in the war.

Remember the feelings and attitudes in the poem:

  • SUFFERING - There are reminders of the real, physical pain that the soldiers experience, and  exhaustion and fatigue. Thinking about home is painful for men as they're not welcome there.
  • BOREDOM - There's a sense of fustration at their situation - they are 'worried', 'watching' and waiting but 'nothing happens' and the men are left to think about their deaths.
  • HOPELESSNESS - The soliders are helpless against the power of nature are there is nothing they can do to change it. The poem offers little hope of a future for the men.
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Storm on the Island - Seamus Heaney I

The poem is about:

  • The narrator describes how a community thinks it's well-prepared for a coming storm.
  • As the poem goes on, their confidence starts to disappear as the storm develops. The power and the sounds of the storm are described.
  • The ending of the poem describes the fear as the storm hits the island.

Form, structure, language etc.:

  • FORM - The poem is written in blank verse, which mirrors the patterns of everyday speech and makes the poem sound like part of a conversation. The first person plural ('we') is used, showing how this is a collective, communal experience. The poem is all one stanza - it's compact and sturdy, like the houses.
  • STRUCTURE - The poem shifts from security to fear. 'But no:' seems to be a turning point (volta), with the slow pace of the monosyllabic phrase and the caesura reflecting the last moments of calm before the storm.
  • CONTRASTING DESCRIPTIONS OF SAFETY AND FEAR - The narrator uses a lot of words to do with safety and security at the beginning of the poem. The tone changes though, and the sense of danger increases as familiar things become frightening during the storm.
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Storm on the Island - Seamus Heaney II

  • DIRECT ADDRESS - The narrator involves the reader in his fear by speaking directly to 'you'.
  • VIOLENT IMAGERY - The storm is described in violent, often warlike terms, with similes, metaphors and personification combining to emphasise the danger and effects of the storm.
  • USE OF SOUNDS - Forceful sounds (eg: blast) are used to demonstrate the strength of nature, and the poem also uses assonant and sibilant sounds to reflect the noise of the wind and waves.

Feelings and attitudes:

  • SAFETY - The first part of the poem shows that the community feels safe, and prepared for the storm.
  • FEAR - This sense of security soon changes to fear, as familiar things change and become frightening.
  • HELPLESSNESS - The people can't do anything about their fear except wait for the storm to finish. Nature is presented as a powerful, relentless force.
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Bayonet Charge - Ted Hughes I

The poem is about:

  • The poem focuses on a single solider's experience of a charge towards enemy lines. It describes his thoughts and actions as he tries to stay alive.
  • The solider's overriding emotion and motivation is fear, which has replaced the more patriotic ideals that he held before the violence began.

Form, structure, language etc.:

  • FORM - The poem uses enjambment and caesura, and has lines of uneven length. This creates an irregular rhythm, which mirrors the soldier struggling to run through the mud. The narrator uses the pronoun 'he' rather than naming the soldier to keep him anonymous. It suggest that he is a universal figure who could represent any soldier.
  • STRUCTURE - The poem starts in media res (in the middle of the action) and covers the solider's movements and thoughts over a short space of time. The stanza sees the soldier acting on instinct but time seems to stand still in the second stanza, when the soldier begins to think about his situation. In the final stanza, he gives up his thoughts and ideals and seems to have lost his humanity.
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Bayonet Charge - Ted Hughes II

  • VIOLENT IMAGERY - There is some shocking imagery which brings home the sights and sounds of war. This helps to strongly convey the sense of confusion and fear.
  • FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE - The poem includes powerful figurative language to emphasiste the horror and physical pain of the charge, and also to question the point of war
  • NATURAL IMAGERY - The repeated references to the 'green hedge' and the mention of a 'field' and 'threshing circle' show the natural, agricultural setting of the war. The painful image of the 'yellow hare' reminds the reader of how the natural world is also damaged by war.

Feelings and attitudes:

  • TERROR - The poem challenges patriotism and shows how desperate terror becomes the overriding emotion in battle. The soldier is driven forward by fear rather than any more noble motive.
  • CONFUSION - The soldier is physically disorientated by the gunfire, but he's also questioning what he's doing there at all.
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Remains - Simon Armitage I

The poem is about:

  • A group of soldiers shoot a man who's running away from a bank raid he's been involved in. His death is described in graphic detail.
  • The soldier telling the story isn't sure whether the man was armed or not - this plays on his mind.
  • He can't get the man's death out of his head - he's haunted by it.

Form, structure and language:

  • FORM - There's no regular line length or rhyme scheme, making it sound like someone telling a story. The speaker starts with the first person plural ('we'), but changes to first person singular ('I') and the poem becomes more personal, sounding more like a confession. In the final couplet both lines have the same metre - this gives a feeling of finality and hints that the guilt will stay with the soldier.
  • STRUCTURE - The poem begins as if it's going to be an amusing anecdote, but it quickly turns into a graphic description of a man's death. There's a clear volta (turning point) at the beginning of the fifth stanza, where the soldier's tone, thoughts and emotions are changed by his guilt.
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Remains - Simon Armitage II

  • GRAPHIC IMAGERY - The man's death is described in gory detail, with the implication that his 'guts' have spilt onto the ground.The imagery reminds the reader of the horrors of war, but also shows how desensitised to violence and deather the speaker was at the time - they had become part of his everyday life.
  • COLLOQUIAL LANGUAGE - The first four stanzas have a lot of chatty, familiar language, which helps make the poem sound more like someone telling a story. However, this language also trivalises the man's death.
  • REPETITION - Words are repeated to reflect the way that the killing is repeated in the speaker's mind.

Feelings and attitudes:

  • NONCHALANCE - Initially, there's a very casual attitude towards the death of the man - the tone at the start of the poem is anecdotal. He's shot without warning, and his body is just thrown into a lorry and 'carted off'.
  • GUILT - The speaker can't get the memory of the killing out of his mind. He is tormented by thoughts of the man, and wondering whether he was armed or not. The poem ends with the speaker acknowledging that he has blood on his hands - he knows he's guilty.
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Poppies - Jane Weir I

The poem is about:

  • A mother describes her son leaving home, seemingly to join the army.
  • The poem is about the mother's emotional reaction to her son leaving - she feels sad, lonely ans scared for his safety.
  • She describes helping him smarten his uniform ready to leave. After he leaves, she goes to places that remind her of him, desperately trying to find any trace of him.

Form, structure and language etc.:

  • FORM - The first-person narrative means that the reader gets a strong impression of the mother's emotions. There is no regular rhyme or rhythm, which makes it sound like the narrator's thoughts and memories. Long sentences and enjambment give the impression that the narrator is absorbed in her own thoughts and memories, whilst caesurae show how she tries to hold her emotions together.
  • STRUCTURE - The poem is chronological, describing preparations for the son leaving, his departure and then what the mother does afterwards. However, the time frame is ambiguous - memories of the son's childhood and intermingled with memories of him leaving, and they're often not clearly distinguised.
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Poppies - Jane Weir II

  • USE OF THE SENSES - The mother's separation from her son is emphasised by the way she can't touch or hear him. She touches other things and listens for his voice 'on the wind', but this can't replace her son.
  • WAR IMAGERY - Images of war and violence symbolise the son's new identity and the danger that he's in. References to 'Armistice Sunday' and the 'war memorial' make the reader question whether he is still alive.
  • DOMESTIC IMAGERY - The images of war are mixed with poignant images of home and family life.

Feelings and attitudes:

  • LOSS - The mother acts as if she's lost her son - she is struggling to move on and accept the changes. There are hints that the son may even be dead. References to the son starting school allude to a different kind of loss that the mother has previously experienced.
  • FEAR - The mother is anxious and fearful for her son's safety. Her anxiety has a physical effect on her. The poem focuses on the bravery and restraint of the people left behind when their loved ones go to war.
  • FREEDOM - The poem shows the contrasting perspectives between the loss the mother feels and the freedom and excitement her son experiences.
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War Photographer - Carol Ann Duffy I

The poem is about:

  • A war photographer is in his darkroom, developing pictures that he's taken in war zones across the world. Being back in England is a big contrast - it's safe and calm compared to where he's been.
  • A photo begins to develop, and the photographer remembers the death of the man, and the cries of his wife.
  • The final stanza focuses on the people in england who will see his photographs in their Sunday papers. The speaker thinks that they don't really care about the people and places in the photographs.

Form, structure, language etc.:

  • FORM - The poem has four stanzas of equal length and a regular rhyme scheme - it is 'set out in ordered rows' like the photographer's spools, echoing the case that the photographer takes over his work. The use of enhambent reflects the gradual revealing of the photo as it develops.
  • STRUCTURE - The poem follows the actions and thoughts of the photographer in his dark room. There's a distinct change at the start of the third stanza, when the photographer remembers a specific death. In the final stanza, the focus shifts to the way the photographer's work is received.
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War Photographer - Carol Ann Duffy II

  • RELIGIOUS IMAGERY - The references to religion make it sound almost as if the photographer priest conducting a funeral when he's developing the photos - there's a sense of ceremony to his actions.
  • CONTRASTS - The poem presents 'Rural England' as a contrast to the war zones the photographer visits. The grieving widow is compared with people in England whose eyes only '***** / with tears' at the pain. Ironically, the photographer is detached in the war zones but is deeply affected at home.
  • EMOTIVE LANGUAGE - The poem is full of powerful, emotive imagery, which reflects the horrors of war seen by the photographer and captured in his photos. Like the photographer, Duffy tries to represent the true horror of conflict in her work in order to make the reader think about the subject.

Feelings and attitudes:

  • PAIN - The photographs depict real pain ('A hundred agonies') and there's also the emotional pain of the woman who's lost her husband. The horrific pain of war is contrasted with the 'ordinary' pain back home.
  • DETATCHMENT - The photographer is detatched from his emotions in the war zones so he can do his job. The words 'finally alone' and 'impassively' suggested he's also detatched from his 'ordinary' life in England.
  • ANGER - The poem ends with a sense of anger at the people who don't care about the suffering children.
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Tissue - Imtiaz Dharker I

The poem is about:

  • The first three stanzas talk about the importance of paper as a means of recording our history.
  • Stanzas four to six focus on the paradox that paper is fragile, yet it still controls our lives.
  • The final thirteen lines look at creating things, particularly human life. Life is more complex and precious than other things we create. It's also temporary, but forms part of a bigger and ongoing story.

Form, structure, language etc.:

  • FORM - The poetic voice is elusive, with the focus on humanity in general rather than a specific person or speaker. The lack of regular rhythm or rhyme and the enjambment across lines and stanzas gives the poem a freedom and openness, reflecting the narrator's desire for freedom and clarity. The short stanzas mean that the poem is built up in layers, just as it suggests human life is.
  • STRUCTURE - There are three main parts to the poem, moving through ideas about history, human experience and the creation of human life. The final, single line stands out and focuses the reader on their own identity and how it's created.
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Tissue - Imtiaz Dharker II

  • LANGUAGE ABOUT LIGHT - Light is presented as a positive force - it enables people to see and understand, it can move through and beyond boundaries and it can break through objects.
  • LANGUAGE ABOUT CREATION - There are lots of references to things being created. Man-made constructions like buildings and borderlines are compared with the creation of humans.
  • DIFFERENT TYPES OF TISSUE - The homonyms of 'tissue' creates a link between paper and humans - both tissue paper and human tissue are fragile, but powerful. The word 'tissue' originally meant something that had been woven, which reinforces the idea that human lives are built up in layers,

Feelings and attitudes in the poem are:

  • CONTROL - The poem mentions different things that control human life - there are references to money, religion, nature, pride and governments ('capitals').
  • FREEDOM - The speaker imagines a world that breaks free of some of these restrictions where human constructions are less premanent and important.
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The Emigrée - Carol Rumens I

The poem is about:

  • The speaker talks about a city in a country she left as a child - she has a purely positive view of it.
  • The city seems to be under attack and unreachable, but in the third stanza it appears to the speaker. An unknown 'They' accuse and threaten the speaker, but she still sees the old city in a positive way.
  • The city may not be a real place - it could represent a time, person, or emotion that the speaker has been forced to leave.

Form, structure, language etc.:

  • FORM - The poem is written in the first person, with three eight-line stanzas but no regular rhythm or rhyme scheme. The first two stanzas contain lots of enjambment, but there's more end-stopping in the final stanza. This reflects the speaker's feeling of confinement in her new 'city of walls'.
  • STRUCTURE - The speaker's memory of the city grows and solidifies as the poem moves on - the city becomes a physical presence for the speaker in the final stanza. Each stanza ends with 'sunlight', reinforcing the fact that the speaker sees the city in a positive light.
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The Emigrée - Carol Rumens II

  • LANGUAGE OF CONFLICT - Vocabulary associated with war, invasion and tyranny shows that the city may not be as perfect as the speaker remembers it. In the second stanza, there's the sense that the speaker is defying the authorities by accessing her 'child's vocabulary' that's been 'banned'.
  • LANGUAGE ABOUT LIGHT - The city is described in bright, colourful terms, emphasising the speaker's feeling that it's a beautiful, positive place. The repeated link with 'sunlight' suggest a vitality to the city.
  • PERSONIFICATION - The city is initially personified as being 'sick with tyrants'. In the final stanza, it appears to the speaker, lies down and then later takes her dancing. Describing the city in human terms emphasises the stength of the speaker's love for it.

Feelings and attitudes include:

  • NOSTALGIA - The speaker's positive memories of the city are unwavering - nothing she hears will change her view of it. There's a sense of yearning for the city and the past,, which is partly fulfilled by the city appearing to the seaker in the final scene.
  • THREAT - There are suggestions that the city has been invaded or taken over by a tyrant, but the speaker chooses to ignore these things. She is threatened in her new city, and seems to have to protect her old city. The poem ends with 'sunlight', but this doesn't entirely remove the sense of threat.
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Kamikaze - Beatrice Garland I

The poem is about:

  • The poem opens with a kamikaze pilot setting off on his mission. Kamikaze pilots were specially trained Japanese pilots who were used towards the end of World War II. They flew their planes on suicide missions into enemy ships - it was seen as a great honour to serve your country in this way.
  • It becomes clear that the pilot turned around and didn't complete his mission - his daughter imagines that this was because on the way he saw the beauty of nature and remembered his innocent childhood.
  • The pilot was shunned when he got home - even his family acted as if he wasn't there.

Form, structure, language etc.:

  • FORM - The poem is mostly narrated in the third person using reported speech of the pilot's daughter, but her voice is heard directly in the elater stanzas. The absence of the pilot's voice shows that he's been cut off from society, and the use of the third person emphasises the distance between pilot and daughter.
  • STRUCTURE - The first five stanzas form one sentence which covers an account of the pilot's flight as the pilot's daughter imagines it. The end of the sentence represents the plane landing, and the final two stanzas deal with the fallout of the pilot's actions.
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Kamikaze - Beatrice Garland II

  • IRONY - There are ironic reminders of how the pilot has abandoned his mission. The way he's treated when he returns to his family is ironic because they act as if he's dead, even though he chose not to die.
  • NATURAL IMAGERY - Similies, metaphors and detailed descriptions are used to emphasise the beauty and power of nature. The pilot's daughter hints that this beauty was one of the main triggers for his actions.
  • DIRECT SPEECH - The addition of direct speech makes the poem seem more personal. Hearing the daughter's voice emphasises the impact of war on specific family.

Feelings and attitudes:

  • PATRIOTISM - The opening stanza is full of suggestions of patriotic pride and duty - the pilot has the chance to fly 'into history'. The patriotism of his family and neighbours is shown in their reaction to his return - they treat him as if he's dead because he has failed in his duty to his nation.
  • SHAME - The reaction of the pilot's wife is one of deep shame - she never speaks to him again.
  • REGRET  - The pilot's daughter's words in the final stanzas are tinged with a sense of regret and loss. The repetition in lines 9 and 41 of 'he must have' also hints at her empathy with the pilot.
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Checking Out Me History - John Agard I

The poem ia about:

  • The narrator is talking about his identity and how it links to his knowledge of history.
  • He was taught about British history but wasn't taught about his Caribbean roots. He lists famoud figures from history and questions why he doesn't know about people from other cultures who did great things.
  • He mentions men and women from diverse backgrounds who should be celebrated.
  • At the end, he says he's going to create his own identity based on his heritage.

Form, structure, language etc.:

  • FORM - The narrator uses a mixture of stanza forms, suggesting he's breaking the confining language rules he's been taught. The Caribbean history stanzas have shorter lines and more broken syntax than the British history stanzas - this emphasises them and makes them seem more serious. The rhyme schemes are also different - the British stanzas have lots of simple rhymes, making them sound childish.
  • STRUCTURE - The poem alternates between historical and fictional figures from Caribbean and British culture, emphasising the differences between them. The British figures are skipped over quickly, with little respect, whereas the Caribbean figures are covered in more detail.
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Checking Out Me History - John Agard II

  • METAPHORS OF VISION AND BLINDNESS - The narrator says that his education kept his true heritage hidden from him. Images of light are positive because they suggest an awareness of your own identity.
  • ORAL POETRY FEATURES - The narrator uses techniques from oral poetry, such as repetition, strong rhythms, chanting and phonetic spellings. This links the poem to the oral tradition of reciting poetry aloud and telling stories, which are used as a way of communicating history. The use of Caribbean phonetic spellings creates a sense of pride in his background and the use of standard English in likes 46-49 emphasises that the figures from his Caribbean heritage should feature in the teaching of history.

Remember the feelings and attitudes in the poem:

  • ANGER - The narrator's angry because the education system didn't teach him about his culture. He was unaware of his heritage even though it's an important part of who he is.
  • ADMIRATION - He respects the Caribbean figures he describes in the poem. He admires their achievements and wants to tell their stories to show the important role they played in history.
  • CELEBRATION - At the end he says he will embrace his own identity in a positive way.
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Please could you add the rest of the anthology as this is very useful, thank you



This is literally just copied from the CGP book lool

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