Power and Conflict Poetry

  • Created by: abbiedye
  • Created on: 27-06-18 15:13

Ozymandias Themes

DEATH AND MORTALITY - desert symbolises the passing of time - erases the passing of time - erases the traces of Ozymandias - death comes to us all

POWER - Ozymandias's power was absolute - the face of the statue and the words on the pedestal reveal his character - no sympathy for him

ART - achievements of the sculptor outlive those of his subject

PRIDE - the vast size of the statue (ruler's pride) - pride demonstrated by the ruin of the statue - name = greek 'ozium' (air) and 'mandate' (rule) - meaning 'ruler of nothing'

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Ozymandias Form, Language and Structure

- sonnet written in iambic pentameter - sonnets are usually love poems, but here political ideas are explored - metre changes in lines 11 and 13 (his boast)

- the poem can be divided into three sections - traveller creates a picture of Ozymandias in the first and final parts - middle part = sculptor's artistry endures - Ozymandias's power has not - declined

- Oxymoron in line 13 emphasises the destruction of the stature

- 'king of kings' - pride contrasts with the meaning of his name

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Ozymandias Quotes

- 'antique' - ancient / old / lost

- 'sands' - nature is more powerful than man - hourglass - time runs out

- 'king of kings' - thinks he is the best

- 'shattered visage' - face has been forgotten - identity is gone

- 'decay' - decreasing - losing significance

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London Themes

SOCIAL COMMENT - sees London as a place of despair - no hope for society - people have little power - different groups mentioned; chimney-sweepers, harlots and new-born babies -  and institutions: church, army, royalty, and marriage

DESPAIR - chruch and state offer no help for the poor - Blake sees no hope for the future - newborns born into bad conditions - marriage blighted 'with plagues'

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London Form, Structure and Language

- negative language to show the view of Londoners' plight - the juxtaposition of the innocence and experience shocks the reader

- repetition ('every', 'in every') - relentlessly to drive home the bleakness of Blake's message - emotive language to make the reader feel as angry

- use of simple, repetitive, rhyming structure of a ballad form - ballad = stuck in people's head - helped to share stories and ideas

- metaphor ('mind-forg'd manacles') - people are trapped as much by their own attitudes as by society - convicts wore manacles - image os powerlessness - 'forg'd' - fake / not real

- Juxtaposition - every hope of happiness is tainted with despair - repetitive metre reflects the idea that people's lives are monotonous

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London Quotes

- 'marriage hearse' - an oxymoron - only the dead are happy

- 'chartered' - controlled / owned by someone

- 'runs in blood down palace walls' - reference to the French Revolution

- 'marks of woe' - sadness

- 'black'ning' - lies - corrupt

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The Prelude Themes

POWER AND BEAUTY OF NATURE - nature initially presented as benign and beautiful - boy enjoys boat ride - mood changes - nature becomes frightening - peak only appears to grow ('as if') - subdued by nature's immensity - imagery reflects change ('small circles') to intensity of the peak ('the grim shape / towered up')

POWER OF MEMORY AND IMAGINATION - after-effects of his boyhood experience give purpose to the older poets recollection - after the experience, he was unable to shake off the feeling - older poet views and recalls this incident as a mind-forming moment in his life - when he first became aware of 'unknown modes of being'

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The Prelude Form, Structure and Language

- similies - compare natural objects to living things - 'like a living thing' - 'like a swan'

- personification - imagery to convey the beauty but also the dangerous power and awesomeness of nature

- conjunctions - (and, but, or, for, since) link the events seamlessly - enjambment - encourage us to keep reading through

- iambic pentameter - close to the rhythm to the speaking voice - suitable for the personal poem

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The Prelude Quotes

- '(led by her)' - refers to nature as a human

- 'proud of his skill' - a positive feeling

- 'a huge peak, black and huge' - intimidated by nature / threatened

- 'struck' - fear and intimidating

- 'trembling' - nature scared him 

- 'towered up' - intimidating

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My Last Duchess Themes

VIOLENCE, POWER, AND CONTROL - lack of remorse - having his wife murdered - has absolute power - her not meeting his standards - no one asks him about her portrait - he makes up what he thinks the questions would be - obsessed with controlling her 

JEALOUSY AND PRIDE - Duke was jealous of the attention his wife gave to others - his own jealousy led him to suspect her of infidelity - the Duke boasts about the beautiful objects he owns, unaware of the effects of his words - proud of his name - felt that the Duchess didn't respect its value

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My Last Duchess Form, Structure and Language

- dramatic monologue

- first person - to understand his actions and motivation

-description of the Duchess - sympathetic towards her - shows the depths of the Duke's need to control her

- repetition - the Duke's preoccupation with certain ideas and behaviour - narcissism and pride - possessive pronouns (mine, your)

- rhyming couplet - not end-stopped - rhyme is less obvious - pushes on - the Duke pursues his next bride

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My Last Duchess Quotes

- 'will't please you sit and look at her?' - wants to show her off

- 'my object' 'commands' - power over her - controlling

- 'all smiles stopped together' - relationship went downhill - might have killed her

- 'my gift' - vain and materialistic - spending lots of money on gifts

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Charge of the Light Brigade Themes

PATRIOTISM - celebrates the unthinking patriotism of the cavalry - facing almost certain death but obeying the order to change

CONFLICT - vividly evokes violence of the battle - cavalry faced enemy gunfire - emphasises the glory of the conflict, though it ended in defeat - praises the courage, heroism and patriotism - doesn't mention that the deaths were pointless - charge was a mistake

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Charge of the Light Brigade Form, Structure and La

- third person - official account of the battle

- rhythm - evokes the sound of hoof-beats - two main stressed syllables and two unstressed syllables

- repetition - strong feature - relentless forward motion of the cavalry - unquestioningly follow the order

- personification - the danger the cavalry faces

- direct speech - real soldiers in a real battle - emotional response - first-hand

- Tennyson's pride and patriotism - shown by soldiers - reputation of the cavalry is sealed for all time

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Charge of the Light Brigade Quotes

- 'All in the valley of Death' - biblical allusion - connotation of hell

- 'into the mouth of hell' - personifies death - the bravery of the soldiers

- 'while horse and hero fell' - glorifies the men - symbol of bravery

- 'sabres' - swords - reflecting light - shows the glory that they showed

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Exposure Themes

WAITING AND SUSPENSE - waiting for conflict is almost worse than the conflict itself - soldiers have been forced into stasis by the snow and lack of military conflict - gunnery far of is like 'some other war' - 'nothing happens'

NIHILISM - extreme negativity - nothing in life has any meaning or value - death would be a relief from their present torture of waiting - we are all, whenever we are, in the process of dying - end of the world - apocalyptic vision

EXPOSURE - to leave unprotected - to be subjected to danger - to put on display: to suffer and eventually die from the cold

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Exposure Form, Structure and Language

- half-rhymes - ABBAC - jarring and not perfect but rough and uncomfortable - conditions in trenches

- metre - jarring and un-pretty - describing a very unnatural situation 

- alliteration and assonance - colour and sensory - imagery assail the reader

- repetition - the question that won't go away and can't be answered

- first person - gives the reader access to the speaker's thoughts - 'we' not 'I' - speaking on behalf of all soldiers 

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Exposure Quotes

- 'grey' - dark, depressing - symbolises death - meaningless

- 'the night is silent' - night is personified - worrying feeling

- 'we cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams' - they feel alone

- 'it is that we are dying?' - questioning himself

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Storm on the Island Themes

NATURE'S POWER - storm gathers pace as the poem develops - first tragic chorus and sounds humans - cry is a lament of sadness - then it becomes an explosive force similar to a military attack - exposed place - community's power is the strength of their resistance

COMMUNITY - community's defence preparations against the fury of the elements - the community will survive and ride out the storm - the speaker's words are calm, reassuring and uplifting - the Islanders are capable of withstanding assault - Franklin D. Roosevelt: ' the only thing we have to fear is fear itself' - Great Depression

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Storm on the Island Form, Structure and Language

- alliteration and half-rhyme (squat/slate, cliff/hits, air/fear) tie the poem together - assonance - storm gather brutal force

- extended metaphor - military attack - a bombing raid

- present tense - the Islanders are doing what they have always done and what they always will do

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Storm on the Island Quotes

- 'We are prepared' - feeling of safety

- 'sit tight' - powerless during the storm

- 'company' - isolated - trees are the company

- 'but there are no trees' - isolation - the storm has ruined them - dangerous

- 'bombarded' - can't escape

- 'nothing that we fear' - seems ironic - unknown power of the storm

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Bayonet Charge Themes

REALITY OF CONFLICT - vividly describes the events of a conflict - impact on a soldier's mind - moments from the battlefield will never leave the speaker's mind - real conflict, nightmare? - bewilderment and panic - terror ('touchy dynamite')

PATRIOTISM - ideas about how conflict affects those involved in it - the motives that people claim for going to war are luxuries and have no place in the realities of war - reasons why the soldier is fighting and the sense of what he is fighting for are irrelevant - started as a patriotic soldier - motivation has transformed into fear

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Bayonet Charge Form, Structure and Language

- verbs - movement in the poem - the soldier is frantic and not in control

- enjambment - 4 sentences - lack of control - the lull in the second verse - stops and contemplates what he is doing - physically/mentally stopping to think

- accumulation (line 20) many reasons to go to war - all irrelevant

- semantic fields of war and nature juxtaposed - the impact of war on the land

- personification - air full of bullets

- third-person - the distance between the poet and reader - universal narrative - all soldiers experiences

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Bayonet Charge Quotes

- 'suddenly he awoke' - vulnerable state, events seem like a nightmare

- 'dropped like luxuries' - reduced to a basic level

- 'rolled like a flame' - hints the danger the soldier is in

- 'he almost stopped' - paused action - questioning himself

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Remains Themes

CONFLICT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES - first five verses is a soldier recalling or reliving a memory - poet uses the soldier's speaking voice to make the conflict vivid - phrasing mimics real, ordinary and familiar speech and contrasts with the brutality of the memory - the impact of conflict on one individual

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) - revisit a traumatic incident in a vivid flashback but are unable to forget details that they desperately want to forget - for this soldier - the act of gunning down the looter and the sight of his wrecked body remains vivid

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Remains Form, Structure and Language

- short clauses - mimic the patterns of unnatural speech - language is economical and unadored - real-life testimony

- verbs of violence - historic present tense, colloquial language, stark imagery - lend immediacy and impact

- half-rhymes and bouncy four-beat rhythms - ironic jollity, disrupted by shorter lines at key moments - enjambment - suspense and like real, direct speech

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Remains Quotes

- 'tosses his guts back into his body' - worthless - not needed

- 'are all of the same mind' - all there for the same reason

- 'broad daylight on the other side' - light at the end of the tunnel - hope

- 'three of a kind all letting fly' - shooting or death - spirits flying

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Poppies Themes

WOMEN AND CONFLICT - the poem explores the feeling of a mother left behind and the pain of loss she feels - a reminder of other women in that situation - women feel the effect of conflict despite not being directly involved

AMBIGUITY - is not clear whether the speaker's son is dead - opening - sending him off to 'school' - mother's pain is made clear - hard to speak - the poet shows the speaker is struggling to express emotions

DOMESTIC IMAGERY - contrasts with symbols of remembrance and peace and the maternal love - difficult to let go

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Poppies Form, Structure and Language

- dramatic monologue (first person) - inner emotions - loss of her son - parting - a collection of memories to keep emotions in check

- mention of Armistice Sunday and war graves - ominous - juxtaposed with her son's departure

- similies and metaphors further heighten the emotional response of the reader

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Poppies Quotes

- 'spasms of paper red, disrupting a blockade' - out of control - nothing is right

- 'on reaching the top of the hill' - reaching a breaking point

- 'I listened, hoping to hear your playground voice catching on the wind' - hoping that he comes home - not clear if the soldier has died or not

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War Photographer Themes

MORAL DILEMMAS - explores the difficulties faced by someone who does a job that records human suffering - dangerous and emotionally draining - necessary to show the brutalities of conflict - photographs are in the supplement (marginalised)

WESTERN ATTITUDES TO FOREIGN CONFLICT - criticism of western attitudes to foreign conflict and the media's presentation of them - photographs are not in the main newspaper - editor discards a hundred images, choosing to publish 5 or 6

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War Photographer Form, Structure and Language

- four verses of six lines - regular rhyme scheme (ABBCDD) - each verse -single frame of a photograph

- religious imagery in the simile ('through this were a church') - underlines that the photographer takes his job seriously 

- metaphors - the photographs are a direct and vivid image of the conflict 

- contrasts between war zones and the peaceful homeland where he develops them - between the brutality of war and the indifference of those who read about it

- second and third and fifth and six lines are rhyming couplets - neatness and precision - the disciplined way the photographer does his job

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War Photographer Quotes

- 'all flesh is grass' - everyone dies in the end - despair

- 'he has a hob to do' - forced - doesn't want to

- 'sought approval' - has to take the picture - no choice

- 'Sunday's supplement' - not the whole truth

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Tissue Themes

FRAGILITY AND POWER - poet suggests that paper has the power to alter and control our existence - used to record powerful, even sacred, knowledge and information - shop receipts have the power to control our lives, though they are worthless - geographical features become see-through when they are printed on maps

THE POWER OF HUMANS - final image - architect creates living human flesh out of all the types of paper that the poem has listed - grand design of layers of paper - human/living - if we let light through, we see things differently and we can be free to live - nothing is permanent

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Tissue Form, Structure and Language

-imagery - explore ideas about solidity and certainty, buildings, countries, borders and the landscape

- assonance and alliteration to convey complex, intricate ideas and images

- modal verbs - express uncertainty and possibility through the words are easy to understand - the subtle meanings are elusive

- repetition - used to imitate the layering of paper - 7th verse - the lines in each verse have a regular line length and appear as blocks on the page - layering effect - enjambment

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Tissue Quotes

- 'the sun shines through' - nature over-powers

- (enjambment throughout) - lacks control, order - symbolises the difference between the power of God and man

- 'maps' - divided by man

- 'let the daylight breakthrough' - nature breaks through

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The Emigree Themes

THE POWER OF MEMORY - the speaker left the country of her birth as a child but her memories of the city are vivid - conveyed in the present tense - she remembers the city how it used to be - powers of memory becomes a source of strength - brings city to life - 'that city' to 'my city' shows personal feeling and defence

DISPLACEMENT AND LOSS - the speaker has been displaced from her own country - clings onto things she has lost: language and identity - she has adopted a new nationality ('I have no passport') - her city coming to help her in a white plane: paper plane and then something with hair and eyes - city - memory though fragile represents personal freedom and power

OPPOSITION - full of contrasts and oppositions - 'then' - city she lived in - 'now' - city full of threats

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The Emigree Form, Structure and Language

- soliloquy - musing as if to herself

- longer, more lyrical sentences - memory - city - shorter, tenser sentences - current, difficult situation

- metaphors - different types of isolation ('frontiers rise between us')

- repetition of 'sunlight' - freedom

- repetition of 'city' - the importance of her childhood

- repetition of unnamed 'they' - menace and oppression

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The Emigree Quotes

- 'in that November' - remembrance - when she left - when the war started

- 'evidence of sunlight' - she still sees  it like it was before the war

- 'the bright filled paperweight' - metaphor - held down

- 'my city' - close to her / bond - possessive nature - attachment

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Kamikaze Themes

CHOICE AND DECISIONS DURING CONFLICT - he had chosen death on a kamikaze mission - but on the way he changes his mind - poem makes it clear that the choice he made was between honourable suicide and living with dishonour - ostracised by society

FOUR GENERATIONS - parallel and a contrast between his mission and his father's life - fisherman in dangerous missions but returned safe - prompted him to think about his own children

JUDGMENT - the speaker is careful not to judge her father's decision, nor to offer excuses - she speculates about his reasons for turning back but leaves the readers to make up their own mind about his decision - final two lines - her father might not have been happy with his choice

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Kamikaze Form, Structure and Language

- italics to show mother's direct speech - impact to her words

- colour imagery - the vibrancy of life that the pilot didn't want to lose

- metaphors and similies - vivid images of the beauty, energy, and freedom of ocean life

- repetition and connectives - the narrative flow of the speaker - train of thought

- alliteration (f, sh, s) - sense of energy and freedom in the natural world - echoes of military mission (sun - Japanese flag)

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Kamikaze Quotes

- 'like a huge flag' - sea - seeing the beauty of nature - signaling the right thing

- 'black' 'silver' 'white' - positive and negative sides of nature - torn in two directions

- 'as though he no longer existed' - made an outcast - disgrace to the family

- 'which had been a better way to die' - died in a worse way - unloved

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Checking Out Me History Themes

POWER - he feels as if his power was taken away from him by the history he was taught - figures from white history - carefully chosen - real people and fictional characters - questions authenticity - Agard wrestled power back- doing the 'checking' of his own history

CONTRAST AND METAPHOR - longer italicised verses - respect for his history - positive imagery and metaphor - 'yellow sunrise' - full of hope and promise - structure - contrasts official and non-official history

ANGER - speaker is clearly angered when being prevented from knowing about his own history - 'dem' - 17 times - drum or hammer - speaker's outrage

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Checking Out Me History From, Structure and Langua

- non-standard English - speaker's own culture

- repeated quatrain - forgotten black figures in history - ignored

- rhyme - mocking tone

- free verse - own culture - detail

- enjambment - replicate the rhythm of natural speech - lack of punctuation represents his rejection of white history

- repetition - prominent - expression of the speaker's powerful emotions

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Checking Out Me History Quotes

- 'dem tell me bout' - phonetic spelling - shows characteristics - his language is important

- (italics when discussing his history) - speaks passionatley about it - exagerated - more important than British history to him

- 'dem tell me... me identity' - volta (dramatic change) - encouraging people to learn about their history (END)

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