English Literature Unseen Poetry - Rossetti and Hardy

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What is Christina Rosetti's background?
Her dad was a poet, her brother a painter and her uncle a writer. She started writing poetry when she was eleven and she fell ill in her teens and never fully recovered, dying in her sixties. She was deeply religious.
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What does she write about in her poems?
She wrote about death, love, religion and sin.
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What did she write about death?
She wrote a lot about death, but she generally seems fascinated by it rather than frightened.
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What did she write about love?
She wrote about romantic love, religious love and love of family. She challenged the Victorian belief that marriage was the aim of a woman's life. Lots of her characters chose religious love over marriage.
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What did she write about religion and sin?
She wrote about biblical events such as Christ's death and resurrection. She also wrote hymns (In The Bleak Midwinter). She wrote about women who suffer from having sex outside of a marriage (which was a huge sin).
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What devices do her poems feature?
Symbolism, first person viewpoint and simplicity.
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How are her poems made simple?
They have a strong rhyme scheme, short lines and simple vocabulary so they are easy to read and understand (but they often have a hidden meaning)
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How does she present symbolism?
She has used eating fruit to symbolise sin and the loss of innocence. Plants/flowers symbolise life and seasons show the journey from life to death.
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What is the background of Thomas Hardy?
He grew up in the 1800s in a village in Dorset. His family were quite poor and at 16 he became an apprentice to an architect. He did this for many years and also wrote ten controversial novels that featured sex and he later chose to write poetry.
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What did his poems often feature?
He wrote nearly 1000 poems in his lifetime, so they cover lots of different themes. The most common ones are nature, time and disappointment/grief.
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Why did he write about nature?
Growing up in rural Dorset had an effect on his poetry. He often wrote about plants, animals, landscapes and rural life.
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What did he write about time?
Hardy wrote a lot about how he sees time as an unfriendly force that brings change such as ageing, death and loss of love.
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What devices are most commonly used in his poems?
His poems featured form, unusual words, personification, alliteration and symbolism.
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What did Hardy experiment with?
He experimented with different forms, line lengths and rhyme schemes. Most of his poems rhyme as he was interested in how it affected the pace of a poem.
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What is meant by unusual words?
He often made new words by adding a prefix or combining two existing words. His poems also feature dialect words and old words that give his poems a distinctive voice.
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Card 2

Front

What does she write about in her poems?

Back

She wrote about death, love, religion and sin.

Card 3

Front

What did she write about death?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What did she write about love?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What did she write about religion and sin?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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