English Literature - Unseen Poets - Cope and Patten

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What is the background of Wendy Cope? (1945 to present)
She grew up in Kent and trained as a teacher. She taught in primary schools before becoming a professional writer. She worked as an editor and critic before becoming a poet. She became famous overnight but refused to consider being Poet Laureate
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What does Cope often write about?
Relationships, writing and family.
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What does she write about relationships?
She writes about all the stages of a relationship and lots of her early poems are cynical. They are light-hearted in tone but they're often about being single and lonely. Her later poems are happier.
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What about writing?
Some of her poems are about the process of writing a poem or are responses to criticisms of her work.
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What does she write about family?
Her poems about her parents focus on her feelings of not being good enough. She writes more warmly about her grandma, but her poems have an air of regret.
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What devices are used in her poems?
Directness, humour and form
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How does she use directness?
She uses straightforward vocabulary and short sentences that make her poems easy to read and means her message comes across strongly.
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How does she use humour?
She uses humour to make serious points and to put sad situations into perspective. She often parodies other famous poets.
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How does she use form?
They generally have a strong rhyme scheme and a specific form like a sonnet, a triolet or a haiku. This can make her poems seem traditional but the content is often unexpected.
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What is the background of Patten? (1946-present)
He grew up in Liverpool and left school at 15 to become a reporter. He became famous when he published a book of poems along with two other Liverpudlian poets. They became known as the Liverpool Poets. Since then he has published his own collections.
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What themes are featured in Patten's poems?
Love, death, growing up and nature.
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What does he write about love and death?
His poems deal with all sides of love, from new relationships to break ups and his love for his parents. He talks about how death cannot be avoided and how hard it is to be left behind when people die.
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What does he write about growing up?
His poems deal with what it is like to be a child and the sadness of having to grow up. A lot of his poems are about losing your imagination.
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What about nature?
He writes about how the natural world can give people peace if they look for it.
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What devices are used in his poems?
Directness, immediateness, interesting rhythms
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What about the directness?
He often uses the first person or the second person which means he is describing the narrator's feelings or they're addressed to the reader as 'you'. He uses uncomplicated language, making his meaning clear.
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What is meant by immediate?
His poems are written in the present tense which helps the reader to feel involved in the narrator's emotions as they feel them at the same time the narrator does.
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What about the interesting rhythms?
His poems often have unusual and irregular rhythms to vary the pace and mood and to make them more interesting when they're read aloud.
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Card 2

Front

What does Cope often write about?

Back

Relationships, writing and family.

Card 3

Front

What does she write about relationships?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What about writing?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What does she write about family?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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