English Literature Unseen Poets - Parker and Auden

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What is the background of Dorothy Parker? (late1800s-mid1900s)
She grew up in New York in a difficult childhood. She wrote for fashion magazines/newspapers and was a successful screenwriter as well as poet and author. She was a rich socialite was sad and attempted suicide. Believed in equality (MLK).
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What themes were constant in her poems?
She wrote about relationships, society and death.
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Why did she write about relationships?
She was married 3 times, twice to the same man and in her poems she is harsh towards men. She writes about unequal relationships and break-ups.
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What did she write about society?
She used poetry to criticise the double standards in how men/women were expected to behave and the different roles of women in society.
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What did she write about death?
She wrote about her own death, the death of others, suicide and grief. She often used dark humour to express her interest in this theme.
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What devices were used in her poems?
Her poems were short, humorous and simple.
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What is the impact of writing a short poem?
It means that they normally just put across one idea or emotion, having a big impact on the reader.
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What was her use of humour like?
She used dark humour and sarcasm and sometimes satire even when she was writing about something traumatic. She often starts out upbeat but adds a twist in the end of the poem to get you thinking.
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What did the simplicity of her poems mean?
By using simple vocabulary and rhyme schemes and writing in first person, Parker's poems seem more personal which reflect the simple and familiar themes of her poems e.g. relationships.
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What is the background of W.H. Auden? (early to late 1900s)
He started writing at 13 and published about 400 poems. He travelled a lot, going to Iceland, China and many European countries. He grew up in the UK but later became a US citizen
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What themes were common to Auden's poems?
He often wrote about politics, real life, moral issues and love.
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What did he write about politics and real life?
He wrote about what was happening in the world at the time and he wrote about real people, places and life.
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What did he write about moral issues?
He wrote about right and wrong and the moral choices that people make.
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What did he write about love?
He wrote about the fragility of love and particular relationships that he'd had.
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What devices did Auden often use in his poetry?
He used imagery, conciseness and enjambment.
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How did he create imagery?
He used similes, metaphors and personification to make it easy for the reader to imagine what he's talking about.
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What is meant by conciseness?
Auden was very direct in his poems and used no wasted words. He often missed out words like 'he' or 'she' which gives his poems a sense of urgency and emphasises the important words of the poem.
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What is enjambment?
Enjambment is when one line flows to the next and was used often in Auden's poems to emphasise the words at the end of one line and at the beginning of the next.
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Card 2

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What themes were constant in her poems?

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She wrote about relationships, society and death.

Card 3

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Why did she write about relationships?

Back

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Card 4

Front

What did she write about society?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

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What did she write about death?

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