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'Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history' - Year 10

Keeping on the Ancient Greek theme - meet Plato:


From whom the quotation in the title is taken from.

This poetry journey you've been on has been focusing on developing your skills. You've been focusing on skills of analysis and evaluation and then have been working on translating those brilliant ideas you have into effective exam writing.

Look at this that you've created:

Kathleen Jamie presents the loch as a magical place in the line 'the magic dart of our bow wave'. This line suggests that the character's within the poem are in awe at the delicate way their boat seems to be gliding across the water especially within the metaphor of 'magic dart' which could represent the arrow like nature of the boat cutting through the water and the seemingly mystical parting of the water in front of the bow. Although the language of 'dart' could also suggest the speed of the boat with 'magic' illustrating the character's surprise at how little the water is resisting. The skilled use of language has allowed Jamie to convey to us the sheer wonder she sees in nature and perhaps is highlighting that nature should be experienced rather than feared because of it's mystical nature.

Now this shows the skills of analysis and evaluation and it is these skills you should be relying on.

We worked very quickly on creating 6 words to sum up the Character or Voice within the poem and developed your analysis always linking back to those 6 words. Remember 'Linked Thinking' is the minimum that we are aiming at and hopefully we can then develop this into 'Abstract Extended Thinking'.

I now hope you are able to look at a poem and sum up the poet's message in 1 sentence:

'Dylan Thomas conveys the inner beauty of everyone even those we'd consider imperfect'

This then develops an evaluative focus. Have a look at the pictures below:


So things to take into account as you prepare for your mock exams.


1) Not using quotations - NO QUOTATIONS = NO D.

2) Not analysing quotations - Telling me what they mean = No C.

3) Not focusing in on key words and mentioning devices used - Just analysing the quotation = No B.

4) Not offering a range of interpretations of your quotations (writing a lot about a little) = No A.

5) Not zooming out and focusing on how your quotation develops the poet's key message = No A*

Secondly - link that thinking. Remember you are making comparisons based on the Character and Voice so tie your answer together with a link. That could be the poet's message or that could be an exploration of one of your key words.

Thirdly - Give a range of interpretations.

Each the year the examiner writes a report on the quality of the answers and this year they stated that 'writing a lot about a little' is a key skill for top level candidates. Look at the example above and see how much we were able to write from that single quotation.

Finally - Express yourself using the appropriate language:

Talking about poet's craft:

The poet’s use of language / words / tone of voice is significant.
Imagery is significant in this section.
The imagery of ....  is especially significant in this section.
The poet uses setting to convey ...
The characterisation of ... is developed in this section.
Structurally, this section is significant.


The poet seems to be exploring the them / idea of ...
From one perspective we could say ...  From another we might consider...
Developing the interpretation further, we could argue that...
This links with.....
This idea is repeated when......

 Introducing Quotations

We can see this in the quotation ...
We hear the character described as ...
The word ... demonstrates this.
Arguably, the most significant words are ...  and ...
The image of the ... is crucial to our understanding.

Writer's Intentions

The poet seems to be suggesting ...
The poet is, perhaps, exploring  the idea of ...
The poet is explaining, illustrating, uncovering, hiding, illuminating, developing,


The words suggest / imply / convey ...
This word / phrase / image / character makes me think of ... because...
This conveys feelings of ... because....
The word / image contains several ideas.  For example...

Remember the paper is 1 hour and 15 Minutes and give 45 mins to Section A and 30 Mins to Section B.

If you wan to try a practice question try the one below and post.

How does the poet present the idea of characters who have choices in the poem Give and another poem of your choice?

How does the poet present the idea of life in her poem?

The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

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