WJEC/Eduqas English Literature GCSE Poetry Anthology

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The Manhunt – Quotes
– “After the first phase, / after passionate nights and intimate days, // only then would he let me trace”: ‘only then’ repeated
– “blown hinge of his lower jaw”
– “the parachute silk of his punctured lung”
– “feel the hurt / of his grazed heart”
– “sweating, unexploded mine / buried deep in his mind”
The Manhunt – Context
– Written for a Channel 4 Documentary
– Speaker is Laura, wife of a soldier who served in the Bosnian War and was discharged due to injury and depression, named Eddie
The Manhunt – Structure and Form
– Two-line stanzas: fractured
– Some rhyming
– Dramatic monologue
– Enjambment
Sonnet 43 – Quotes
– “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways”
– “I love thee to the breadth and depth and height / My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight / For the ends of Being and ideal Grace”
– “I love thee with the passion put to use / In my old griefs”: volta
– “if God choose, / I shall but love thee better after death”
Sonnet 43 – Context
– Part of a wider collection of sonnets addressed to Browning’s husband, Robert Browning: show how he ‘saves’ her from her opressive father
– Browning suffered spinal and head pain from childhood
Sonnet 43 – Structure and Form
– Petrarchan Sonnet: octave, sestet and volta
– Shift to focus on past and then future with the sestet
London – Quotes
– “I wander thro’ each charter’d street
– “Marks of weakness, marks of woe”
– “every cry of every Man […] the mind-forg’d manacles I hear”
– “every black’ning Church appalls”
– “the youthful Harlot’s curse […] blights with plagues the Marriage hearse”
London – Context
– Blake lived in 18th century London: Industrial Revolution (late 18th and early 19th century)
– Blake lost faith in religion due to the Church refusing to help homeless children
London – Structure and Form
– Iambic tetrameter
– Enjambment
– 4 quatrains: regular ABAB rhyme scheme
– Each quatrain focuses on a different aspect of his journey
The Soldier – Quotes
– “If I should die, think only this of me:”
– “A body of England’s, breathing English air, / Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home”
– “A pulse in the eternal mind”
– “English heaven”
The Soldier – Context
– Written in 1914, before Brooke experienced war; later became an officer
– Used as a propaganda piece but not written for this reason
– Reflects Brooke’s patriotic views
The Soldier – Structure and Form
– Sonnet
– Octave uses Shakespearean rhyme scheme and sestet uses Petrarchan: British vs Italian
She Walks in Beauty – Quotes
– “She walks in beauty, like the night, / Of cloudless climes and starry skies”
– “One shade the more, one ray the less / Had half impaired the nameless grace”
– “A mind at peace with all below, / A heart whose love is innocent!”
She Walks in Beauty – Context
– Possibly inspired by a woman, Byron’s cousin, that he met at a party the night before
– Romantic era, which placed more emphasis on the heart and feelings than on the head and thoughts
She Walks in Beauty – Structure and Form
– Iambic tetrameter
– Consistent ABABAB rhyme scheme
– Enjambment: slight contrast to steady rhyme scheme + beat
Living Space – Quotes
– “There are just not enough / straight lines. That / is the problem.”
– “whole structure leans dangerously / towards the miraculous”
– “someone has squeezed / a living space”
– “eggs in a wire basket […] hung out over the dark edge / of a slanted universe”
Living Space – Context
– Revealed later that the poem is set in Mumbai
– Dharker lives between London and Mumbai
Living Space – Structure and Form
– Stanzas use enjambment
– No rhyme scheme
– Stanza 2 is short, as if squeezed between stanzas 1 and 3
As Imperceptibly as Grief – Quotes
– “As imperceptibly as Grief / The Summer lapsed away”
– “A Quietness distilled”
– “The Morning foreign shone”
– “harrowing Grace”
– “Summer made her light escape”
As Imperceptibly as Grief – Context
– Lived a very lonely, isolated life
– Final version written the year Dickinson’s mother died
– Poem can be interpreted as about Dickinson’s emotional struggles caused by the death of her mother
As Imperceptibly as Grief – Structure and Form
– Blank verse
– No stanzas
– Reflects unordered nature of thoughts and feelings
Cozy Apologia – Quotes
– “I could pick anything and think of you”
– “There you’ll be […] chain mail glinting, to set me free”
– “post-post modern age is all business […] take-no-risks”
– “hurricane is nudging up the coast, / Oddly male: Big Bad Floyd, who brings a host / Of daydreams […] Of teenage crushes on worthless boys”
– “We’re content, but fall short of Divine”
– “I fill this stolen time with you”
Cozy Apologia – Context
– Speaker is Rita Dove
– Poem is dedicated to her husband Fred
– Hurricane Floyd occurred off the coast of the USA in 1999
Cozy Apologia – Structure and Form
– Likely first-person narrative
– Three 10-line stanzas
– Stanza 1 is made up of 5 rhyming couplets
– Rhyme scheme breaks down in stanza 2 as storm arrives
– New rhyme scheme begun to emerge by stanza 3
– Some enjambment: flowing of thoughts
Valentine – Quotes
– “Not a red rose or a satin heart.”
– “I give you an onion. / It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.”
– “It will blind you with tears / like a lover.”
– “I am trying to be truthful.”: isolated stanza
– “Not a cute card or a kissogram.”: isolated stanza
– “possessive and faithful / as we are, / for as long as we are.”
– “Lethal. / Its scent will cling to your fingers, / cling to your knife.”
Valentine – Context
– Poem refers to Valentine’s Day, when people traditionally give gifts to their partner, especially roses
– Valentine’s Day has become much more commercialised
Valentine – Structure and Form
– Free verse: no beat
– No rhyme scheme
– Short stanzas of varied length: mimics layers of an onion, potentially
– Not a sonnet!
A Wife in London – Quotes
– “The Tragedy”
– “She sits in the tawny vapour / That the City lanes have uprolled / Behind whose webby fold on fold […] The street-lamp glimmers cold”
– “Flashed news is in her hand […] He – has fallen – in the far South Land …”
– “The Irony”
– “the fog hangs thicker”
– “The postman nears and goes: / A letter is brought whose lines disclose […] His hand, whom the worm now knows”
– “Page-full of his hoped return […] And of new love they would learn”
A Wife in London – Context
– Critical of Victorian society and decline of rural life
– Hardy spent much time seeing women other than his wife Emma, who spent much time by herself in her attic rooms as a result
– Poem written in 1899, at the start of the 2nd Boer War, which was fought in Africa: “far South Land”
A Wife in London – Structure and Form
– ABBAB rhyme scheme
– 4 stanzas
– Metre is varied and inconsistent
Death of a Naturalist – Quotes
– “All year the flax-dam festered”
– “There were dragon-flies, spotted butterflies, / But best of all was the warm thick slobber / Of frogspawn”
– “I would fill jampotfuls […] Miss Walls would tell us how / The daddy frog was called a bullfrog”
– “they were yellow in the sun and brown / In rain.”
– “Then one hot day […] angry frogs / Invaded the flax-dam”
– “The air was thick with a bass chorus”
– “The slap and plop were obscene threats.”
– “I sickened, turned, and ran. The great slime kings / Were gathered there for vengeance”
Death of a Naturalist – Context
– The speaker is Heaney as a child, who grew up in rural Northern Ireland
– He visited a flax-damn as a child
– Flax is often associated with Northern Ireland
– Contrast to Heaney’s later poems, which often comment on the Troubles
Death of a Naturalist – Structure and Form
– Blank verse
– Iambic pentameter: beating of the heart and passing of time
– “Then” at start of stanza 2 signals change in focus
Hawk Roosting – Quotes
– “I sit in the top of the wood”
– “in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat”
– “The convenience of the high trees!”
– “the earth’s face upward for my inspection”
– “The allotment of death”
– “No arguments assert my right”
Hawk Roosting – Context
– Hawks have exceptional eyesight, are intelligent and are known for being violent
– Can be interpreted as a metaphor for a military leader, particularly a dictator
Hawk Roosting – Structure and Form
– Dramatic monologue
– Stanzas 1 and 2 focus on nature while 3-6 focus on the god-like nature of the hawk
To Autumn – Quotes
– “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!”
– “fill all fruit with ripeness to the core”
– “Thee sitting careless on a granary floor”
– “soft-dying day”
– “gathering swallows twitter in the skies”
To Autumn – Context
– Keats wrote this as he was dying of tuberculosis so poem can be considered a metaphor for his life
To Autumn – Structure and Form
– Chronological
– Enjambment
– Non-regular but frequent rhymes
– Iambic pentameter
Afternoons – Quotes
– “Summer is fading: / The leaves fall in ones and twos”
– “Young mothers assemble”
– “And the children, so intent on / Finding more unripe acorns, / Except to be taken home”
– “pushing them / To the side of their own lives”
Afternoons – Context
– Larkin lived a restricted life as a librarian and never married or travelled abroad
Afternoons – Structure and Form
– Stanzas reflect on past, present and future respectively
– Enjambment
– No rhyming
Dulce et Decorum Est – Quotes
– “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks”
– “coughing like hags”
– “Men marched asleep.”
– “All went lame; all blind;”
– “Gas! Gas! Quick boys!”
– “face, like a devil’s sick of sin”
– “The old Lie”
Dulce et Decorum Est – Context
– Wilfred Owen fought in the war so was writing from experience
– The phrase “dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” was used in war propaganda and originally written by Horace
Dulce et Decorum Est – Structure and Form
– Mostly steady beat
– Stanza length varies
– Rhyme scheme varies but in general alternating lines rhyme
Ozymandias – Quotes
– “I met a traveller from an antique land”
– “Half sunk, a shattered visage lies”
– “Sneer of cold command”
– “Nothing beside remains. Round the decay”
Ozymandias – Context
– Inspired by a statue of Ramses II which was en route to London in 1817
– Egyptian pharaohs were dictators, which Shelley was opposed to
Ozymandias – Structure and Form
– Petrarchan sonnet but with modified rhyme scheme, which is mostly unclear
– Iambic pentameter
– Combined octave and sestet with volta
Mametz Wood – Quotes
– “the wasted young”
– “A chit of bone, the china plate of a shoulder blade, / the relic of a finger”
– “They were told to walk, not run”
– “And even now the earth stands sentinel”
– “twenty men buried […] their skeletons paused mid dance-macabre”
– “Boots that outlasted them”
Mametz Wood – Context
– Mametz Wood was the fight of fierce fighting during the Battle of the Somme in WW1
– Soldiers of the Welsh division were ordered to take the wood
– They succeeded but their bravery and sacrifice was not acknowledged
– Grave of twenty Allied soldiers with linked arms uncovered
Mametz Wood – Structure and Form
– Three-line stanzas + some lines longer than others
– Stanzas alternate between focus on the land, bones and people with stanza 7 acting as a conclusion
The Prelude – Quotes
– “The cottage windows through the twilight blaz’d”
– “It was a time of rapture: clear and loud”
– “Proud and exulting, like an untired horse”
– “And woodland pleasures, the resounding horn”
– “The Pack loud bellowing, and the hunted hare”
– “The leafless trees and every icy crag”
The Prelude – Context
– Autobiographical
– Wordsworth spent much time outside as a child
– Wordsworth frequently visited his grandparents, who lived in an extremely rural location
The Prelude – Structure and Form
– Autobiographical
– Conversational poem
– Blank verse: carefree
– Enjambment: increases pace
Categories: English Literature