Teaching Poetry: A Step by Step Guide

Ok: first of all an admission. The title of this post, with its impossibly bold claim to distil teaching poetry into a series of neatly packaged steps, is somewhat overzealous. In a manner somewhat, and unfavourably, all too familiar to the last year, I fear it will overpromise and underdeliver. However, what it will do,... Continue Reading →

An Analysis: Love’s Philosophy

Throughout the poem Shelley refers to the speaker’s love by comparing it to natural imagery and the natural order. He uses this imagery in order to try and seduce the woman he is addressing: he is attempting to justify why the woman should be with him by referencing how nature works in the world. Thus,... Continue Reading →

An Analysis: Walking Away by Cecil Day-Lewis

What is it about? A father, the speaker, watches his son play football at school. As his son walks away from him he becomes worried that their relationship has fundamentally changed, since his son is growing up and becoming more independent. However, the speaker comes to realise that this is an experience all parents have... Continue Reading →

An Analysis: Winter Swans by Owen Sheers

The poem begins with the weather mimicking the emotion of the couple: ‘The clouds had given their all –’. At a literal level, this image is referencing how the clouds have expended all of their rain. However, at a more symbolic level it reflects how the couple are emotionally exhausted and how the relationship is... Continue Reading →

How I Teach the GCSE Poetry Anthology

I really dislike the given AQA Poetry Anthology, not the poems, but the actual physical anthology. My students do too. In fact, I dislike it so much that I set about creating an alternative, that, whilst of course biased, I feel is far superior. This post is about what is included in this alternative and... Continue Reading →

An Analysis: Mother, Any Distance

This poem is from the 1993 collection Book of Matches so titled because each poem is supposed to be read in twenty seconds, the time it takes for a match to burn. This is significant for this particular poem since the collection deals with time passing (hence the match image) as does ‘Mother, any distance’.... Continue Reading →

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