3 Unseen Poetry: Peer Assessment Using the essay you worked on last week you are going to peer assess each others work.Use the following assessment objectives to mark each others work.Give a comment explaining what has been done well and one that can suggest improvement.
4 What you are assessed on: AO1: Respond to texts critically and imaginatively; select and evaluate relevant textual detail to illustrate and support interpretations.AO2: Explain how language, structure and form contribute to writers’ presentation of ideas, themes and settings.AO3: Make comparisons and explain links between texts, evaluating writers’ different ways of expressing meaning and achieving effects.
5 Slow Reader He can make sculptures and fabulous machines, invent games, tell jokes, give solemn, adult advice – but he is slow to read. When I take him on my knee with his Ladybird book he gazes into the air, sighing and shaking his head like an old man who knows the mountains are impassable. He toys with words, letting them go cold as gristly meat, until I relent and let him wriggle free: a fish returning to its element, or a white-eyed colt – shying from the bit *– who sees that if he takes it in his mouth he’ll never run quite free again. VICKI FEAVER * ‘bit’: the metal mouthpiece of a bridle, used to control a horse
6 Analysing & Discussing Unseen Poetry What language techniques could you be expected to analyse in your essay?
7 Section B will be based on an unseen poem, on which candidates will be asked to answer either one or two questions.AO1: Respond to texts critically and imaginatively; select and evaluaterelevant textual detail to illustrate and support interpretations.This means it is a good idea to have your own personal and critical ideas about the poem and be able to think imaginatively about what the poet does with the imagery, the themes, the voice, the language etc. As it’s an unseen poem, it will have to be your own ideas – just make sure they’re credible and you can back them up. Obviously, you have to get good short quotations to prove those ideas you have about the poem!AO2: Explain how language, structure and form contribute to writers’presentation of ideas, themes and settings.This means you have to look in real detail at the words and techniques the poet uses to create the themes, the rhythm, the subject matter, the voice and the tone of the poem form. In addition, if you know what specific form of poem you are reading, you should make a point about how the poet uses that form – maybe it’s a sonnet, a villanelle, a dramatic monologue etc…
8 Does It Matter? Siegfried Sassoon Does it matter? — Losing your legs? For people will always be kind, And you needn't show that you mind When the others come in after hunting, And gobble their muffins and eggs. Does it matter? — Losing your sight? There's such splendid work for the blind, And people will always be kind, As you sit on the terrace remembering, And turning your face to the light. Do they matter? — Those dreams from the Pit? You can drink, and forget, and be glad, And no one will say that you're mad, For they'll know that you fought for your country, And no one will worry a bit.Does It Matter?Siegfried Sassoon
9 Title What ideas are suggested by the title? Mindmap all interpretations and connotationsRead the poem quickly to see if any words or phrases support the connotation. Highlight those that do.Check the opening and closing lines more thoroughly. Do these link to the title in any way?
10 Shape Look at the shape of the poem on the page? Does it have a recognisable form? Is it a sonnet, a ballad, a narrative…?If so, how does that add to your ideas about the title?Does it have stanzas?Is it an odd shape?What are the line lengths like? All equal or very different?Can you make predictions about the poem based on the answers to these questions?
11 Personal ResponseRead the poem again and decide what you think the poet was trying to do?Is there a message?Is it an emotional response to an event?Is it trying to create an emotive response from you?Is it for someone else?Can there be different interpretations?Many of the best poems have different interpretations
12 Voice Who seems to be speaking the poem? Is there a clear persona? What type and tone of voice do you imagine?What part/s of the poem are most powerful aloud?As you were reading you may have noticed sound affects like alliteration and assonance. What effect do these create?
13 Vocabulary Are there any words or phrases that you find interesting? Find a couple and share your reasons why they stand out to you?Now, can you trace any others that link to the first words you chose?You can often find chains of reference in this wayAre there any repetitions?What types of words are used a lot? (Verbs; nouns; adjectives; pronouns…This can tell you a lot about what the poem is doing
14 ImagerySome of the words and phrases you find might be used to create vivid visual imagerySimiles using ‘like’ or ‘as’ are easy to find and these make a direct comparisonMetaphors and symbols are often more difficult to find.Are there any references in the poem that could stand for something else?
15 Structure How is the poem organised? If it has stanzas, are they used to develop an idea (like paragraphs in prose)?Are the lines end-stopped or run on using enjambment? (This is always a good find – the poet must want an idea to run into another line or idea for a reason!)
16 Interpretation This is what you have been doing from the start! Now put it into a written response, supporting your ideas with quotations:The poem suggests…The form may mean…The voice of the poem supports this because…The vocabulary / image / sound / structure suggests…
18 This time, try it with just the titles! The Queen she sent to look for me, The sergeant he did say, 'Young man, a soldier will you be For thirteen pence a day?' For thirteen pence a day did I Take off the things I wore, And I have marched to where I lie, And I shall march no more. My mouth is dry, my shirt is wet, My blood runs all away, So now I shall not die in debt For thirteen pence a day. To-morrow after new young men The sergeant he must see, For things will all be over then Between the Queen and me. And I shall have to bate my price, For in the grave, they say, Is neither knowledge nor device Nor thirteen pence a day.GRENADIERA.E. HousmanThis time, try it with just the titles!
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