3 What does “Unseen” mean? It will be a poem you have probably never seen beforeYou are being tested on your ability to “read and respond” thoughtfullyYou are thinking about what the writer is trying to sayEvery word of the poem will count
4 The Question Write about the poem and its effect on you. You may wish to include some or all of these points:The poem’s content – what it is aboutThe ideas the poet may have wanted us to think aboutThe mood or atmosphere of a poemHow it is written – words or phrases you find interesting, the way the poem is structured or organisedYour response to the poem
5 Content What it’s about What happens in each section Is there an order or sequence?Who’s speaking?Story or idea?
6 Ideas What did the poet want us to think about? Is it a story or an ideaor an expression of an emotion?Is there a message?
7 Mood and atmosphere What is the tone of the poem? How does it make you feel as you read it?Think about the 5 sensesThink about the setting
8 How it is written Don’t just list or spot techniques Pick out words or phrases that you find effective and try to say whyThink about the sound and rhythm of the poem. Does it have a beat? Or is it disjointed?Look at repetition of sounds or words
9 Imagery: a quick reminder An image in poetry (or in writing generally) is a picture in the reader’s mind created by the words used.Literal images can be effective ; “roses in snow”. The reader sees this in an uncomplicated way.Similes and metaphors are figurative images – they are built on comparison :SIMILE – “The pigeon bursts like a city”METAPHOR – “The sun died” - this is also an example of personification
10 How it is written 2 Think about the structure or form Is it regular, uneven, awkward or easy to read. Does that tie in with the content?Look at the first line of each stanza to see how the meaning developsLook at the title and last line to give you a clue as to what the writer intended
11 Your ResponseIt’s perfectly acceptable to say you find a poem confusing or misleading if you can explain whyTry to be positive about some aspect of the poem or explain how you relate to an idea or event in itUses phrases to show your sadness, surprise, enjoyment, anger, frustration, empathy……The examiner basically wants to know you have read and thought about this poem
12 Things you should NEVER write! At first I didn’t understand the poem but after reading it a couple of times I think…The poem has no rhythmI think the poem needed to rhyme more because I like poems that rhyme…I think the poet has done a very good job of writing this poem and they obviously thought carefully about it…
13 Ok – so let’s try an example It is absolutely essential to get into the habit of reading the poem at least twice before even trying to think of what you will write.Try to hear the poem aloud in your head – notice how it makes you feel and which words felt important as you read it.
14 TRAMP By William Marshall He liked he saidrainbows and the skyand children who passed him in thestreetwithout staring.And he liked he said theordinary things
15 likeroses in snowand the way herememberedthe first timethe first time hereally smelt therain ona green hillsideback homejust before the sun died
16 And he liked he saidthinking aboutwho slept beneath the redbrick roofs hewalked by in theearly part of the dayfrom Land’s End to John O’Groats.but he saidas a full time tramp with noother place to go hewas worriedwhere he would die -Land’s End or John O’Groats.
17 Start by annotating …. Tramp He liked he said rainbows and the sky Any tramp – no nameLike a child – a simple treatThe speaker issomeone reportingThe tramp’s opinionsHe liked he saidrainbows and the skyand children who passed him in thestreetwithout staring.Most children stare - likes the ones who don’t – why?
18 Using P-E-EMaking sure you always use P-E-E-L statements in the poetry question
19 How to scoresustained response to situation/ideas or author's purposeseffective use of details to support answerexplanation of features of language interestexplanation of effects achieved/authors' purposes
20 How to scorequalified, developed response, exploring writers' ideas or methodsdetails from poem linked to authors' intentions and purposesexploration of effects achieved/authors' purposesqualified/exploratory response to writers' ideas or methods
21 Check your response Have you explained? Have you used details? Is your writing on the poem sustained?Are you beginning to explore?Do you evaluate the writer’s techniques?
22 Remember: Read the poem carefully more than once Annotate the poem quicklyIn the exam, you have 45 minutes in totalSpend 5 mins reading the poem and annotatingThink about the poem.
23 Writing your answer Use P-E-E-L throughout Don’t panic if you don’t get it all – it is not a trick!
24 Practice makes perfect Practise annotating poems.Remember to annotate in different ways: questions, points, meanings, links, language techniques, poet’s ideasThinking about the poems and questioning the ideas in them will help you be more confident in the exam.