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approaching unseen/seen poetry

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    What to look for when looking at unseen/seen poetry:
    Form :
    ⦁ Identify what the tone of the poem is - eg: Depressing , bitter , joyous
    ⦁ What kind of poem it actually is -eg: sonnet, ballad
    ⦁ What tense the poem is in - egast,present ,future, conditional
    ⦁ what kind of narrative it is -eg: 1st person ,2nd person,3rd person
    ⦁ When you identify these,the key to getting marks is to link it to structure and language and suggest why the poet wrote them as such, for example.
    ⦁ The poet appears to feel bitter about his father's death which is showcased in the line '.............................', in using such words his anger for the occurence is enforced and gives the poem an angry and bitter tone , this is again reiterated by the rigid rhyme scheme of the poem which almost demonstrates the poet's unforgiveness of God for what has happened to his father as he is not willing to let go of his resentment.

    Structure :
    ⦁ Identify the following :
    ⦁ Stanza length( decrease, increase, remaining the same)
    ⦁ Stanza arrangement
    ⦁ punctuation (caesura and enjambment etc..)
    ⦁ rhyme scheme
    ⦁ alliteration
    ⦁ CAESURA: a break in the line
    ⦁ ENJAMBMENT:when there is no punctuation at the end of the line
    ⦁ When discussing , try your hardest to link this to form and language and the poets ideas,offer more than one interpretation for higher marks!

    ⦁ Here , we are looking for linguistic devices such as:
    ⦁ Emotive language
    ⦁ Lists
    ⦁ Hyperboles( exaggerative words)
    ⦁ Metaphors
    ⦁ Similes
    ⦁ Superlatives (Least, most)
    ⦁ strong adjectives
    ⦁ pathos(strong emotive language that evokes empathy)
    ⦁ Imagery etc
    ⦁ What does this language device actually TELL you about the poet?How does this link with their emotions and how is this perhaps presented in both the form and structure?
    ⦁ The poet*never refer to the person who wrote the poem as the writer* uses emotive language and speaks metaphorically when describing their life as a 'sorrowful pit of what once was'.The words 'sorrowful pit' illustrate how depressing and upsetting the poet feels and what he now percieves his life to be and the strong adjective of 'sorrowful'would make reader's feel empathetic;'pit' being metaphorical again reiterates the emptiness the writer now feels, which also links to the melancholy tone of the poem.This feeling of emptiness is again reflected as the stanzas decrease in length , starting off with five lines and ending with two lines .
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Updated: May 24, 2016
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