username1599547
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Hi,

This is a thread for the 2015 English Exam next week. You can ask questions of your own here but I have a couple of questions if someone can help out. I would really appreciate it.

So Firstly,
is Anyone doing Edwin Morgan poems-
if so I need help with how to compare winter to another poem?
it would be helpful if anybody had a sample answer to the 8-mark question in poems because I am really struggling with what exactly to write.

Also, i am the worst at close reading when it comes to your own words because I try to change EVERY SINGLE WORD AINTO MY OWN And it fails so if anyone have any helpful tips on that?
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jamesg2
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Looking at the 2014 exam paper, there appears to have been a tightening up of the 8 mk question. In the exemplars the final question was quite vague i.e. compare with another poem of similar ideas etc.

2014 highlighted a specific area - and more important - an emphasis on poetic techniques. So if 2015 question is of a similar ilk then the question will focus on a specific theme with the expected response focus on Edwin Morgan's poetic technique.

It is worth being aware that the six poems divide into two groups of three.

a) “Good Friday”; “In the Snack-bar” and “Trio.”Essentially these are character poems.

b) “Hyena”; “Slate” and “Winter.”Essentially these are descriptive poems.

So if “Winter” is the selected poem then I advise you compare it with either “Hyena” or “Slate.”
Rather than plot out a particular answer format I will look at the similarities of these three poems.

The Descriptive Poems:-
a) Two are centred in Scotland and one in Africa:-Unlike the character poems, the descriptive poems do not originate from one volume of poetry. Nor do they all focus on Scotland: “Winter” and “Slate” do but “Hyena” focuses on Africa. However they all have one feature in common: landscape. They also deal with differing aspects of the landscape. “Hyena” describes a country that is very hot and dry. “Winter” describes a winter Glasgow scene where boys are skating on a nearby pond. “Slate” however, which describes how the country of Scotland came into being, describes weather conditions that vary from volcanic to blizzard. So, although they describe different continents and conditions, landscape and weather is common to all three.

b) Involve a Narrator:-Although each poem has a narrator they are of differing types. In the poem “Winter”, the narrator is the poet himself and he is narrating from within his room where he is observing the scene. The poem “Slate” has what is believed to be alien(s) watching and describing the birth of what is to become Scotland. “Hyena” has a predator as its narrator. Therefore although all three poems have a narrator, the narrators are of different kinds. In addition, unlike the narrators in “Winter” and “Slate”, the hyena is an acknowledged potential danger to the reader. The hyena sees the reader as its potential prey.

There is also a difference in how each narrator sees the landscape. The hyena is not concerned with the landscape per se. The landscape is used by the hyena as a means to protect himself and prepare for potential kills. The hyena is not concerned in the beauty of its environment. It admires it only when it assists him in preparing for a kill, such as the bush outside the burnt out kraal.

The alien(s), observing the birth of Scotland, are very involved with what they see. This is supported by the quality of detail that they describe. In addition, when Staffa is created, they are amused by what they see. They admire what they are seeing, they talk about a “great glen.” They stay watching this birth through “thousands of rains, blizzards, sea poundings.” Clearly these beings have affection for what it is they are watching being born. Indeed there is the pride that any parent would have for their first born. So how these beings see the landscape, around them being developed, is very different to how the hyena sees the landscape around him.

In “Winter” the narrator is the poet himself. His landscape is very different from the landscape in the other two poems. In“Slate” the landscape is very primitive and is indeed in the state of being created. In “Hyena” the landscape is in Africa and some primitive area therein. In “Winter” we are seeing a modern city, Glasgow in the 1960’s/’70’s. Unlike the other two poems, in this poem there are children at play. There is a developed landscape with trees, ponds, motorways and vehicles. In “Slate” man has yet to arrive in Scotland and in “Hyena” man may be present but if so he may well be primitive. In addition two of the poems, “Slate” and “Winter”, have one thing in common: each has a narrator that is recording for others to read what it is they are looking at.

C) Birth and Death:-
Whereas in the poem “Hyena” the animal is only concerned with killing and death, in “Slate” and “Winter” the focus is on the natural life cycle.
“Slate” is about the birth of a nation. Indeed in reading the poem it is as though we are actually at the birth of this country. We see its very limbs begin to take shape. However “Winter” is about the end of that cycle. “Decay”, “dies”, “ghost”, all suggest the cycle moving towards a close. However, with the introduction of children and the return of vegetation and bird life we see the beginning of a new generation.
Regeneration and renewal is one the themes of these two poems.

In addition to thematic content you will also need to focus on poetic techniques. Best to comment on such techniques as Repetition, Imagery, Tense, Punctuation and inverted syntax: all of which Edwin Morgan employs.
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username1599547
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Thank you so much for your detailed response! I appreciate it.

I feel one of the descriptive one will come up as the last years and specimen ones were both the other type.

Would you say there is any point in doing Snackbar again as its very unlikely they would put it again. I am doing some work on Trio though, just in case.
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jamesg2
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"Trio" was used for the Specimen paper and "Snack-bar" in 2014. I would feel you may well be right to consider that this years poem may well be one of the descriptive poems. If you want a safety net, then "Good Friday" may well be worth looking at.

When comparing the set poem with others I have given you three areas to look at. If you decide to use the "narrator" then -certainly you would want to highlight some of the points i have outlines - however reference to the narrator allows you also to comment on the character poems.

Remember to also reference the poetic techniques Edwin Morgan uses. It is through his use of poetic techniques that an poet - like Edwin Morgan - is able to highlight his ideas.

Good Luck.
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ElasticJane
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Anyone else studying MacCaig for the exam?
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Connor_Simpson
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Hi,
Is anyone studying Kidnapped By Robert Louis Stevenson for the Set Text
What quotes are you learning for the 8 marker?
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emilie9
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(Original post by ElasticJane)
Anyone else studying MacCaig for the exam?
We're doing MacCaig.

My most hated poems (Basking Shark and Aunt Julia) were in last year's exam and the specimen paper, so that's a bit of a relief.
Praying that it will be Memorial or Assisi this year to be honest.
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jamesg2
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(Original post by emilie9)
We're doing MacCaig.

My most hated poems (Basking Shark and Aunt Julia) were in last year's exam and the specimen paper, so that's a bit of a relief.
Praying that it will be Memorial or Assisi this year to be honest.
If it is Memorial then you certainly want to reference Sounds of the Day in the final question. The link between these poems is just so profound.

If it is Assisi, I would certainly want to discuss the importance of the 1988 deletion of verse 2 and what it has to say for both the beggar and the priest.
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mariabrightside
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National 5 English Critical Essay For my critical essays, I write 4 or 5 pages in 45 minutes.I do 4 paragraphs and quote once in each paragraph, but I have noticed that other people quote 2 or 3 times per paragraph. My teacher told me this was because I have a lot to say about my quotations and analyse them fully, but I’m worried that some examiners will mark me down for only quoting 4 times when other people quote 8 times. Does anyone know if this is true? Is it necessary to quote more than once per paragraph?Thanks
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VividBandicoot
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Is ANYONE else studying Don Patersons poems for the Scottish set text. Everyone seems to be doing MacCaig or Duffy
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tommcmillan_
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(Original post by mariabrightside)
National 5 English Critical EssayFor my critical essays, I write 4 or 5 pages in 45 minutes.I do 4 paragraphs and quote once in each paragraph, but I have noticed thatother people quote 2 or 3 times per paragraph. My teacher told me this wasbecause I have a lot to say about my quotations and analyse them fully, but I’mworried that some examiners will mark me down for only quoting 4 times whenother people quote 8 times. Does anyone know if this is true? Is it necessaryto quote more than once per paragraph?Thanks
You're fine. I do the same and occasionally quote twice and it's fine to do so :-)


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mariabrightside
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What are the best quotations for Macbeth that can be adapted to suit many questions?
I feel like I'm trying to learn way too many :/
Thanks
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mariabrightside
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(Original post by tommcmillan_)
You're fine. I do the same and occasionally quote twice and it's fine to do so :-)


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Thanks, that's a relief
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VividBandicoot
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(Original post by Zain-A)
Is ANYONE else studying Don Patersons poems for the Scottish set text. Everyone seems to be doing MacCaig or Duffy
Im so sorry guys I mistook this for Higher English ahahaha ignore me :P Still thinking im doing nat 5s lol
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mariabrightside
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(Original post by BeatricePrior)
Hi,

This is a thread for the 2015 English Exam next week. You can ask questions of your own here but I have a couple of questions if someone can help out. I would really appreciate it.

So Firstly,
is Anyone doing Edwin Morgan poems-
if so I need help with how to compare winter to another poem?
it would be helpful if anybody had a sample answer to the 8-mark question in poems because I am really struggling with what exactly to write.

Also, i am the worst at close reading when it comes to your own words because I try to change EVERY SINGLE WORD AINTO MY OWN And it fails so if anyone have any helpful tips on that?
For the own words thing, don't change every word individually. Read the part to get whole idea and then describe it in a different way - it's much easier than changing every single word
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mariabrightside
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For a critical essay question about human weakness or character for Macbeth, do you have to talk about different characteristics in each paragraph or can you do a whole essay on ambition?
Thanks
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emilie9
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(Original post by jamesg2)
If it is Memorial then you certainly want to reference Sounds of the Day in the final question. The link between these poems is just so profound.

If it is Assisi, I would certainly want to discuss the importance of the 1988 deletion of verse 2 and what it has to say for both the beggar and the priest.
Definitely, in my prelim I referenced the feeling of dread present in both of them.

Regarding Assisi, I wasn't aware of the deletion of verse two. Were we supposed to be taught about that? I'm confused.
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jamesg2
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(Original post by emilie9)
Definitely, in my prelim I referenced the feeling of dread present in both of them.

Regarding Assisi, I wasn't aware of the deletion of verse two. Were we supposed to be taught about that? I'm confused.
With regard to "Sounds Of The Day" I was thinking about Frances MacCaig - Norman's youngest sister - about whom both these poems are about. However if you have a different interpretation I will not attempt to confuse your present understanding of the poem. That said, the idea of "dread" may not be your strongest argument. "Sound" would be a much stronger comparison. In "Sounds Of The Day", what the poet is most anguished about is the absence of sound. In "Memorial" sound is now one of the poet's guiding principles. "Sound" - in the form of "music" [ which is an organised and structured sound and is very different from the sounds described in verse 1 of "Sounds Of The Day" ] will now be the motivating basis of his life.

With regard to "Assisi" I am really not quite sure what is going on or indeed why verse 2 was deleted. One of the changes that Norman MacCaig made in 1988 when the yellow "Collected Poems" was published was to change the formatting of the titles of his poems. Until then his titles were in capital letters. Hence "Sounds Of The Day" rather than "Sounds of the day". When the SQA used the poem for its specimen Higher paper "Day" was capitalised. They did not use the lower case titling. The difference is that "Day" went from being a proper noun to a common noun.

"Assisi" which originally had four verses was changed to a three verse poem. Until then verse 2 had read:

"His look owes its slyness
To the fact
That he had no neck."

When in 1967 Norman MacCaig introduced the poem to an audience at Harvard University he said the following about the beggar. His reference to "another gruesome thing" was that he had recited "Resolution", a poem about the killing of a horse.

Another gruesome thing I saw, I am - I suppose the least travelled man in western Europe. It takes American’s to dig me out of my plush lined rut. But I was once in Italy and I visited Assisi - which some of you - no doubt all of you have seen. A sort of Christmas cake of churches. You know three tiers of them to St Francis. It struck me as a bit odd because he was supposed to be brother of the poor. At the entry to the sort of quadrangle - campus whatever they call it - there was a poor beggar. The most pathetic looking creature I ever saw in my life. Terrible. And everything was terrible except he had the sweetest expression on his face and in his voice. The poem is called “Assisi.”

One reason for the removal might be that MacCaig was unhappy with the idea that the beggar could be seen as being sly. However verse 3 [ what is now verse 2 ] focused on the priest. This verse created a direct comparison between the beggar and the priest. This verse suggests that although the beggar may look sly, there was a reason and it was that physically he had no neck. Whereas the priest had no such excuse for his slyness. Basically this verse [ along with a further description of the beggar ] was also another criticism of the priest.

In addition, there is MacCaig's use of lineation enjambment. It appears that MacCaig really loved the three line verse [ of which this is another example ]. In the SQA set of six poems three of the poems - including this deleted verse - demonstrate MacCaig's impressive use of lineation enjambment with the three line verse.

I like this deleted verse and I feel it contributes to the poem's meaning and the poem is now poorer without it.



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Rachelmcl13
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Anyone doing bold girls by rona munro for the set text?

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yaseen_15
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im doing sailmaker
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