oven2
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I look at a poem and I fail to see how people can get all these inferences from them. Is there some sort of tactic I should use to understand the poem better or should I literally say what I see?
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Issakatie
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say what you see I guess but try not to say really explicit things
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erxci
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Try to be as abstract as possible. That was my tactic. The craziest ideas are always the most interesting. If you can include evidence to back up your points like the poet's use of structure or the persona's use of imagery, that will get you marks.
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Junaki
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I usually look for all the poetic devices in the poem first, then take one and literally make up a meaning to do with the question. As long as you have a quote and the technique, you should be okay.
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Sataris
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Literally just make up the most ridiculous BS you can. Worked for me
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Sinnoh
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The techniques you find used in the anthology poems, you can probably spot them in the unseen and you can generalise to an extent. For example, enjambment is pretty much always used to make the poem flow from line to line and you can use all sorts of symbolism to fit it.
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oven2
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(Original post by erxci)
Try to be as abstract as possible. That was my tactic. The craziest ideas are always the most interesting. If you can include evidence to back up your points like the poet's use of structure or the persona's use of imagery, that will get you marks.
i will try to do this, i guess if i can support it then i can write anything i want
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artful_lounger
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SLIME and PEE

SLIME being a mnemonic for "structure, language, imagery, meaning, effect" as a format to analyse the poetry (structure here also refers to the physical structure/layout of the poem, as well e.g. rhyming and form i.e. is it a sonnet, couplet, limerick etc).

PEE for "point, evidence, explain" as a way to structure your response - state your point, provide the textual evidence, and explain how this supports your point. This applies to any form of media and not just poetry - SLIME can be used for texts other than poetry although some aspects are less relevant.

Another useful thing to consider when structuring/planning your essay is to think about whether you can summarise each paragraph in a single sentence. If not, then it should probably be multiple paragraphs. This can help avoid long run-on paragraphs, although is perhaps more useful in looking at coursework you're writing after you've written but before submitting - but you might catch yourself going "off topic" in a single paragraph in exam and remember to split it up. This could net you a couple extra marks, I don't know how the rubrics are oriented these days...

Spoiler:
Show


Our teacher always used to remind us to use lots of slimy pee in our essays, which was pretty memorable lol. Some teachers use "SMILE" and "PEEL" - no idea what the L in PEEL is, but it's just to make it nicer. Some, including my teacher, said they prefer SLIME because it's weirder, thus more memorable, and also puts meaning further in the acronym so it's not prioritised as much (as people often apparently get hung up on the meaning of the poem and don't write enough about the actual format/structure and language - i.e. the tangible parts of it).

There are probably other similar mnemonics; a quick google search returned FLIRT for "form, language, imagery, rhyme and tone". This has some overlap with SLIME but might help remember form/rhyme as part of the S (structure) and tone as part of the L/E (language/effect).

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erxci
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(Original post by oven2)
i will try to do this, i guess if i can support it then i can write anything i want
If you can make your argument convincing to the examiner, then it's a good idea to include it. I remember during my exams that I talked about an irregular structure which shows the distortion between the changing of seasons and how the force of nature is so powerful that it can shift sentences. Bit far-fetched, but I got the grade I wanted. (:
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oven2
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
SLIME and PEE

SLIME being an mnemonic for "structure, language, imagery, meaning, effect" as a format to analyse the poetry (structure here also refers to the physical structure/layout of the poem, as well e.g. rhyming and form i.e. is it a sonnet, couplet, limerick etc).

PEE for "point, evidence, explain" as a way to structure your response - state your point, provide the textual evidence, and explain how this supports your point. This applies to any form of media and not just poetry - SLIME can be used for texts other than poetry although some aspects are less relevant.

Another useful thing to consider when structuring/planning your essay is to think about whether you can summarise each paragraph in a single sentence. If not, then it should probably be multiple paragraphs. This can help avoid long run-on paragraphs, although is perhaps more useful in looking at coursework you're writing after you've written but before submitting - but you might catch yourself going "off topic" in a single paragraph in exam and remember to split it up. This could net you a couple extra marks, I don't know how the rubrics are oriented these days...

Spoiler:
Show


Our teacher always used to remind us to use lots of slimy pee in our essays, which was pretty memorable lol. Some teachers use "SMILE" and "PEEL" - no idea what the L in PEEL is, but it's just to make it nicer. Some, including my teacher, said they prefer SLIME because it's weirder, thus more memorable, and also puts meaning further in the acronym so it's not prioritised as much (as people often apparently get hung up on the meaning of the poem and don't write enough about the actual format/structure and language - i.e. the tangible parts of it).

There are probably other similar mnemonics; a quick google search returned FLIRT for "form, language, imagery, rhyme and tone". This has some overlap with SLIME but might help remember form/rhyme as part of the S (structure) and tone as part of the L/E (language/effect).

slimey pee. thats definitely something i will remember in my exam, i will actually be using that in the mock im taking in a few days. really appreciate your help!
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cytoplasm
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When you first get your poem SMILE -
look at
Structure of poem - how many stanzas, line length etc.
Meaning
Imagery - e.g. metaphors
Language
Effect on reader

You could 'say what you see' but just make sure you ALWAYS link whatever point you're making back to the question somehow!
the best thing about english is you can bs a lot tbh
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erxci
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
SLIME and PEE

SLIME being a mnemonic for "structure, language, imagery, meaning, effect" as a format to analyse the poetry (structure here also refers to the physical structure/layout of the poem, as well e.g. rhyming and form i.e. is it a sonnet, couplet, limerick etc).

PEE for "point, evidence, explain" as a way to structure your response - state your point, provide the textual evidence, and explain how this supports your point. This applies to any form of media and not just poetry - SLIME can be used for texts other than poetry although some aspects are less relevant.

Another useful thing to consider when structuring/planning your essay is to think about whether you can summarise each paragraph in a single sentence. If not, then it should probably be multiple paragraphs. This can help avoid long run-on paragraphs, although is perhaps more useful in looking at coursework you're writing after you've written but before submitting - but you might catch yourself going "off topic" in a single paragraph in exam and remember to split it up. This could net you a couple extra marks, I don't know how the rubrics are oriented these days...

Spoiler:
Show



Our teacher always used to remind us to use lots of slimy pee in our essays, which was pretty memorable lol. Some teachers use "SMILE" and "PEEL" - no idea what the L in PEEL is, but it's just to make it nicer. Some, including my teacher, said they prefer SLIME because it's weirder, thus more memorable, and also puts meaning further in the acronym so it's not prioritised as much (as people often apparently get hung up on the meaning of the poem and don't write enough about the actual format/structure and language - i.e. the tangible parts of it).

There are probably other similar mnemonics; a quick google search returned FLIRT for "form, language, imagery, rhyme and tone". This has some overlap with SLIME but might help remember form/rhyme as part of the S (structure) and tone as part of the L/E (language/effect).


We adopted a system in our school that we called PEEELA. It's an extension of PEE that some people might find interesting. It stands for Point, Evidence, Explain, Effect on the audience, Language, Alternative interpretation
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by erxci)
We adopted a system in our school that we called PEEELA. It's an extension of PEE that some people might find interesting. It stands for Point, Evidence, Explain, Effect on the audience, Language, Alternative interpretation
Yea, that incorporates some of the SLIME stuff into it. I do like "alternative interpretation" though...maybe not as critical for the GCSE level unless you're really gunning for that A*, but certainly for 6th form level English considering e.g. feminist, queer theory, [postcolonial and similar readings is pretty important.
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oven2
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(Original post by cytoplasm)
When you first get your poem SMILE -
look at
Structure of poem - how many stanzas, line length etc.
Meaning
Imagery - e.g. metaphors
Language
Effect on reader

You could 'say what you see' but just make sure you ALWAYS link whatever point you're making back to the question somehow!
the best thing about english is you can bs a lot tbh
what do you mean by "bs a lot"? like of course i know what BS means haha but i dont know if you mean just make it up and add a random ppoint or something else
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Shibu the Doge
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They ask you about poetry and you just have to say that you are doing well and you are not doing well but you just can't get into it because they would never understand
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Toby007
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It's subjective, just make sure you word it correctly so they can tell what you're saying without saying it.
I did mine in 2014 and from I remember most people wrote about a woman when the poem was about someone's dad dying, but we got alright grades anyway because it's what you make of it if you can back up your points well.
I had a friend that did pick up on the dad thing and got 100% but it's not like we got heavily penalised for missing it bc it was very discrete and yeah subjective
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by oven2)
slimey pee. thats definitely something i will remember in my exam, i will actually be using that in the mock im taking in a few days. really appreciate your help!
No worries I always really struggled with unseen poetry...I think it was my lowest paper in IB English

I liked the slimey pee format because at least it gave me some basic format to start approaching it - it's very daunting to just go in without any plan!

It also helps to emphasise that it's not about the individual poem in the sense of having studied it before - it's about applying general strategies to provide a literary criticism of the text provided. They won't expect you to know the full context and history of the text and author, you just need to focus on a really close analysis of the text, picking apart everything you can.
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oven2
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
No worries I always really struggled with unseen poetry...I think it was my lowest paper in IB English

I liked the slimey pee format because at least it gave me some basic format to start approaching it - it's very daunting to just go in without any plan!

It also helps to emphasise that it's not about the individual poem in the sense of having studied it before - it's about applying general strategies to provide a literary criticism of the text provided. They won't expect you to know the full context and history of the text and author, you just need to focus on a really close analysis of the text, picking apart everything you can.
gosh gcses are giving us way way too much to work on
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Ebony55
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I sat my exams last summer. Unseen poetry was one of my weaknesses but you just have to say what you see, what hidden meaning there may be and of course state the grammatical features best of luck everyone
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oven2
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(Original post by Ebony55)
I sat my exams last summer. Unseen poetry was one of my weaknesses but you just have to say what you see, what midden meaning there may be and of course state the grammatical features best of luck everyone
ahh i completely forgot about gramatical features!! thank you so much
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