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Hi, I've got my AS poetry module tomorrow (comparing Ted Hughes with Sylvia Plath) and I've been getting good marks all year on the 80 mark comparison question (WJEC spec), but was wondering if any had any last minute tips for structuring an A-Level standard poetry comparison that hits every AO. The weightings are 10 AO1, 10 AO2, 20 AO3, 30 AO4 and 10 AO5 and it's often difficult to insert context and critical perspectives/quotes when comparing, because it's easy to get carried away with the points about close analysis, implied meaning etc.

I'm particularly interested in how people integrate context and critical perspectives into a poetry comparison, since these will obviously be different for both poets. I know that Hughes and Plath were married, though that context is relevant in very few poems and I'm unlikely to choose any of those poems unless a question about personal relationships comes up.

The way I normally structure it would be to start with a long paragraph on a poem by poet A, develop my ideas and include AO3 and AO5 and then introduce a poem by poet B via AO4 comparison and from this point, carefully weave the two poems together continuously. I would then introduce a second poem by poet A and continue comparing it with the poem by poet B, to make sure I cover each poem equally, before starting on a different poem by poet B.

For example:
Open with Crossing The Water by Plath, do an analysis of key ideas in the poem.
Link with The River In March by Hughes and write several paragraphs weaving the two poems together, referring to necessary context or critics.
Introduce Suicide Off Egg Rock by Plath and link with River In March. Then switch to November, another Hughes poem, and link THAT with Suicide Off Egg Rock to emphasise or counter-argue the links I am making between the two poets.
Throughout this structure I may make small references to additional poems by each poet to illuminate my argument.

Does this structure sound like a good one?

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