Any ideas for poetry coursework? Watch

Em_Bee
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We’re starting our English literature coursework. We have to pick one prose piece to evaluate using a critical lens. Mine is heart of darkness by Joseph Conrad through a feminist lens. But we also have to pick a minimum of eight poems to study through a different lens and that’s not my strong point. I’m so stuck. I’ve looked in so many books and nothing. Anyone got any good ideas of any poets to look at with the eco criticism or post colonial approaches in mind?
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pennycat37
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Wow, eight!! What spec do you do? We did AQA but with what sounds like a very similar critical anthology, and had to write about just one poem, referencing two others (Or two referencing one, if they're particularly short). If your spec is also AQA then maybe having to look at 8 poems is your school's own regulation?
I used a contemporary writer, Warsan Shire for my poetry with a post-colonial lens, which got an A. You could look at some similar modern feminist poets, especially from immigrant backgrounds as the stories told in their work are usually very interesting.
Alternatively, Thomas Hardy is always good for eco-criticism as he writes a lot about the pastoral, so some of his work might be helpful (though it personally doesn't do it for me)
Or, Seamus Heaney - not sure how many analysis points you would get as his work is drowning in nature. But it is gorgeous, and there's a lot to choose from.
Don't feel held back by the idea that you have to go for conventional style or literary canon poets; as long as it's published, you can use it.
Last edited by pennycat37; 5 months ago
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snugglebear
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  • post-colonial - contemporary poems "half-caste" by john agard, "search for my tongue" by sujata bhatt. maybe you could look at rudyard kipling's poem "white man's burden" (published 1899) from a modern viewpoint.
  • eco critical - environmental and ecosystem awareness in poetry by ted hughes like the "hawk roosting" and the book of poems Crow. cultivation/farming in Seamus Heaney's poetry e.g. "Digging." Poems about problems with industrialisation and urbanization like Blake's "To London." Keats, Shelley, Wordsworth (and others) also wrote about nature and it being an escape from human worries/industrialistion such as "Ode to a Nightingale" by Keats.
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Nahaha
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You could try some Yeats for both (early Yeats for eco, later Yeats for post-colonial), and I second both of the above suggestions of Heaney. Any Irish poetry would be good as English is the primary language there so you're not getting poetry in translation, and you can write about the fact that the poets write using the language of the colonists (Irish was sort of stamped out, not in Gaeltacht areas but in most of Ireland, by the English). You're going to want something by a Romantic poet (Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Byron, Keats, Blake) - their poetry is a reaction to industrialisation that puts nature in juxtaposition to it so that industrialisation is bad/evil/hell and the natural is good/heaven. A lot of their poems (like Blake's 'Auguries of Innocence') work through this dualism. A.E. Housman and Robert Frost do some brilliant poetry that you could look at with an ecocritical stance - try Frost's 'Mending Wall', 'Two Look At Two', 'Gathering Leaves' or 'Nothing Gold Can Stay, and from Housman's A Shropshire Lad no.31, no.52, maybe no.2.

Hope that helps
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I AM GROOT 1
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wat exam board are u with
im with aqa and our teachers recommend we recycle the year 12 poetry anthology which is Thomas Hardy poems looking at it with eco theory lens
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