Unseen poetry

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chil3e
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#1
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#1
How can I prepare for my unseen poetry any tips?
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helloiambored
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#2
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unseen pottery is actually easier than people make it sound (imo) because all you have to do is transfer the skills and knowledge you learnt from the poems you have already analysed and adapt it to the poem you have been given. I suggest you:
- do loads of past exam papers (depending on how far your exams are, you could do 1 question a week or 2 (if you feel like you need more practice)
- watch random videos on YouTube of people analysing poems (this will really help as you can find analysis of poems that are similar. for example if you watch someone analyse a poem about war and your question in the exam is about a poem related war, you all you have to do is find a quote that you can use for the analysis you already have memorised) I hope that makes sense because I don't really know how to explain this but it is something that I did
- make sure you can identify metaphors, smilies, personification etc.

if possible get your teacher to mark your practice essays and get detailed feedback. Also at my school our teacher had after school sessions where we analysed different poems and drafted plans, maybe you could ask your teacher to do something like this (you could do this in person or virtually because I know as a result of covid schools try to reduce time students spend in schools)

I hope this helps.
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chil3e
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#3
Report Thread starter 4 months ago
#3
(Original post by helloiambored)
unseen pottery is actually easier than people make it sound (imo) because all you have to do is transfer the skills and knowledge you learnt from the poems you have already analysed and adapt it to the poem you have been given. I suggest you:
- do loads of past exam papers (depending on how far your exams are, you could do 1 question a week or 2 (if you feel like you need more practice)
- watch random videos on YouTube of people analysing poems (this will really help as you can find analysis of poems that are similar. for example if you watch someone analyse a poem about war and your question in the exam is about a poem related war, you all you have to do is find a quote that you can use for the analysis you already have memorised) I hope that makes sense because I don't really know how to explain this but it is something that I did
- make sure you can identify metaphors, smilies, personification etc.

if possible get your teacher to mark your practice essays and get detailed feedback. Also at my school our teacher had after school sessions where we analysed different poems and drafted plans, maybe you could ask your teacher to do something like this (you could do this in person or virtually because I know as a result of covid schools try to reduce time students spend in schools)

I hope this helps.
Thank you!!
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artful_lounger
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#4
Report 4 months ago
#4
As a basic approach we were advised to start with SLIME:
  • structure - e.g. rhyme scheme, metre, or other poetic form, actual representation on the page etc.
  • language - most other literary analysis stuff falls in this like metaphor and metonomy, similes and analogies, alliteration, use of sibilance, plosive sounds, onomatopoeia etc, etc.
  • imagery - self-explanatory, make sure to link this with the former two elements
  • meaning - should explicitly follow from previous areas, and is secondary to those - don't talk generally about themes without the basic analysis to ack it up!
  • effect - consider both your personal response to the poem and how it may affect different audiences, and consider who is the target audience, if any.

This was useful to have a starting point on what to begin looking for in the poem. Then structure the paragraphs in the main body of the essay using PEE:
  • point - your point, or thesis statement, is the start and nucleus of each paragraph. You should clearly state what it is at the beginning of the paragraph.
  • evidence - This is primarily textual evidence i.e. quotes or references to the text/extract. For unseen poetry you won't really be able to bring in much secondary scholarship to leverage as evidence.
  • explain - This is where you explain how the textual evidence supports your point and is the bulk of the paragraph. You should also explain how it fits into your overall essay/argument - sometimes it's given as PEEL with an L for "link" for this reason, but PEE sticks in ones memory better I think

Although your essay superstructure will still be a standard introduction (which should not be a vague rambling of any relevant context you can think of, but just a concise summary of what your overall essay is going to be arguing and by which manner you will argue it), main body (all your analysis) and conclusion (summarising how your analysis of individual paragraphs fits together to make the overall argument for your essay). Try and plan out this overall structure before you start answering the question as it will help you a lot to have a complete, coherent essay with beginning and end rather than a rambling series of thoughts of what's in the extract with a hastily put together conclusion (and likely vague and unfocused introduction, if there is one at all).

There is more you can and should do but those are good areas to start so you have a consistent base to work from.
Last edited by artful_lounger; 4 months ago
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