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eduqas poetry comparison improvements?

please could someone give me a mark out of 25 and maybe improvements for this poetry comparison using the eduqas mark scheme

question and resonse:

Compare how nature is presented in ‘To Autumn’ and ‘Death of a Naturalist’.

1) ‘To Autumn’ by John Keats represents the abundance of produce supplied by autumn in a positive manner, as it indicates a sense of mourning when the beauty of nature fades into winter. Similarly, ‘Death of a Naturalist’ by Seamus Heaney begins by presenting the beauty of nature felt during the narrator’s youth, however, then goes on to portray the darker and more dangerous aspects of nature which ‘To Autumn’ stays away from initially, only making subtle hints towards nature’s dangers after the first stanza.

‘To Autumn’ begins by portraying nature as giving and prosperous as it will “fill all fruit with ripeness to the core” indicating its generosity. Heaney’s use of the verb ‘fill’ highlights the abundance of nature during autumn as it’s as if nature is overflowing with bounty and richness from the ‘core’ to the outside, representing the supply of beauty that nature provides. Similarly, in ‘Death of a Naturalist’, nature is described using personification like “heavy headed” and “punishing sun” which creates a vivid image in the readers mind of nature coming to life and providing fond memories for the young boy. Alternatively, the use of the verb ‘punishing’ to describe the sun could subtly imply the dangers of nature early in the poem, as it creates an impression of the sun being an oppressive force that rules over the land, adding to the dangerous aspect of nature explored further on in Heaney’s poem.

Furthermore, ‘To Autumn’ uses the phrase “they think warm days will never cease” which creates a sense of foreshadowing as the first indications of the change in perspective of nature is seen in this line. The emphasis of “they think” hints towards the inevitable transformation of nature into what was previously seen as beautiful and prosperous to something that is seen as dull and unwanted in winter as the use of “stubble-plains” later on suggests nature has become barren and uncared for. Similarly, Heaney’s poem has a strong change of mood in the second stanza as the narrator’s love for nature seems to have disappeared and he instead sees nature as a threat to humanity. The narrator uses military like language such as ‘invaded’ and ‘cocked’ to emphasise the change in the narrator’s viewpoint on nature as he now sees the frogs he used to adore as dangerous and menacing. Both poems clearly present the passing of time affecting perspectives on nature as what is initially seen as a marvellous aspect of life transforms into more of a shrewd and ominous presence that humans are to live with.

In the second stanza of ‘To Autumn’ Keats begins to use more menacing language such as ‘hook’ and ‘spares’ which evoke an image of the grim reaper (death personified). This creates a sense of loss for the reader as it’s as if Keats is preparing the reader for the loss of nature and the mournful mood that is to come when autumn is lost to winter. Keats’ use of the noun ‘hook’ creates a subtle image of danger in the back of the readers’ mind, similar to ‘Death of a Naturalist’ as Heaney clearly presents the darker aspect of nature. Heaney describes the frogs as “poised like mud grenades” as though they are about to explode at any moment. Heaney’s use of the noun ‘grenades’ exaggerates the narrator’s fear for nature and it’s content as his sense of repulsion is heightened with Heaney’s constant use of violent, military language to portray nature. Although Heaney’s poem clearly demonstrates the hazardous perspective towards nature, Keats’ poem ‘To Autumn’ also indicates the dangers involved by subtly foreshadowing later events to come as the abundance and bounty of nature in autumns seems to die. This is exaggerated in the final stanza as a “wailful choir” alongside “small gnats mourn” create a strong sense of sorrow and loss, linking back to the negative emotions that can come with the harmful side of nature as the verb ‘mourn’ adds to the implications of danger and death.

Both poets create a sense of nature being abundant and prosperous, with strong implications of nature providing for humans. Whether that be bounty during autumn, or fond memories as a child, both poets demonstrate the appealing attributes of nature. ‘To Autumn’ focuses more on the positive aspects, whilst hinting towards ominous features in certain lines, whereas ‘Death of a Naturalist’ convincingly portrays nature as a deadly and disgusting aspect of life in the second stanza. Heaney has done this to demonstrate the complexity and multifaceted aspects of nature, as it should be approached with respect and humility, similar to how Heaney saw nature himself as a child and whilst growing up. Heaney and Keats both use their poems to recognise both the power and the vulnerabilities associated with nature.

mark scheme:

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(edited 9 months ago)

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