Poetry for IGCSE 2019

Section A: Poetry Candidates answer on one set text in this section.

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From Songs of Ourselves Volume 1, Part 5, the following 15 poems:

Fleur Adcock, ‘For Heidi With Blue Hair’

James K Baxter, ‘Elegy For My Father’s Father’

Elizabeth Bishop, ‘One Art’

Boey Kim Cheng, ‘Reservist’

Emily Brontë, ‘Cold In The Earth’

Robert Browning, ‘Meeting At Night’

Emily Dickinson, ‘Because I Could Not Stop For Death’

Philip Larkin, ‘The Trees’

Charlotte Mew, ‘The Trees Are Down’

Grace Nichols, ‘Praise Song For My Mother’

Wilfred Owen, ‘Anthem For Doomed Youth’

Siegfried Sassoon, ‘Attack’

Stephen Spender, ‘My Parents’

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, ‘Song: Tears, Idle Tears’

Hone Tuwhare, ‘Friend’

Let`s do some research to see who these authors are!

In pairs, prepare a lino.it with information about the writers:

-A short biography (birth and death dates + 3 important facts)

-Social and historical context (what was going on in the world)

-Group them into categories according to the period in history when they wrote (use a different colour of a sticky post for each group)

Example: War poets (blue sticky notes)

-Post this in your blogs (Also, link this post to your blogs)

Hands on!!

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Senior 1 Term Test 1

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Topics for the Term Test

Poem “Mirror”. Answer some questions

Story “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Analyse quotations

Study Figures of speech (especially the ones that can be applied to the poem and the story read) and Gothic elements.

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Language Mock Exam

Let´s have a look at this mock exam For Language AS and get down to analysing the different types of texts required!!

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An Englishman´s Home

About the author


 Evelyn Waugh was a first class snob who writes about the upper echelons of the British Upper Class. While he is often deeply satirical, he writes with a warmth for the traditional, highly structured society that his characters inhabit.
Oddly, you can view this story through a Marxist lens and see a clear criticism of the upper class and how they misuse their power, are often hypocritical and how they idealise country life, appropriating its culture without ever really understanding it. Remember ‘death of the author’ — it doesn’t matter if this was not what Waugh intended.

Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh was an English writer of novels, biographies and travel books. He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer of books. His most famous works include the early satires Decline and Fall (1928) and A Handful of Dust (1934), the novel Brideshead Revisited (1945) and the Second World War trilogy Sword of Honour (1952–61). As a writer, Waugh is recognised as one of the great prose stylists of the English language in the 20th century, although many critics, uneasy with its cast and its creed, excoriated it for its stylistic excess, its snobbery, and its abandonment of the cool satire they associated with his work.

The story

In a nutshell: The central figure is  Mr Beverly Metcalfe, a wonderful, harmless old humbug who after a successful career abroad, has recently retired with his wife to the country. He fancies himself a country gentleman; everyone else knows better. Waugh sketches in three of Metcalfe’s landowning neighbors — an elitist, artsy-crafty bohemian couple, a relatively poor colonel, and a “rich and kind and rather greedy” widow. The five neighbors are brought together (and quite comically driven apart) by a threat to their property from an outsider. It is rich in individual and social satire, while being an affectionate look at the eccentricities of the British class system. 


Get together (2-3 people) and choose 2 questions to explore in detail

Share your answers here: http://meetingwords.com/MtWfaTdv0a

1) Compile a list of lexis about social hierarchy. What does this tell the reader about the characters, the setting and the ideas?

2) Later on, when conflict between the characters becomes more obvious, Waugh uses semantic fields of war and battle. Find examples and comment on what this conveys about the changing characters, their relationships and the ideas behind the story.

3) Find examples of how Waugh conveys the importance of maintaining status through appearance and how we can see social hypocrisy through this

4) Look at the binary oppositio between the dialogue of Metcalfe and Boggett. Comment on how this is both comedic and how we are manipulated to view the characters in certain ways as a result. Why is this important? How are the rural working people described throughout the story? What is interesting or unusual and how does Waugh therefore use them as a device?

​5) Waugh sometimes builds long descriptions which seem to lead to a climax but in fact end anticlimatically. For instance, look at the over romanticised ideal of the rural life of a ‘landowner’ on p135 and Metcalfe’s ‘sudden change’ into the ‘Lion of the Rotarians’ on p142. Explore how Waugh builds up his initial crescendo of feeling and what this leads us to expect. Then consider the anticlimactic end and what the effect of the irony is. How can this reflect further ideas about the text?

6) Consider how architectural and other landscape features (of buildings and fields etc) are used to convey the ideas of the text. Compare the rural and industrial imagery.

7) How are the characters shown as outsiders compared to the rural working people? What is the effect of this? How does Waugh show that they view each other as outsiders and what is implied by this? To what extent are the newcomers accepted into society by the end of the story?

8) Explore how Waugh uses language to change the tone when the threat of building development is discovered. What is implied through this use of language? In addition to considering this from the character’s viewpoints, look at this from a societal viewpoint. Why is the difference important and what does the reader therefore feel about the characters as a result? What can this tell us about British society?

9) To what effect are the letters used in terms of character, narrative and reader response? What is interesting about these letters and why is that important in terms of the overall message of the story?

10) What is the effect of the coda (Webster’s says:  Coda – an ending part of  a work of literature or drama that is separate from the earlier parts)? How does Waugh manipulate the reader through the way he structures the events and reveals the motives behind Hargood-Hood’s actions? What is deeply ironic about what has been revealed, given the characters and events of the main narrative? What can Waugh be telling us about British society and the Upper Class? If viewed through Marxism, what can we believe about the Upper Classes?


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Poem: Rooms



I remember rooms that have had their part

     In the steady slowing down of the heart.

The room in Paris, the room at Geneva,

The little damp room with the seaweed smell,

And that ceaseless maddening sound of the tide—

     Rooms where for good or for ill—things died.

But there is the room where we (two) lie dead,

Though every morning we seem to wake and might just as well seem to sleep again

     As we shall somewhere in the other quieter, dustier bed

     Out there in the sun—in the rain.

Answer the following questions

1. Read about the writer.

Make notes about her life and about what may have influenced her writings.  Why is it said that the life of the writer was a tragedy?

2. Read the poem: how are “rooms” described?

3. “The poem offers us a poignant account of loss as qualified through the depiction of abandoned rooms. Rooms are the physical means to which relationships are developed and consecrated. It entails intimacy and love, as well as abandon and death. It shelters individuals, as well as couples, from the harshness of the natural elements outside, providing them with a private and cosy space. There is also a sense of shifting dependence as the couples travel from room to room, leaving their trails behind and simultaneously having images of the abandoned rooms imprinted upon their memories.”

Account for this with quotation from the poem

4. The poem begins “I remember”. What does this tell you about the voice? And the tone?

5. What is the theme in your opinion? What is the tone?

This video will help you understand the poem a bit more!!


Virtual period Activity (Deadline: May 15)

Read the following poem and compare and contrast it to “Rooms”  in terms of style, language and form, paying special attention to their portrayal of abandoned rooms.

Home is so Sad
by Philip Larkin

Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back. Instead, bereft
Of anyone to please, it withers so,
Having no heart to put aside the theft

And turn again to what it started as,
A joyous shot at how things ought to be,
Long fallen wide. You can see how it was:
Look at the pictures and the cutlery.
The music in the piano stool. That vase.

Share this activity in your blog. Use one of the following tools:





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Popular Mechanics

After reading the story, read the following article

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1) What makes  Raymond Carver’s Popular Mechanics a postmodern short story? your answer must be based on the handout discussed in class.

2) Write a few lines about the following elements present in Carver’s work:

a) Plot

b)  Characters

c) Point of view

d) Setting

e) Themes

f) Symbolism

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The Fall of the House of Usher

Analysis of the story!

After reading the story and analysing in full detail, let`s watch a video.

-What calls your attention?

-Are characters the way you imagined them? Explain.

Leave a comment

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Taking into account that we have already worked o connectorss, I found this presentation to sum up all your doubts about linkers, especially contrast and purpose.


Read this essay and add connectors.

Causes and Effects of Uncontrolled Urbanization

If you are an urban dweller, you may know the real meaning of urbanization. 1. ……………, this does not always indicate your sufficient insight in the “uncontrolled urbanization”  topic too. To form a causal chain, it is right to say that more jobs, more services in the urban side and absence of land in the countryside force people to migrate to larger cities which brings about uncontrolled urbanization. 2………………….., some problems arise such as unemployment,inadequacy of infrastructure/services and some environmentally unwanted events as well as unpleasant demographic incidents.


3………….., it is a good point to dig up the reasons for people to come to larger cities. First of all, by all accounts, cities are perceived to offer a wide variety of job opportunities on the grounds that there are very different branches of  businesses in cities. Inasmuch as unemployment level is hugely high in the rural areas and the work is only about farming in contrast to countless business sectors in chief cities, more and more people choose searching for their chances in the metropolis.


4………………., comes another significant reason: There are better services in cities. As a matter of fact, transportation is extremely developed so as to make use of time efficiently. Medical services are supported with the latest technological improvements, there are unbelievably modern hospitals. 5………………, education is taken into account seriously. There are very high-quality schools with excellent teachers, teaching with up-to-date techniques. None of these can be found in the rural areas, at this stage.


6…………………………. factors causing migration to big cities, there is a strong push factor stemming from absence of enough land. It would be very hard and useless to cultivate the land if it is too small to make an agricultural production. One important thing triggers this incident increasingly during the last years; namely, division of land. To explain, in the rural areas when someone dies, the inheritance would usually be the land. 7…………, the land is divided into many parts due to the fact that in the countryside it is common to have lots of children and they all have rights to take one part of the inherited land. 8…………….., what they get are useless small lands rather than a gigantic land which is capable of making a great deal of agricultural production itself. The inability to do the only thing, farming, again brings about migration to big cities with the hopes of making money.


As mentioned earlier, all these facts and figures necessitate uncontrolled urbanization, in the midst of the causal chain. 9……………………, what are the side effects and drawbacks of this growth?


The first main problem is unemployment rate in the cities, no doubt. Imagine that a city with a population of 5 million people and everything is fine, everyone has work. 10………………….., other citizens of the same country – especially from the rural areas –  see the opportunity to have a better life and migrate to this city. Another 1 million people may be OK, 2 million might be accepted due to newly created sectors; nevertheless, if another 5 million people come to this city, what will be the result? Excess unskilled labourers will certainly occupy everywhere.

11……………….There will be a dramatic rise in the unemployment level owing to the limited capacity ofworkers. Looking from a different angle, since young adults come to cities before theirfamilies, unemployment will reach a maximum point that is defined by the term “unable to cope with”.   

12…………………… is, of course, inadequacy of infrastructure and services. Thisuncontrollably growing kind of urbanization results in so much pressure on the infrastructure that no means of infrastructure can respond to any needs of urban life effectively. 13…………………….., when there is a sudden rain, there would be floods all over the city, but in fact, there should not be by the help of regular working sewers and drainage. Garbage removal is another bad aspect as well as destroyed roads and the inconsistencies of the power supplies. Electricity and natural gases have innumerable problems as a consequence of this denial of service. Services sectors are also in deep trouble. There do not seem to be any noticeable investments in transportation; hence, it cannot meet the needs of city residents. For the expensiveness of highly equipped private hospitals, urban crowds choose the state hospitals mostly and this leads to very long queues indeed. 14………………….., people cannot get a good examination in medical centers. Education is also badly hurt; because, children are made to receive education in incredibly crowded classrooms such as 60-80 students in one classroom.As you see, the teacher cannot show the same interest to every child and that drops the learning level sharply in this so-called educational system.


Within this type of urbanization, some unwanted events occur, specifically environmental e.g. pollution and deforestation. Factories and motor vehicles pump large quantities of carbon dioxide and other waste gases into the air. More vehicles mean more pollution. 15…………………,the poisonous gases coming from the vehicles result in acid rain that damages trees, buildings and can kill fish in lakes and rivers. Rivers can also be polluted by industrial waste from factories. Deforestation, on the other hand, is very widespread in recent years; large areas have been destroyed, as the trees are cut down for wood or burned to clear the land for building universities, shopping centers, skyscrapers and so forth. It is not wrong to say that this unplanned urban growth influences accommodation in the form of illegal buildings by ruining the nature and natural beauties.


16…………………….. is about unpleasant demographic results. At this point i.e. the last ring of the overall causal chain, there is a mini chain relevant to demography. When the uncontrolled urbanization occurs, the most noticeable effect is overpopulation in chief cities. In the meantime, this flow causes depopulation in the rural areas. 17…………….., this contributes to a decrease in agricultural production. 18………………………., there are a lot of crises in the urban side, there is an economic one in the countryside too. It is appropriate to give this incident as an example for lose-lose principle if two sides are considered opposites.


19…………………., uncontrolled urbanization is a very deep subject existing in the middle of a causal chain with causes; for example, more job opportunities and better services in urban life in contrast to absence of land in the rural areas and effects; such as unemployment, insufficiency of infrastructure, unwanted environmental events and unpleasant demographic theories. In the right hands, urbanization can determine or at least influence the destiny of a city and may be a turning point for its existence and optimistic future, whereas in unstable and unplanned conditions, urbanization creates nothing but a real mess. 20……………….., migrants to an uncontrolled urban side may meet the worst disappointments in their lives instead of hopes of making easy money; because, it is not perpetually true that “Roads are paved with gold.”, especially in today’s world…







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The Phoenix

After reading and debating the story in class, watch these videos:

At the end of video 2, you are presentaed with essay questions

Choose 1 and write an essay for May 2

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Poem: Evening in Paradise by John Milton

Before reading the poem, do research on John Milton.

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-Who was he?

-What kind of writer was he? Explain.

-He wrote Paradise Lost. What is it about? and

-Now, read the poem and say what you understand from it using your own words. (work on vocabulary)

Some help? Click here

Take notes of everything to comment and debate in class

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Essay on Ode on Melancholy

Choose a topic to write 600 words!! Deadline: April 17

  1. In the poem “Ode on Melancholy,” Keats takes a sinister look at the human condition. The idea that all human pleasures are susceptible to pain, or do inevitably lead to pain, is a disturbing thought.
  2. Keats seems to believe that melancholy is in fact necessary and must be experienced in an atmosphere conducive to happiness in order to be truly felt.

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Linking words

In our last class, you prepared posters in connection with linkers, here how the activity continues:

-Take pics of your posters.

-Share them in facebook so everyone can have them.

-Make a post in your blogs with all the posters.

-Choose 10 connectors and make sentences leaving a _________ (blank) for the linking word.

-Visit other students´blogs and complete their sentences (minimum 3 visits)

Create a word cloud with linkers to illustrate your post

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