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Comparing Poems From Different Cultures Cluster 1 Essay

Example

The table below demonstrates some examples for how you might approach comparing the contexts between two poems.

Context Poem A Poem B Ideas for comparison
HistoricalExposure by Wilfred Owen Remains by Simon Armitage Both war poems: Owen - WW1; Armitage - contemporary Middle East conflict. Both show tragedy of war and effect on serving soldiers.
PlaceLiving Space by Imtiaz Dharker Cozy Apologia by Rita Dove Domestic locations, how we live in our homes - life and buildings. Dharker - precarious buildings, poor lives’, Dove - comfortable, safe.
Social and culturalKamikaze by Beatrice Garland The Émigrée by Carol Rumens People affected by conflict, excluded from home, culture, sadness, effect of culture on individuals. Garland - speaker within country, reflecting on life as an outcast. Rumens - speaker safe but banished from homeland.
LiteraryThe Destruction of Sennacherib by Lord Byron To Autumn by John Keats Influence of Romanticism: power of nature in both, impact of death. Byron - relationship with past, biblical account. Keats - focus on the present, personal account.
ReadersEnvy by Mary Lamb What Were They Like? by Denise Levertov Lamb - moral message in nursery rhymes popular at the time, but still relevant now. Levertov - Vietnam War in more recent past, a second voice used, reader looks back with hindsight.
BiographicalTo Autumn by John Keats Living Space by Imtiaz Dharker Biographical details add to poems’ power. Keats - died not long after poem published, sense of own death present? Dharker - modern-day poet who's spent much time in Mumbai, affected by life in slum towns.

Study guide for 'Cozy Apologia' by Rita Dove.

Study guide for 'Envy' by Mary Lamb.

Study guide for 'Exposure' by Wilfred Owen.

Study guide for 'Kamikaze' by Beatrice Garland.

Study guide for 'Living Space' by Imtiaz Dharker.

Study guide for 'Remains' by Simon Armitage.

Study guide for 'The Destruction of Sennacherib' by Lord Byron.

Study guide for 'The Émigrée' by Carol Rumens.

Study guide for 'To Autumn' by John Keats.

Study guide for 'What Were They Like?' by Denise Levertov.

Which of the two essay structures works better when responding to the example essay question?

Structure A

IntroductionHow both talk about family relationships between parents and children
Paragraph 1How Walking Away deals with family relationships - themes and form, structure and language
Paragraph 2 How Eden Rock deals with family relationships - themes and form, structure and language
Paragraph 3 Ways in which they are similar
Paragraph 4 Ways in which they are different
Conclusion Sum up comparison

Structure B

IntroductionHow both talk about family relationships between parents and children
Paragraph 1How the themes and ideas of Walking Away and Eden Rock are similar and different
Paragraph 2 How the form and structure of Walking Away and Eden Rock compare and how this links to their effect
Paragraph 3 How the language of Walking Away and Eden Rock compare and how this links to their effect
Conclusion Sum up comparison

Feedback

Either of the examples above could produce a good essay as they both explore each poem and compare their similarities and differences. However in structure B, the comparison takes place throughout the whole essay and avoids looking at the poems separately. This is a better model to use and one which can be applied to comparisons of other poems.

Explore the study guide for 'Walking Away' .

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