Structure-strip: poetry comparison

Aimed at students using the Edexcel IGCSE anthology but applicable to all.  I would welcome some feedback on my first attempt at producing a useful structure strip to help students structure a comparative essay.

structure guide poetry comparison

WordPress seems to have fixed the width and removed the colour from the original – but it is easier to read!

S Comment on the Structure of the two poems. Make it relevant to an analytical essay and also to the question.

Use the features for points:

Sonnet: shift of tone after the volta, rhyme pattern (especially if broken)

Villanelle: The repetition –comment on the difference between ‘Do not Go’ and ‘rage, rage’.

Ballad: A simple, childish innocence hiding a darker story in Belle Dame

Free Verse: ‘allows the writer the freedom to use words/structure/form for effect –then find an example  -usually the one word line, or powerful and surprising words…

Dramatic Monologue – powerful block structure reflecting the hectoring tone of the Duke…

Indented lines and lengthening stanzas – a sense of urgency in PB4B and focus on the message in the sudden short stanzas.

    L Look for language chosen for effect: Onomatopoieia, allitaeration, assonance, oxymorons. Save the figurative for the next section. This is a good time for a ‘while both use much…., there is a difference between them in the use of….’ As a Janus-shift within the paragraph.

Is one poem direct and straightforward? Is there a clear linguistic trope which exists because one is spoken by a persona?





I Explore the figurative. Do not just quote a simile or metaphor, but unpack it to show how it works… Ask yourself why the poet chose that specific metaphor (‘the star to every wand’ring bark – pole star: navigation: wand’ring therefore lost: so love guides and saves us and gives life direction and purpose).

This is a good section to look for other types of metaphorpersonification for example, or euphemism.

M What are the poets trying to say? What messages are they trying to put across and how do they differ. Consider in a ‘love cluster’ pair how many different angles there are – parental/dead, parental/alive, female persona, male persona, romantic, didactic…

Try to explore briefly any aspects of language you can see which relate to the presentation of the message. Ask yourself ‘how…?’

E Get out of here and on to the next question! A short summary of the key points made above and be sure to make a clear link back to the question.