Poetry Revision - St Cuthbert Mayne GCSE English

Poetry Revision
“Your Dad Did What?” and “Catrin”
“Your Dad Did What?” by Sophie
What is this poem about?
- A teacher misunderstanding one of her pupils’
sentences and therefore not realising his Dad dies
during the holidays
Who is the voice of the poem?
- The teacher
Where is the conflict in this poem?
- Conflict between the student and teacher, also a
conflict of guilt within the teacher’s conscience
Explain how the author uses language to
present the voice of the poem.
Look for quotes that reflect characteristics,
attitudes, assumptions, feelings and emotions.
Explain how the author uses language to
present the voice of the poem
• ‘what? Your Dad did what?’ – rhetorical,
repetition, frustration
• ‘they’ – not personal, doesn’t see students as
individuals, but also, possibly just doesn’t
know them all that well
• ‘you’ (direct address) – puts reader in
teacher’s shoes – trying to make us
understand / feel her guilt?
Rhyme and Rhythm
Can we think of any points to make about rhyme
and rhythm that we could link into this essay?
• Starts off like a nursery rhyme / story – young
children in school, sets scene
• Reader thinks a story about an ordinary day –
perhaps comical
• Light-hearted- false sense of security
• Teacher organised so set rhyme scheme
Form and Structure
• Four quatrains with regular rhyme scheme
• Starts off innocently
• Reveal at the end – reader feels guilt, reflects
emotions of teacher, teachers don’t know
everything going on with students
• Short sentences show teacher’s impatience –
‘that’s not a sentence. Never mind the bell.’ –
‘not’ / ‘never’ negative, alliterative
• Last line final statement – leaves the reader
thinking, important and dramatic
“Catrin” by Gillian Clarke?
How do you feel about your parents?
Explore how Gillian Clarke presents conflict
between a mother and daughter in “Catrin”.
Initial Ideas
• First person – personal account: ‘I can
• Direct address – addressing the child as if she
is speaking to them, things not normally
expressed to daughter: ‘I can remember you,
our first fierce confrontation’
• ‘hot, white / room’ – hospital, small /
claustraphobic, clinical – not homely
• ‘red rope of love’ – umbilical cord, red –
passion, love, anger, rope – ties things
together / up, tug of war / pull, ‘love’ –
unconditional love, exists whatever happens.
Language features
• ‘first / fierce confrontation’ – alliteration of consonant
emphasises aggression
• ‘I wrote all over the walls’ – metaphor for screaming,
shouting / noise
• Contrasting ‘clean squares’ of hospitals with the ‘wild
tender circles / Of our struggle’
• ‘the glass tank clouded with feelings ‘ Which changed
us both’ - glass box babies get put into, incubator –
highly emotional, dense, can’t see? Filling up mind etc
• ‘bringing up from the heart’s pool’ – suggestive of
depth, old feelings
Rhyme and rhythm
• Some rhyme in the middle of lines ‘there’ / ‘hair’
/ glare’ near the end – joins lines / ideas together,
list builds momentum to the last line.
• Short lines / line break ‘struggle to become /
separate’ emphasises meaning of the word; form
represents meaning
• Enjambement – flow of poem shows confusion
and thought process (like a stream of
Form and Structure
• Move from the past and memory to the
• However, there is no change / resolution, still
in conflict with each other
• Even the last line is unanswered – continuous,
carries on even after we stop reading – trying
to make the reader understand parenthood?

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