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Guide to the IEB English Exam
Novel Resources
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Poetry Resources:
Grades 8 and 9
Grades 10 and 11
  Table of Contents
  Answers CD
Grade 12
Life Orientation
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A marvellous resource

“The Complete Poetry Resource is a marvellous resource for students. It provides a very effective platform for the examination and for developing the higher-order thinking skills that help bridge the gap between secondary school and university.”

~ Lisa Hosking, St Andrew’s, Johannesburg

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Everything a student requires

“The English Experience publications have proved to be invaluable sources for both myself and my Grade 12 students. The Complete Poetry Resource contains everything that a student requires to place the poems in a historical context, without too much clutter, and to successfully negotiate the final exams.”

~ Deneys Williamson, St. Dominic’s College

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Sound guidance

“The Poetry Resource is user-friendly, compact and offers sound guidance. The analysis provides a good starting point from which students can grasp the basics and then move into more detailed discussion and depth about interpreting the poem.”

~ Sandy Woolard, St Mark’s

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Putting learners at ease

“Our learners absolutely love the Poetry Resource. It puts them at ease.”

~ Petronella Munian, St Benedict’s, Pinetown

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The Complete Poetry Resource
Poems and Learning Materials for Grades 10 and 11

Table of Contents

About The English Experience 7
Our approach 7
Using this resource 8

Introduction to Poetry
Reading and understanding poetry 9
Answering contextual poetry questions 13

The History of English Language Poetry
A (very brief) history of English language poetry 15

16th Century
The 'golden age' of English literature and drama 17
Christopher Marlowe: “The passionate shepherd to his love” 18
Biography 18
Poem 19
Analysis 20
Questions 23
Walter Ralegh: “The nymph's reply to the shepherd” 28
Biography 28
Poem 29
Analysis 30
Questions 32
William Shakespeare: “When I do count the clock that tells the time” 36
Biography 36
Poem 37
Analysis 38
Questions 40

17th Century
The great artistic revival: the renaissance and humanism 45
Robert Herrick: “To the virgins, to make much of time” 46
Biography 46
Poem 47
Analysis 47
Questions 49
Ben Jonson: “To Celia” 53
Biography 53
Poem 54
Analysis 54
Questions 56
John Milton: “When I consider how my light is spent” 61
Biography 61
Poem 62
Analysis 62
Questions 64

18th Century
Rise of the machines: The scientific and industrial revolutions 69
William Blake: “The Tyger” 70
Biography 70
Poem 71
Analysis 72
Questions 74
William Wordsworth: “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802” 79
Biography 79
Poem 80
Analysis 80
Questions 83

19th Century
Restraint, realism and rapid urbanisation 88
Alfred, Lord Tennyson: “The charge of the Light Brigade” 90
Biography 90
Poem 91
Analysis 93
Questions 95
Christina Rossetti: “My Secret” 100
Biography 100
Poem 101
Analysis 102
Questions 105
Emily Dickinson: “I felt a funeral, in my brain” 109
Biography 109
Poem 110
Analysis 110
Questions 112
Robert Frost: “The road not taken” 116
Biography 116
Poem 117
Analysis 118
Questions 120

20th Century
Wars, revolution and the birth of the modern age 125
Philip Larkin: “Church going” 126
Biography 126
Poem 127
Analysis 129
Questions 132
Ted Hughes: “Work and play” 138
Biography 138
Poem 139
Analysis 140
Questions 143
Sylvia Plath: “Mirror” 147
Biography 147
Poem 149
Analysis 149
Questions 151
Adrienne Rich: “Aunt Jennifer's Tigers” 156
Biography 156
Poem 157
Analysis 157
Questions 160
Maya Angelou: “Alone” 164
Biography 164
Poem 165
Analysis 167
Questions 169

South African Poetry
Words as weapons of protest 174
Olive Schreiner: “The cry of South Africa” 176
Biography 176
Poem 177
Analysis 177
Questions 179
Alan Paton: “To a small boy who died at Diepkloof reformatory” 183
Biography 183
Poem 183
Analysis 185
Questions 187
Mongane Wally Serote: “City Johannesburg” 193
Biography 193
Poem 194
Analysis 195
Questions 198
Shabbir Banoobhai: “You cannot know the fears I have” 204
Biography 204
Poem 205
Analysis 205
Questions 207
Gcina Mhlophe: “Sometimes when it rains” 213
Biography 213
Poem 213
Analysis 215
Questions 218

Unseen Poetry
Getting to grips with unfamiliar poetry: some guidelines 222
Edgar Allan Poe: “Annabel Lee” 224
David Guetta and Sia Furler: “Titanium” 228
Zulfikar Ghose: “Decomposition” 232
Mark Strand: “Eating poetry” 235

Acknowledgements 238

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