AS-Level Poetry

Welcome to the site! First of all let me assure you that you’ve made the right choice; studying Literature is the best thing in the world and in my mind is one of the most useful subjects for preparing your brain for adulthood and university level discussion and debate.

I am pretty hot on responding to comments and requests, so please don’t hesitate to post your questions. Also, the site has had some fantastic contributions from students over the last year or so and I would love for that to continue. Feel free to submit essays or any presentations or bits and bobs you’ve found useful. However, be aware that I might not always have the time to offer feedback or detailed advice.

Hopefully by now you know which set of poems you are going to study, but if not this might help get you organised. Each of the links here will take you to the contents page for one of the poetry selections being examined by CIE, which contains not only all my analysis for the poems, but helpful documents I have used, annotated student essays and any student developed resources submitted to the website.

Example Responses to all Papers – The link below is a download of an Example Responses Booklet from 2011 – gives a good idea of grading, but the texts are not the ones you’re using. (I’d downloaded this from Xtreme Papers, but when I checked recently I couldn’t find it on their site).

8 thoughts on “AS-Level Poetry

  1. Dear Sir,
    first of all , I really want to thank you for the help you have given me through this website.You are really a lifesaver.I actually want to ask about the preparations for prose section, do we have to analyse it paragraph by paragraph like this:
    paragraph 1
    Selden paused in surprise. In the afternoon rush of the Grand Central Station his eyes had been refreshed by the sight of Miss Lily Bart.
    language and techniques:
    1.short sentence makes us dive right into the story
    2. not explaining a reason for selden’s surprise triggers our curiosity
    3. the use of a real place i.e grand central station makes characters seem more realistic.
    4. selden’s ‘refreshment’ show the attraction b/w him and lily.
    5.indirect comment on lily’s appearance/beauty.
    or is shmoop or sparknotes just enough.?
    thanks for the help,


    • Dear Ashbeel,

      I’m glad the site has been of assistance.

      It has been awhile since I taught the course, so I am not exactly sure what you mean by the prose section, but presume you just mean the paper relating to a novel you have studied in class rather than something unseen, but in relation to an extract paragraph.

      I would strongly recommend not going through it paragraph by paragraph, but try to use the question to guide your response. Identify the key points that you want to make and develop them in order of the points you find the most convincing/powerful to ending with points of less significance.

      If you are just talking about how to revise a text, I would suggest basing revision around understanding of key characters and themes. This should mean that you have covered the main ground and be able to relate the information to any question put before you.

      Hope this helps,

      Mr Sir

  2. Hello sir,
    I am grateful for your effort and help to us through this website.
    I am kindly requesting you to provide possible exam questions for the poems,

    Thank you!

    • Hi Hope,

      It’s an idea that has been put to me before. I will consider going back and doing it when I have finished the collection.


      Mr Sir

  3. Hi Mr. Sir!

    Thanks so much for all of your helpful references on this website! I’m sure I’d have flopped my IGCSEs if it weren’t for you.
    I know you’re quite busy but if you could analyse ‘Song’ by Ted Hughes for AS Level Literature, that would be amazing!

    Thanks once again,


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