Grade 11 Poetry Questions and Answers

Welcome to our dedicated page for Grade 11 English Paper 2 Poetry Questions and Answers. Here, students and educators alike will find a valuable resource for enhancing their understanding and preparation for English poetry exams. This collection is specifically curated to assist Grade 11 students in their revision studies for upcoming tests and exams.

Our compilation includes an array of questions and corresponding answers extracted from previously written English Paper 2 exams, focusing specifically on poetry. These resources are ideal for students looking to deepen their comprehension of poetic forms, themes, techniques, and analysis. By engaging with these past exam questions and answers, students can gain insights into the types of questions typically asked and the expected responses. This practice is not only beneficial for understanding the poetry syllabus more thoroughly but also for developing critical thinking and analytical skills that are essential for excelling in English literature exams.

Utilize these questions and answers as part of your study routine to ensure a well-rounded and comprehensive preparation for your Grade 11 English Paper 2 poetry exams.

Grade 11 Poetry Questions and Answers

Poetry Essay Question

Read the poem below and then answer the question that follows:

  1. Turning and turning in the widening gyre
  2. The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
  3. Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
  4. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
  5. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
  6. The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
  7. The best lack all conviction, while the worst
  8. Are full of passionate intensity.
  9. Surely some revelation is at hand;
  10. Surely the Second Coming is at hand;
  11. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
  12. When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
  13. Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
  14. A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
  15. A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
  16. Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
  17. Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
  18. The darkness drops again; but now I know
  19. That twenty centuries of stony sleep
  20. Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
  21. And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
  22. Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Question: In a carefully planned essay, critically discuss how the poet uses diction, imagery and tone to suggest a future world characterised by violence and chaos. Your essay must be 200–250 words (about ONE page) in length.

Contextual Questions

THE WOMAN Kristina Rungano

  1. A minute ago I came from the well
  2. Where young women drew water like myself
  3. My body was weary and my heart tired.
  4. For a moment I watched the stream that rushed before me;
  5. And thought how fresh the smell of flowers,
  6. How young the grass around it.
  7. And yet again I heard the sound of duty
  8. Which ground on me – made me feel aged
  9. As I bore the great big mud container on my head
  10. Like a big painful umbrella.
  11. Then I got home and cooked your meal
  12. For you had been out drinking the pleasures of the flesh
  13. While I toiled in the fields.
  14. Under the angry vigilance of the sun
  15. A labour shared only by the bearings of my womb.
  16. I washed the dishes – yours –
  17. And swept the room we shared
  18. Before I set forth to prepare your bedding
  19. In the finest corner of the hut
  20. Which was bathed by the sweet smell of dung
  21. I had this morning applied to the floors
  22. Then you came in,
  23. In your drunken lust
  24. And you made your demands
  25. When I explained how I was tired
  26. And how I feared for the child – yours – I carried
  27. You beat me and had your way
  28. At that moment
  29. You left me unhappy and bitter
  30. And I hated you;
  31. Yet tomorrow I shall again wake up to you
  32. Milk the cow, plough the land and cook your food,
  33. You shall again be my Lord
  34. For isn’t it right that woman should obey,
  35. Love, serve and honour her man?
  36. For are you not the fruit of the land?


  1. Comment on the repetition of ‘And’ throughout the poem. (2)
  2. Critically discuss the change in tone in the poem. (3)
  3. Consider the poem as a whole. To what extent is this poem a commentary
    on the traditional roles of women in rural Africa? Refer to diction in support of
    your answer.

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