Grade 12 Poetry Questions and Answers:
Grade 12 Prescribed Poems for English
- Remember by Christina Rossetti
- First Day after the War by Mazisi Kunene
- The Zulu Girl by Roy Campbell
- Motho Ke Motho Ka Batho by Babang Jeremy Cronin
- Funeral Blues by W. H. Auden
- A Hard Frost by C. Day Lewis
- An African Thunderstorm by David Rubadiri
- An African Elegy by Ben Okri
- somewhere i have never traveled by E. E. Cummings
- The Garden of Love by William Blake
- Felix Randal byGerard Manley Hopkins
- Vultures by Chinua Achebe
How to approach and answer poetry questions as a Grade 12 Learner?
- Look at the title of the poem – the meaning in relation to the poem as a whole.
- Look at the poet’s name – who is the poet, when did he/she live, what famous themes does that poet usually write about?
- Read through the poem and try to figure out what the general idea or theme is.
- Themes are things that the poet feels strongly about, and may be influenced by his/her personal beliefs and experiences. It is often introduced in the opening sequence of the work and is known as the exposition.
- Common themes: Love, hatred, friendship, betrayal, loss, heroism, jealousy, racism, sexism, materialism, religion, crime, war
- Begin to look at the details of the poem, trying to see how the poet brings his theme to life
- Look at another section of the poem, trying to see how the poem is progressing
- Look at how the poem concludes
- Sum up your sense of the poem as a whole, and your sense of the writer
- Look at the structure of the poem – how is it arranged into lines, stanzas and rhyme scheme?
- Look at diction (choice of words). Try to understand the meaning of difficult words by looking at the context in which they are used.
- Positioning of words and word order – sometimes unusual word order is used to emphasise an idea or theme.
- Look at figures of speech and sound devices.
- What is the mood of the poem? Ask yourself what feeling/emotion does the poet/speaker express in the poem or what atmosphere is created.
- Read questions carefully and look at the mark allocation.
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