English Literature Past Papers Poetry

June 2012
Either,
1. “In successful poems, it is often difficult to separate ideas from emotions.” Discuss this view.
Or,
2. Explore some of the ways poets present change.
Or,
3. “Poetry is at its most effective when exploring contradictions.” How far do you agree?
Or,
4. “By interesting us in specific moments or events, poets lead us towards a better appreciation of wider issues.” Examine this view.
Or,
5. How far is the appeal of a poem governed by the poet’s choice of subject matter?

June 2013
Either,
1. Examine some of the ways poets have presented the theme of hope.
Or,
2. “Powerful poetry so often springs from the most ordinary or even the ugliest of ingredients.” Explore this point of view.
Or,
3. How far would you agree with the proposition that effective poetry must always surprise us in some way?
Or,
4. Explore the claim that poetry provides “a light by which we may see”.
Or,
5. “Two of the most persistent themes in poetry are uncertainty and insecurity.” Discuss the presentation of one or both of these themes.

June 2014
Either,
1. Examine some of the ways poets have presented the strengths and/or weakness of human
nature.
Or,
2. In what ways have you found poets’ choices of form and structure to be significant to the meaning
of their work?
Or,
3. “Paradoxically, the pleasure of poetry frequently involves the reader’s pain or discomfort.” How
far do you agree with this remark?
Or,
4. Explore the presentation of religion and/or the supernatural in poetry.
Or,
5. Examine some of the ways poets present conflict.

Winter 2012
Either,
1. Examine some of the ways poets present human limitations and/or weaknesses.
Or,
2. “Every successful poem reminds us that the whole truth is never to be found on the surface of things.” Discuss this view.
Or,
3. “One way or another, poetry always seems to be concerned with love.” How far do you agree with this view?
Or,
4. “It is primarily through imagery that poets make clear what cannot easily be expressed.” Consider this view.
Or,
5. Explore some of the ways poets make use of irony in their writing.

Winter 2013
Either,
1. Explore some of the ways poets present loss and/or disappointment.
Or,
2. Discuss the ways poetry might be said to entertain and instruct the reader at one and the same time.
Or,
3. It has been stated that a poet’s work is “to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it going to sleep.” How far would you agree with one or more of these assertions?
Or,
4. Examine some of the ways poets have made use of contradictions and/or paradox in their writing.
Or,
5. Explore some of the ways poets have made use of landscapes and/or the natural world in their writing.

Winter 2014
Either,
1. Explore some of the ways different voices are presented in poetry.
Or,
2. “Simplicity in poetry is an illusion.” How far do you agree with this remark?
Or,
3. Discuss some of the ways poets have made use of wit and/or humour in their work.
Or,
4. Explore some of the ways poets make use of imagery.
Or,
5. “Complex ideas in condensed language inevitably challenge the reader’s understanding, but that is part of the pleasure of reading poetry.” How far do you agree?