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A GCSE Guide to AQA Unit 2: Poetry Across Time | The Right Word

Shane Richardson | Sunday January 13, 2013


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Guide Navigation

1. Introduction
2. Out of the Blue
3. Flag
4. Mametz Wood
5. The Yellow Palm
6. The Right Word
7. At the Border
8. Poppies
9. Exam Technique
10. Sample Exam Questions

AQA Anthology Poems

“Moon on the Tides: Conflict Cluster”

About the Author

Imtiaz Dharker is a multi-talented woman who writes poetry, creates art, and makes documentary films. She is also a diverse and contradictory personality in many ways.

Born in Lahore, but brought up in Glasgow, she is self-labelled a ‘Scottish Muslim Calvinist’.

Her poems reach out to a wide audience; she is a poet very much concerned with representation of identities and cultures in her writing.

Checking your Understanding

  1. What is the speaker’s response to the figure lurking in the shadows?
  2. Why do you think that the poet uses the idea of someone in the shadows in this poem?
  3. What is the realisation that dawns on the speaker – and thus the reader – as the poem develops?
  4. Research the following terms: ‘freedom-fighter’, ‘militant’, ‘guerilla’.

Commenting on Language

  1. Why do you think the word ‘shadow’ is repeated so frequently in the early sections of the poem?
  2. Identify the verbs (action words) that are used to describe the figure’s movements – what effect do they achieve?
  3. How does the poet use language to reveal the identity of the figure?
  4. How do you respond to the final stanza?

Extending your Understanding

What is Dharker’s ‘big idea’?

In a sense Dharker is using the story of the poem to allow us to explore our prejudices and propensity to judge and stereotype people whom we do not know. In order to do this, he deploys the unknown figure in the shadows. This is effective because often we fear what – or who – we do not know. The idea of the speaker looking out into the unknown provides Dharker with the platform upon which to explore this idea.

In the first stanza, Dharker uses the word ‘lurking’...

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