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GCSE Guide AQA ‘Moon on the Tides’ Poetry Anthology Relationship Cluster

Shane Richardson | Wednesday July 30, 2014

Categories: KS4, AQA GCSE, AQA GCSE Pre-2015 Resources, AQA English Literature, Unit 2 Poetry Across Time, Hot Entries, Poetry, Anthologies, Pre-2015 Anthologies, AQA Moon On The Tides, Writing, Poetry Analysis

Associated Resources

  • AQA English Literature unit 2 mark scheme.pdf

Introduction to The Relationship Cluster

All of the poems in this cluster have been placed together because they share a common theme: that theme is relationships. Relationships are something of which we all have different experiences. Some relationships are very positive and help the people in those relationships to grow; others are more destructive and damage those involved in them. This cluster of poems in the AQA anthology is concerned with how different relationships form, develop and sometimes end. While the overall themes of relationships might seem fairly straightforward, once you begin to read the poems, you will begin to see for yourself that relationships are actually very complicated and conflicted.

  • Keep in mind that a theme is a moral, social, political or philosophical idea that acts as a ‘controlling idea’ running through a piece of literature.
  • Often a theme is an issue the writer wishes to persuade the reader to accept, one that arises in the writer’s mind in response to their own life and times. The ‘story’ of a poem can relate to the theme either explicitly and obviously, or more subtle and implicitly. The themes are the ‘messages;’ of the poem.
  • Often the ‘story’ of a poem is chosen and styled in ways that will create interest for the reader and the themes are implied through an emotional attachment we are brought to feel with the persona or speaking voice of the poem.

In preparation for the Unit 2 exam, you need to be thinking about the different types of relationships in the cluster. Some of them are concerned with very real or real-seeming relationships: of men and women, mother and child, brothers, sisters. Others are more abstract. The key to being able to link the poems in the examination, is being able to understand the subtle links and differences between the poems.

You need to approach the poems with an open mind: think...

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