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How To Write Lit Poetry Essays Intro Before You Were Mine and Homecoming

Steph Atkinson | Wednesday November 04, 2009

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Compare how memories are presented in ‘Homecoming’ by Simon Armitage and ‘Before You Were Mine’ by Carol Ann Duffy.

Chosen poems

Homecoming’ (Home) – Armitage
Before You Were Mine’ (BYWM) – Duffy

Your sample introductions are a big improvement on the introductions you were writing earlier in the term, so well done.

However, you now need to consider how to improve them further. These are the things to avoid:

  • Don’t tell me what you’re going to do – just do it
  • Don’t spend ages building up to a point – just make it
  • Don’t make general points about the poems – be specific
  • Use evidence to support all your points after the introduction
  • Analyse small, relevant, carefully chosen quotations in as much depth and detail as possible – quality rather than quantity
  • Keep your comparisons brief, relevant and thoughtful – explain why this comparison is relevant to the question, what insight it gives us into the characters, themes, ideas, why the two poems are similar/different…

Task: What does this sample introduction do well? How could it be changed or improved? Save a copy of this document in your area and type your ideas underneath or in comment boxes.

Sample Introduction

The memories of ‘Before You Were Mine’ (BYWM) focus on the narrator’s mother’s life before she had her daughter; the memories of ‘Homecoming’ (Home) also focus on the relationship between parents and children, but instead are more about reconciliation than the perceived distance between the people involved.

The titles encapsulate these differences: whilst BYWM suggests a strong bond between the mother and daughter, despite the idea that the mother’s life was better before her daughter arrived, Home suggests the permanence of one’s parents as a “home? on which you can rely.

Both poems include a degree of irregularity in their structures…

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How to write Lit Poetry Essays Sample Intro Before You Were Mine...


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