GCSE 9-1 English Language and Literature here

KS3 & KS4 Catch Up

Blog Archive

Student Room

Useful Materials

Persuasive Writing Task on a Knife Poem

Jack Todhunter | Friday August 07, 2009

Categories:

Read the following article from The Guardian and then the poem by Carol Ann Duffy that has caused all the fuss.

You might also like to read the comments on the TES English Forum about the decision to remove the piece from the examination syllabus.

Knife crime is certainly in the news. Should this poem be banned?

Top exam board asks schools to destroy book containing knife poem

Three complaints about Carol Ann Duffy work
 - Children’s laureate Rosen accuses AQA of censorship

Polly Curtis, Education Editor
The Guardian, Thursday September 4 2008

Britain’s biggest exam board has been accused of censorship after it removed a poem containing references to knife crime from the GCSE syllabus.

Officials at the AQA board said their request that schools destroy the anthology containing the Carol Ann Duffy poem Education for Leisure had been triggered by concerns in two schools about references to knives. A spokeswoman confirmed the decision had been made in the context of the current spate of knife-related murders.

But poets yesterday condemned the move, saying such “censorship” fundamentally missed the point of the poem, which they said could help children debate the causes of street violence.

The poem starts: “Today I am going to kill something. Anything./I have had enough of being ignored and today/I am going to play God.” It describes a youth’s yearning for attention and a journey to sign on for the dole, and makes references to the killing of a goldfish. It ends ominously with the youth walking the streets armed with a bread knife.

Duffy, widely considered a front-runner to be the next poet laureate, yesterday declined to comment. But her literary agent, Peter Strauss, said: “It’s a pro-education, anti-violence poem written in the mid-1980s when Thatcher was in power and there were rising social problems and crime. It was written as a plea for education. How, 20 years later, it had been turned on itself and presented to mean the...


Please subscribe or log in to access the rest of this resource (including associated media).

This website offers a wealth of enriched content to help you help your students with GCSE English Language and Literature. Please subscribe or log in to access this content.

The content of this site has been produced by teachers and examiners. Edusites have similar support sites for Film and Media called Edusites Film and Edusites Media.

If you would like more information about Edusites English, get in touch using the contact details below.

Kind regards, Richard Gent
Edusites Ltd

[email] admin@edusites.co.uk
[telephone] 01604 847689
[fax] 01604 843220