Ordinary Exam

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Requirements

In the Poetry Section of the Ordinary Level Paper you are asked to read an unseen poem and answer four questions - A B C D - about this poem. There are 10 marks allocated for each of these questions.

You are also expected to answer question E, based on the poetry you have studied. There are 20 marks going for this question.

There is often a choice offered in question E based on the topic of a poem or on the emotions it expresses. (See below.)

The question is often organised into parts. It is important to answer each part of the question.

Even if you are not asked in the question, it is vital to begin your answer by stating the name of the poem and the name of the poet.

You should attempt to include some quotation from the poem in your answer. Try to include at least three short quotations from the poem you have chosen. To do this it may help to memorise some lines from your chosen poems before the examination.

As there are 20 marks allotted to this question E, your answer should be more detailed than the responses to questions A B C and D.

It is important that you are familiar with the poems you have studied. You are also often expected to be able to say whether you liked or disliked them. (See the responses section on each of the poems in this project.) You will be rewarded with marks by showing that you have understood and responed well to the poem you have chosen.

You should express your opinions and describe the poem in language that is clear, well written and accurate in the mechanics of the language (i.e. spelling, grammar and punctuation).

 

Total Marks
for Question E
Time suggested
for this question
20 marks
10 - 15 minutes

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Previous Exam Questions


2007 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think about poems you have studied and choose ONE which is either amusing OR contains vivid descriptions.

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2006 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think about the poems you have studied and choose one which best describes a young person who is either happy or sad.

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2005 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think about poems you have studied and choose one which best describes an exciting person or an exciting event.

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Department of Education Sample Answers

The Chief Examiner's report for 2006 dealt with responses to the 2006 question (see above).

Section 6: Poetry
This section was popular with candidates but proved quite difficult for many of those who attempted it. ...Seamus Heaney continues to be the most frequently selected poet in responses to question E.

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The Chief Examiner's report for 2000 dealt with responses to the 2000 question. (see above).

Most candidates responded enthusiastically to the last question in this section, which asked them to describe, to analyse, and to declare their preference for/ antipathy towards a poem they had studied. However, a number of candidates contented themselves with a mere narrating of the studied poem.

 

Student Sample Answers

2006 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think about the poems you have studied and choose one which best describes a young person who is either happy or sad.

The poem I have chosen is Requiem for the Croppies. The poet's name is Seamus Heaney.

The sad picture is that of the Irish rebels. At first they were successful in their fight against the British. They found new tactics happening every day. They'd cut through reins and rider with the pike. However, on Vinegar Hill they were shaking scythes at cannon. He describes the hill covered in blood: The hillside blushed. He describes how they got buried without shroud or a coffin: And in August the barley grew up out of the grave.

The poet gives an impression of sadness when he refers to how the hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave of blood. This is sad as thousands of people died.

I liked the poem I have chosen because it is a great poem and it also gives a good example of sadness and it leaves a very clear image of what it would be like getting buried without shroud of coffin.

project students

 








Lee Johnson

2006 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think about the poems you have studied and choose one which best describes a young person who is either happy or sad.

The poem I have picked is Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney.

The sad picture is of a boy in a school sick bay waiting for his neighbours to collect him from school. When he gets home his dad is crying and his mam is blurting out tearless sighs and Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

He gives the impression of sadness when he says dad was crying.

I liked the poem because it is sad the way it shows the family's sadness. We found out the age of the boy at the end of the poem when he says: A four foot box, a foot for every year.

project students

 

 

 

 

 

Gary Fitzsimons

2005 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think about poems you have studied and choose one which best describes an exciting person or an exciting event.

The poem I have chosen is Requiem for the Croppies by Seamus Heaney.

The poem is about the battle which took place at Vinegar Hill, Wexford in 1798. I find this an exciting poem because it gives a great account of the Irish farmers (croppies) armed only with pikes battling against British Armed Forces. The Irish sent cattle stampeding into infantry as they battled to keep their land. We know that this was a very brutal event as the hill was soaked in blood: The hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave.

This is sad as thousands of Irishmen would have died. What is special about this is that I have been to Wexford a couple of times. This makes the poem easy to remember for me.

project students

 

 

 

 

Thomas Foy

2005 : Poetry Section - Question E.

Think about poems you have studied and choose one which best describes an exciting person or an exciting event.

The poem I have chosen is A Clip by Seamus Heaney.

The poem is about a young Seamus Heaney who is telling about the time he went for a clip off a nearby barber. Back when Heaney was young boys didn't get haircuts like girls, boys got a clip which is just cutting the hair without any sense of style. This is where the title of the poem - A Clip - comes from. The poet describes the haircut ordeal in great detail telling the reader that the cloak that was
half hoodless Ku Klux cape. He describes the barber's house in great detail as well.

I remember this poem so well because it reminds me of my childhood when I went to my dad's friend's house to get a haircut.

project students

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron Flood

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