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My latest guide- Forward Poems of Decade for Edexcel A level

edited June 2016 in Writing
I'm pleased to say that my newest book-child is out on Amazon now. The Forward "poems of the decade" are all written post-2000 and Edexcel students have to understand 28 of them. There is very little published literary analysis, so- to help my daughter and one of my tutees- I thought I'd better do the right thing.

If anyone would like a review copy I'll be pleased to arrange it.


  • What's a review copy?
  • Well done on yet another publication, aeschylus!

    Patricia, it means that you will get a copy to read on the understanding that you leave a review.
  • Well done on yet another publication, aeschylus!

    Patricia, it means that you will get a copy to read on the understanding that you leave a review.
  • Congratulations on your latest publication, Aeschylus. I wouldn't feel qualified to review an analysis of poems I'm afraid, but I'm sure there are others here who would be able to give an informed review.

    Good luck with it - you seem to have a knack for spotting gaps in the student market - and of course, have the ability to fill that gap. :)
  • Congratulations.
  • Congratulations. I got my A-level English A by writing about poetry that wasn't even on the syllabus, ha!
  • Tell me more, Janine!!
  • sounds good, what's the link?
  • LizLiz
    edited July 2016
    Congratulations - you are getting to be KING of the literary analysis books for young people! I suspect many older people would enjoy reading it as well.

    Are these poems all archaic? Or are any of living poets? Did you ask the poets themselves about your analyses?

  • Are these poems all archaic?
    The Forward "poems of the decade" are all written post-2000

  • LizLiz
    edited July 2016
    Lol! Idiot didn't read the post... I do know that actually as I have them. and have been sent copies in my role as poetry day ambassador...
  • Sue Boyle has an interesting blog and she is unfailingly kind to the students who write in!
    I did ask Roderick Ford about the symbolism in his poem "Giuseppe" and he was extraordinarily helpful.
    There are 105 poems in the anthology and I've only looked at 28 of them for the purposes of the Edexcel exams. They are fascinating.
    One of my favourites from the ones I haven't written about is Don Paterson's "Song for Natalie Tusje Beridze".
  • Well I have to get one, Aeschylus.
  • Liz's question about referring an interpretation to the poet is an interesting one. My impression is that these professional poets are happy for readers to make whatever inferences they find relevant- they don't feel, as poets, that they "own" the poem or that a single or narrow interpretation defines them.

    There is only one other attempt at a critical guide (because the poems are so new); I feel it misses some intertextual references in the poems (for example, to William Blake, to Benjamin Franklin, to Alice in Wonderland and to Romeo and Juliet) but the relevance of that to me will not invalidate other readings which miss it altogether.
  • Spookily, the at cost copies of my book which I'd ordered have arrived today; if you'd like me to send you one, Liz, I'd be happy to if you PM your postal address.
  • I'd love one and am happy to do that if you can give me an easy way to pay you, Aeschylus!

    I totally agree that poets are happy for different interpretations - but knowing poets and their complaints about interpretations as I do, one of the main ones is that the very act of saying 'this is what this poem is about' in such a guide, stifles the person reading the guide from interpreting the poem in their own or a different way. In fact the entire exam system is way too prescriptive - but having said that, it's always interesting seeing how someone else does interpret a or your poem!
  • Liz- it's FREE which means I just send it to you.

    People tend to come to me for help because they don't have away of analysing a poem and therefore lack confidence, even though the exam boards hint at the relevance of form, structure, language and a personal response and reward any defensible interpretations.

    Perhaps we could say that analysing a poem for its meaning is a bit like a GP examining a patient in order to diagnose their condition. You can ask the patient some questions, and prod to find out where it hurts! (not that I go to the doctor much, as you may be able to tell). Once these readers have a method which works, they can personalise it and turn it into their method.
  • Sounds very sensible.

    Son was always getting told he was wrong at school, when he WAS making innovative and interesting and plausible and defensible interpretations.

    As you can probably tell I am thoroughly fed up with the school system! The marking systems used to be much more flexible. a friend had to give up recently because she used to award marks when she could see that a student understood something well but had just made a small mistake - which suddenly due to new guidelines now has to be marked wrong. She said you could see some students had the right answers but it was patently clear they had no idea why they were right. This sort of thing makes me mad.

    Anything that makes them think and helps them get the right answers is fabulous!

    Thank you so much re book. I will definitely review it.
  • I would love a book too. I did PM you did you get it?
  • Not yet, Nef!
  • Books are on the way to both of you- thanks.
  • aeschylus hello, I'm wondering if there is a way for me to be able to get a hand on your book?
  • Noorim, this thread is quite old and he doesn't pop in very often. I don't know if anyone has his contact details. Will ask.
  • So Noorim hasn't returned to see if anyone responded to his/her question? 

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