This post is contributed by Bhavya Viswarajan, Content Publishing Intern at Exam18
Poetry, the high and mighty- hard to write, harder to decipher. Come exams, and this very cryptic rhetoric can be the cause of sleepless nights and missing tufts of hair. But be it Gertrude Stein and her enigmatic roses, or Wordsworth and his “host of golden daffodils”, the right approach, and a little bit of imagination can help unveil the underlying metaphors and make the connotations more coherent. We at Exam18 are here to help you do exactly that. To help brush up your language and literature skills before the Board exams, Exam18 is here with a series of new books and reading materials for the ICSE syllabus, including a comprehensive study of the Paper 2 (English Literature) poems.
Scripted by Mrs. Madhuri Shukla, one of our most successful authors with over 30 years of teaching experience, this book provides an introduction to the genre of poetry and its variants, and also delves into poetic devices and figures of speech. This is followed by extensive discussions on the nine poems prescribed in the ICSE English syllabus, complete with notes on the author, line-by-line analysis, vocabulary and a set of questions and answers. Mrs Shukla’s notes on the poets are particularly enlightening as they help understand the context in which the poem has been produced.
The age old question of “How can we know the dancer from the dance?” (Yeats, ‘Among School Children’) is suspended given the tinge of the autobiographical found in the poems of people like Sylvia Plath and Dylan Thomas. We find a recurrence of a similar confessional strain in the poetry of many Indians too. When Rabindranath Tagore implores the heavenly father to lead the country to freedom (‘Where the mind is without fear’), it’s a comment not merely on a freedom from colonial oppression, but also on freedom from the clutches of religion into reason. Without some insight into the time the poem is situated in (although Tagore’s concerns still seem applicable) and the poet’s background, not just the beauty, but also the meaning of the poem would be elusive. The short notes provided about the poets, along with their timeline and their writing styles, help with this.
Poetry is all about using words in a different context. It is about refusing an isomorphic relationship between words and their meanings and furnishing it with a little bit more than a dictionary meaning. In order to understand poetry, hence, you need to understand the connotations conjured up by the poet. The vocabulary given in this Ultimate Guide to Poems is bound to help discern those vague and unconventional phrases. Add to this the questions and answers from excerpts from the poem, you have a one-stop solution to all your tussles with poems, circumscribed in one book.
So the next time you wonder whether Robert Frost sighs in regret or in relief, open our Ultimate Guide to Poems: Class 10, available exclusively on Exam18, and work out the analogy. It’s Rs. 499 for the printed book format and Rs. 249 for digital download (pdf) format. Click below to read more and place your order.
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