Power & Conflict GCSE Poetry - ‘The Emigrée’ and ‘Poppies’ Model Answer

November 2, 2017

GCSE English Language - Power & Conflict Sample Answer

Are you studying power and conflict poems for your English GCSE?

Check out this free extract of an expert-written sample answer comparing two power and conflict poems!

Compare the ways poets present feelings about separation because of conflict in ‘The Emigrée’ and one other poem from Power and Conflict.

 

Both Carole Rumens’ ‘The Emigrée’ and ‘Poppies’ by Jane Weir deal with their narrator’s feelings about a separation they’ve experienced as a result of conflict: ‘The Emigrée’, anemigrant who longs for the city she grew up in and was forced to leave as a child, ‘Poppies’, a mother who lost her son to military service in WWI and fears he has died in combat.

 

While both poems deal with a tragic separation and the narrators’ experience of something akin to grief as a result of this, they also present what the narrator has been separated from as a source of hope and inspiration for them. Rumens’ narrator’s memory of the place she left is ‘sunlight-clear’. Despite the harrowing news of war and destruction she hears at regular intervals regarding her once home-city – ‘The worst news I receive’ – she is ‘branded by an impression of sunlight’.

Meanwhile, Weir’s narrator’s tone suggests that she remembers fondly the last time that she saw her son, how she was strong for and proud of him, and how she wished him well, although she must have known, even then, that she might never see her son again: ‘I was brave… to the front door, threw/it open, the world overflowing’.

And later, she longs ‘to hear’ her son’s ‘playground voice’, which, we assume is a description of her son’s ‘voice as a child, rather than a description of how her she remembers her soldier son’s voice sounding because this would make her happy…

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