This is a really good guide for the GCSE student: well-written, informative and good on context as well as analyzing the tone and language of each poem very well. This guide helps the student articulate an overall response to each poem as well as examining the details of expression.
The book is aimed at those student's using the 'Moon On The Tides' anthology as part of their AQA English Literature exam. Whilst the idea of such a book to accompany the anthology is indeed a worthwhile enterprise, it should be made quite clear in the description that there are no full copies of any of the poems analysed in this guide. Therefore, you also need a copy of the 'Moon On The Tides' anthology in order for this book to make any sense.
As for the guide itself, I have to admit that I found in many cases the writer concentrated far too much on the actual context of each poem, as opposed to helping a student analyse the poem. This is a shame as this 'could' have been a really useful guide, but unfortunately there is far too much random information that may well prove to be irrelevant in the context of the actual exam. Had the writer concentrated more on the analysis of each line of the various poems, then this guide would indeed be an invaluable addition to ones AQA GCSE English Literature exam preparation. Unfortunately, I believe the writer lost sight of the purpose of this guide and so it is a haphazard attempt at something that could have been far simpler to achieve if they had stuck to the goal of writing a guide to help analyse the poems. Instead there are random lines of poetry with minimal analysis.
I feel somewhat let down by this book and I am afraid that I will certainly not be recommending this book to any of my student's.
If you order a Guide to a Poetry Anthology, you expect the poems to be in there! Very frustrating to find that the commentary doesn't run alongside the verses themselves. I have no idea what David Wheeler is referring to.
Having loved poetry all my life, I was amazed and delighted to discover this book. The introduction is authoritative and refreshingly candid. It contains synopsis of 60 poems, including old favourites and some undiscovered gems. The Introduction is superb and outlines the contents exceptionally well. I found the index of terminology particularly useful.
As a budding poet wanting to extend my knowledge and understanding of this beautiful art form, I was entranced. It has certainly given me new insight into the essence and passion of the poets and their subjects.....
Whether a GCSE student, teacher or poetry lover this book makes essential reading or a superb gift. Congratulations to the Author in writing this motivational book!
Comprehensive guide. My son is now using this for his revision. Tackles all the key areas - and gives sample exam answers, suggesting poems to compare. References suitable quotes to use too. Don't feel we need anything else to help - so recommended!