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On this page you will find various playlists that combine the out of copyright poems of various different exam boards. There are playlists for both GCSE and A’ Level poems.
When studying these poems for your exams the main emphasis is on analysis and meaning. It is easy to forget that real human beings wrote these poems from very deep and heart felt experience. Poetry has two powerful tools that increase its impact, rhythm and rhyme. It is very difficult to get the full sense and experience of a poem without listening to it. Reading it only gives you half the picture. When listening to a poem performed well, rhythm and rhyme can come alive.
The approach of a performer to preparing a poem is very different to the intellectual approach required for studying GCSE and A’ Level exams. A performer will first repeatedly read a poem both silently and out loud until they begin to get a ‘feel’ for it. Something quite magical happens in this process as the poem comes alive in a completely different way. When you become really familiar with a poem or even actually learn it you can make a connection with the poet who wrote it and the poem can come alive.
GCSE and A’ Level students don’t have either the time or the inclination to learn all the poems to be studied. However repeatedly listening to the poems out loud and reading them at the same time (or just listening to them) should greatly help with your understanding, experience and study. Students could also try reading the poems out loud themselves. You will find learning and remembering quotes much easier if you do this.