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Poetry and English GCSE Exams - Gary Radice's Blog

About Gary Radice
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I'm a married '50 something' who lives near Liverpool, UK. 

started writing poetry as a hobby after taking early retirement from my role as a Registered Mental Health Nurse / Brain Injury Rehabilitation Liaision Nurse.

When writing poetry, I tend to write what I see, no matter how trivial. Themes of the seaside, railways and the naivety of childhood crop up often.

Other than at school, the only poems I have ever written are those you can read here at Poetry Soup.

Thanks for stopping by and reading.


Poetry and English GCSE Exams

Blog Posted:8/4/2020 12:54:00 PM

The BBC reported today (4th August 2020) that General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) * exam students in England will be able to drop subject areas in English literature following concern that schools may not be able to cover all areas because of the pandemic. Poetry is one of the topics that will become optional.

A further article stated: "Millions of schoolchildren may be rejoicing" but then goes on to suggest seven reasons they should not give up on poetry:

1: 'Reading diverse voices'

2: 'Discussing challenging subjects'

3: 'Teens read and write more poetry every year'

4: 'The power of poetry'

5: 'Poetry will always have a mainstay in pop culture'

6: 'Coping with lockdown'

7: 'Poetry for the NHS'


The full article, which makes for interesting reading, can be read here:

* GCSE specifications for English Literature in England require students to study a selection of poetry since 1789 including the romantics

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Date: 8/6/2020 1:10:00 AM
Gary,this link from my daily paper also adds a few valid points to this issue
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Gary Radice
Date: 8/6/2020 1:18:00 PM
Thanks Brian.
Date: 8/5/2020 1:49:00 AM
Yes,Gary,as you say the 'word'itself is a large part of the problem.You often hear many folk say ' I am writing book. ' not often 'I write poetry...and yet in essence is a similar personalised 'expression' albeit with a few different principles.
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Date: 8/5/2020 1:36:00 AM
Now,Gary after two decades+ of immersing my self in our art,I would suggest that poetry (at school) should (along with a number of other aspects)be an 'oral' for 'English ,as with French and other languages.
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Gary Radice
Date: 8/5/2020 1:51:00 AM
Couldn't agree more. Learning German and French involved students to understand the nominative, genitive, accusitive and dative cases for nouns,pronouns and adjectives when all I wanted to do was to learn how to order a beer. I like this quote from the British-born Cypriot poet and writer Anthony Anaxagorou who said poems "do so much more" than other ways of using language. "Poetry shouldn't be regarded as an analytical exercise, a response to memory, a means of introducing literary device.. Poems do so much more, getting into spaces [and] subjects other modes of language can't."
Date: 8/5/2020 1:26:00 AM
The problem Gary lies itwould seem in the final sentence of the link-'in order to develop their ability to closely analyse unseen poems'.Nothing changed then from 1950's (when I 'studied' poetry as a part of English Lit' and put me off poetry ,as an art for forty years.
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Gary Radice
Date: 8/5/2020 1:36:00 AM
Very good point Brian. Thanks for your comment. I can certainly identify with this.

My Past Blog Posts

Poetry Soup: One Year In
Date Posted: 9/10/2020 3:35:00 AM
The Importance of the Title
Date Posted: 8/12/2020 12:47:00 PM
Poetry and English GCSE Exams
Date Posted: 8/4/2020 12:54:00 PM
Does anyone agree with these tips?
Date Posted: 5/3/2020 9:26:00 AM
Poetry Power
Date Posted: 4/6/2020 4:06:00 AM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
9/16/2020 Class of '66 Rhymechildhood,memory,
9/12/2020 The Golden Mile Rhymefamily,light,night,
9/9/2020 On The 6: Again Rhymejourney,london,people,tra
8/26/2020 Hedgehogs Rhyme3rd grade,4th grade,5th g
8/23/2020 Brilliant Minds Rhymefeelings,imagery,life,sta
8/7/2020 The Signal Box Rhymeart,beauty,imagery,life,l
7/31/2020 The Obituary Poem Rhymedeath,humorous,obituary,
7/27/2020 Postcard Home Rhymeholiday,life,silence,summ
7/19/2020 Wonderland IV: The Innkeeper's Tale Rhyme10th grade,drink,food,lit
7/11/2020 Toy Trains Rhyme6th grade,christmas,feeli
7/6/2020 Wonderland III: The Hairdresser's Tale Rhymeabuse,dark,dream,fantasy,
6/29/2020 Light Versebeach,light,
6/28/2020 Wonderland II: The Watchmaker's Tale Rhymebetrayal,business,fantasy
6/21/2020 Jukebox Rhymeappreciation,music,
6/20/2020 Ola Voganista Vogonnonsense,
6/18/2020 Niceville Rhymechange,life,loss,people,p
6/8/2020 Strength Free versefaith,funeral,hope,loss,s
6/6/2020 The Fun Of The Fair Rhymefun,life,
6/1/2020 Mind The Gap Rhymelondon,
5/30/2020 The View From Pisa Rhymeholiday,humorous,travel,
5/26/2020 Old Delhi Rhymeholiday,poverty,social,tr
5/16/2020 The Story Of A Shop Rhyme5th grade,6th grade,7th g
5/8/2020 Woodland Walk Rhymenature,summer,sun,sunshin
5/2/2020 The Stanza By The Sea Rhymegreen,planet,sea,water,
4/27/2020 Blank Canvas Rhymebeach,metaphor,poetry,
4/24/2020 The Barbican Rhymeart,london,places,
4/21/2020 The Sun In The Square Rhymeholiday,summer,sun,travel
4/14/2020 A Door In The Wall Rhyme6th grade,appreciation,en
4/3/2020 Towards Euston Rhymejourney,travel,
3/28/2020 From A Window Rhymechange,childhood,family,l
3/19/2020 Sheep Rhymeallegory,metaphor,
3/17/2020 The Albany Rhymechildhood,film,memory,
3/4/2020 The Greasy Spoon Rhymeappreciation,change,engla
2/27/2020 Ride The Tide Rhymebeach,metaphor,write,
2/20/2020 Morecambe Bay Rhymeart,beach,england,storm,
2/14/2020 The Last Meal Of A Drowning Mouse Rhymefood,humorous,
2/9/2020 A Gap In The Traffic Rhymeconfusion,emotions,life,
1/25/2020 The Garden Seat Rhymedeath,garden,life,loss,lo
1/20/2020 Winter Shuffle Rhymeengland,nature,snow,weath
1/15/2020 Lives Long Gone Rhymeemotions,loss,love,memory
1/10/2020 Go Rhymeengland,forgiveness,life,
12/31/2019 House For Sale Rhymehome,house,loss,memory,mo
12/23/2019 Wonderland I: The Milliner's Tale Rhymedrink,fantasy,imagery,lit
11/20/2019 Forever Rhymehome,loss,love,peace,peop
11/8/2019 Anorakorama Rhymefun,life,memory,nostalgia
11/5/2019 Into The Land Rhymefreedom,tribute,
10/27/2019 my very nice day at the seaside Rhymebeach,childhood,memory,to
10/21/2019 Carnforth Rhymeengland,feelings,film,nos
10/1/2019 Happiland Free versechildhood,dream,life,memo
10/1/2019 The Marram Grass Free versechildhood,england,family,
10/1/2019 Chapel Lane Rhymeemotions,loss,love,memory
10/1/2019 The Emperor's New Poem Rhymebullying,political,
9/29/2019 Fog Rhymechildhood,confusion,myste
9/28/2019 Acetates And Overheads Rhymeanger,business,emotions,w
9/27/2019 The Critic Rhymeangst,celebrity,introspec
9/26/2019 The Host Rhymeappreciation,daffodils,im
9/26/2019 Rocking Chair And Roll Rhymechildhood,memory,music,
9/26/2019 This Reality Rhymelife,political,technology

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