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Compare Content in 'Winter Swans' and Other Poems

In this worksheet, students will compare 'Winter Swans' with other poems. The worksheet will allow the student to form content-based links between poems.

'Compare Content in 'Winter Swans' and Other Poems' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA

Curriculum topic:   Poetry

Curriculum subtopic:   Love and Relationships: 'Winter Swans'

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Want to begin to revise your comparative skills between 'Winter Swans' and other poems (in the Love and Relationships cluster)?

 

Thought bubble

 

In this activity, we will begin jogging your memory by comparing the content of 'Winter Swans' with the poems you best see fit, out of the options given. 

 

Before we begin, here's a quick list of the key content you could talk about and use to compare with other poems:

 

Distance

Unity

Nature

Weather (pathetic fallacy)

Imagery

Peace

Romantic love

 

You can definitely think of any other themes which you think Sheers uses, as long as you have the evidence to show that it is a recurring topic in the poem.

 

Remember: take your time, as there's no rush and make sure to jot down any explanations which you find helpful!

What one poem from the cluster would you compare 'Winter Swans' with?

 

Think about the theme of distance.

 

'Love's Philosophy'

'When We Two Parted'

'Singh Song!'

'Climbing My Grandfather'

Which one poem from the cluster would you compare 'Winter Swans' with?

 

 

Think about the theme of nature.

 

'Eden Rock'

'Mother, Any Distance'

'The Farmer's Bride'

'Love's Philosophy'

What two poems from the cluster would you compare 'Winter Swans' with?​

 

Think about 'pathetic fallacy'.

 

There are two right answers.

'Before You Were Mine'

'Follower'

'Eden Rock'

'Neutral Tones'

'Porphyria's Lover'

'Walking Away'

What two poems from the cluster would you compare 'Winter Swans' with?​

 

Think about the way 'metaphors/similes' are used to portray nature.

 

There are two right answers.

'Singh Song!'

'Follower'

'The Farmer's Bride'

'Neutral Tones'

'Porphyria's Lover'

'Sonnet 29'

What two poems from the cluster would you compare 'Walking Away' with?​

 

Think about the theme of calmness/peace.

 

 

Hint: consider the tone of the poem. What is considered peaceful for the poet?

 

There are two right answers.

'Eden Rock'

'The Farmer's Bride'

'Neutral Tones'

'When We Two Parted'

'Sonnet 29'

'Singh Song!'

Link the ideas in each poem which you think match up best with 'Winter Swans'. 

 

Hint: some of these ideas match with more than one poem in the table.

 

 'Sonnet 29''Walking Away''Neutral Tones'
Natural imagery
Separation
Unity
Pathetic fallacy

Link the ideas in each poem which you think matches up best with 'Walking Away'.

 

Hint: some of these ideas match with more than one poem in the table.

 Love between a couplePeaceUnityPathetic fallacySeparation
'Singh Song'
'Walking Away'
'When We Two Parted'

Link 'Winter Swans' to two other poems in the cluster which show the relationship between nature and love.

 

 Love between a couplePeaceUnityPathetic fallacySeparation
'Singh Song'
'Walking Away'
'When We Two Parted'

Pick the two options from below which you think best showcase how 'Love's Philosophy' and 'Winter Swans' could be compared.

 

 

From the first set of options, pick the answer which you think best shows similarity between the two poems.

 

From the second set of options, pick the answer which you think best shows difference between the two poems.

 Love between a couplePeaceUnityPathetic fallacySeparation
'Singh Song'
'Walking Away'
'When We Two Parted'

Last question! 

 

Tick the four poems that you think are the easiest to compare to 'Winter Swans'.

 

Hint: think about if these poems show similar ideas to Sheers' poem.

 

Double hint: the main idea of comparison is-  'the poem uses natural imagery to reflect romantic love'.

 

'When We Two Parted'

'Sonnet 29'

'Singh Song!'

'Walking Away'

'Love's Philosophy'

'Eden Rock'

'Neutral Tones'

'The Farmer's Bride'

  • Question 1

What one poem from the cluster would you compare 'Winter Swans' with?

 

Think about the theme of distance.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
'When We Two Parted'
EDDIE SAYS
If we are considering the theme of distance, 'When We Two Parted' probably makes the most sense to compare to 'Winter Swans'. Think about the idea of separation and regret. What is different and similar in the poems, and how do the poets use language, structure and form to present this theme in both poems?
  • Question 2

Which one poem from the cluster would you compare 'Winter Swans' with?

 

 

Think about the theme of nature.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
'Love's Philosophy'
EDDIE SAYS
'Love's Philosophy' is a good one to compare to 'Winter Swans'. The two poems talk about the heavy influence of nature on love. Shelley's poem discusses the way that sexual love is natural, using extended imagery of the natural world "mingling" and "clasping" together. How are the two poems different though? Think about the tone of 'Love's Philosophy'; is it, perhaps, a little more lighthearted than 'Winter Swans'? How? What is the aim of the speaker in 'Love's Philosophy'? What about the nature of the relationship in 'Love's Philosophy'? The poems definitely have different aims and use nature differently to achieve different ideas about love/sex. What about the form? The way the two poems differentiate in stanza length? What effect does this have on the overall content of the two poems?
  • Question 3

What two poems from the cluster would you compare 'Winter Swans' with?​

 

Think about 'pathetic fallacy'.

 

There are two right answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
'Neutral Tones'
'Porphyria's Lover'
EDDIE SAYS
Out of all the poems, it's safe to say that 'Neutral Tones' and 'Porphyria's Lover' use the weather and pathetic fallacy the most, in order to reflect ideas about relationships. So all three poems seem to use the weather to mimic the mood of a relationship - the weather is differently conveyed in the three different poems, according to the tone of the speaker and (his) feelings about (his) lover (I say his because all three poems are written by men). How is pathetic fallacy conveyed in each poem and what does it prove about the relationship status within the three poems? The weather is portrayed differently in each poem because the mood of each poem is different.
  • Question 4

What two poems from the cluster would you compare 'Winter Swans' with?​

 

Think about the way 'metaphors/similes' are used to portray nature.

 

There are two right answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
'Neutral Tones'
'Sonnet 29'
EDDIE SAYS
Out of the poem selection, 'Sonnet 29' and 'Walking Away' use an abundance of metaphors and similes to present the topic of their poems to nature and the natural world. Think about the way 'Walking Away' (which isn't about a romantic relationship, remember) presents nature/the natural world. What is the poet saying about letting his son walk away from him - is it presented as natural or unnatural, and how/why is this the case? Now think about 'Sonnet 29' and the way it presents the natural world and how it represents the relationship. What's the tone of the poem like? Why is the language used and how is it different to 'Winter Swans'? Nature doesn't seem to influence the speaker in 'Sonnet 29' like it does to the couple in 'Winter Swans' so you can definitely compare the effect of nature in both poems.
  • Question 5

What two poems from the cluster would you compare 'Walking Away' with?​

 

Think about the theme of calmness/peace.

 

 

Hint: consider the tone of the poem. What is considered peaceful for the poet?

 

There are two right answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
'Eden Rock'
'Singh Song!'
EDDIE SAYS
This is a bit of a difficult one, so don't be disheartened if you got it wrong. And if you got this right, well done! 'Eden Rock' really does convey a peacefulness within the content of the poem, the afterlife, which emphasises this idea of an idyllic world, where the speaker is having a lovely picnic with his parents. 'Singh Song!' portrays peace at the end of the poem, with the speaker and his wife sitting in the shop 'late in di midnight hour'. The tone of peacefulness is very similar to the end of 'Winter Swans' because it is not a consistent tone, but one that occurs at the end of both poems. Peace is a conclusion in both poems.
  • Question 6

Link the ideas in each poem which you think match up best with 'Winter Swans'. 

 

Hint: some of these ideas match with more than one poem in the table.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
 'Sonnet 29''Walking Away''Neutral Tones'
Natural imagery
Separation
Unity
Pathetic fallacy
EDDIE SAYS
Filling out tables like these will allow you to categorise which themes poems within the cluster share. Think about why and how these ideas/themes match up and what evidence you could pick out to support the fact that the poems share the same themes/ideas. Think about how these themes/ideas are represented. How are they presented? How do they differ? What tone/language/devices are used?
  • Question 7

Link the ideas in each poem which you think matches up best with 'Walking Away'.

 

Hint: some of these ideas match with more than one poem in the table.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Love between a couplePeaceUnityPathetic fallacySeparation
'Singh Song'
'Walking Away'
'When We Two Parted'
EDDIE SAYS
Another useful table to help you categorise which themes poems within the cluster share. Think about how these themes/ideas are represented. How are they presented? How do they differ? What tone/language/devices are used?
  • Question 8

Link 'Winter Swans' to two other poems in the cluster which show the relationship between nature and love.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Both 'Love's Philosophy' and 'Sonnet 29' show a strong relationship between love and nature, through symbolism, simile and metaphor.
  • Question 9

Pick the two options from below which you think best showcase how 'Love's Philosophy' and 'Winter Swans' could be compared.

 

 

From the first set of options, pick the answer which you think best shows similarity between the two poems.

 

From the second set of options, pick the answer which you think best shows difference between the two poems.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Evaluating how the poet presents ideas is a crucial part of comparing poetry. Practise your skills of deducing how certain attitudes are presented similarly and differently, and you'll soar in the comparison part of the exam! Let's look at how the poems are similar - both poems use natural imagery to present love. However, love is portrayed differently in both poems. In 'Love's Philosophy' nature is used to convince and playfully persuade the lover to kiss the speaker. In 'Winter Swans', nature is a default, part of the couple's surroundings, and an influence on reconciling the couple.
  • Question 10

Last question! 

 

Tick the four poems that you think are the easiest to compare to 'Winter Swans'.

 

Hint: think about if these poems show similar ideas to Sheers' poem.

 

Double hint: the main idea of comparison is-  'the poem uses natural imagery to reflect romantic love'.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
'When We Two Parted'
'Sonnet 29'
'Love's Philosophy'
'Neutral Tones'
EDDIE SAYS
The best poems to pick from are the four which really compare romantic love to nature. Now remember, these poems all portray this differently, so the attitudes presented aren't the same. The techniques are similar, however. After identifying them, you can delve into the different attitudes they present. So compare poems with similar ideas/content and then go into detail about how and why these poems share these ideas/content. What is each poet trying to say? Then go on to note how these attitudes might differ - in what way do they differ? What is the effect that each poet is going for? Get the basics down, keep it simple and you'll get inspired to go into detail, naturally and organically, from there!
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