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Compare and Evaluate the Effectiveness and Presentation of Ideas in 'Singh Song!' and Other Poems

In this worksheet, students will practise their comparison and evaluation skills, comparing 'Singh Song!' and other poems in the 'Love and Relationships' cluster. This is a mixed activity, requiring some manual marking near the end.

'Compare and Evaluate the Effectiveness and Presentation of Ideas in 'Singh Song!' and Other Poems' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA

Curriculum topic:   Poetry

Curriculum subtopic:   Love and Relationships: 'Singh Song!'

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Want to practise comparing and evaluating elements of 'Singh Song!' and other poems in the 'Love and Relationships' cluster?

 

Thought bubble

 

Well, you've come to the right place, because this activity will help you learn to compare and evaluate ideas, attitudes and themes at the same time. It's just a bit of multitasking, and you can do it!

 

It'll take some deduction skills, and an understanding of the themes and ideas you want to discuss. You need to think about how the poet presents ideas differently/similarly in the poems you are comparing. 

 

Scales - presumably of justice

 

1. Make your point!

 

 Here's a good example of how someone could support their observations when comparing the poems:

 

In 'Singh Song!' Nagra presents the theme of an unconventional woman in the fifth stanza: 'my bride she effing at my mum in all di colours of Punjabi'. This presents the 'bride' as unconventional because she goes against the stereotype of the stereotypical subservient Indian bride.

 

2. Link to another poem!

 

Here's an example of how someone might tie their observation of one poem to similarities (or differences) in another poem:

 

Similarly, in 'Before You Were Mine' we have the unconventional woman presented in the form of Duffy's mother, where the quote 'shriek at the pavement' portrays the mother as childlike, boisterous and loud.

 

3. Compare!

 

Here's how someone might compare the aforementioned themes (unconventionality, in this case) by mentioning a similar feature of both poems, and how the poems differ in the way they show that feature:

 

Both poems set out the idea of the unconventional woman. However, in Duffy's poem, she is talking about her mother in the past. In Nagra's poem, the speaker is discussing his wife as she is now.

 

4. Evaluate

 

The way unconventionality is shown in 'Before You Were Mine' is quite different from the way it is shown in 'Singh Song!'. When evaluating the differences, you could show the result of these differences ... such as whether they result in one poem being upbeat and lighthearted and the other being sad or hopeless. Here's an example of such an evaluation:

 

Therefore, 'Before You Were Mine' is tinged with sadness and nostalgia, where the mother used to be bright and unconventional, but isn't anymore, shown by the quote 'stamping stars from the wrong pavement' where the adjective 'wrong' reinforces Duffy's desire to have her mum act unconventionally, because that unconventionality is associated with her mother's sparkling potential.

 

On the other hand 'Singh Song!' discusses the bride as she is now. So, Nagra's poem is tinged with pride and happiness over the bride's unconventionality: in the quote 'she hav a red crew cut', the present verb 'hav' really emphasises this point.

 

Tip: You will find it helpful to jot down any new/helpful advice you find in this activity!

For some practice, let's compare 'Singh Song!' and 'Sonnet 29'.

 

Couple holding hands - faced away

 

Which language feature would make the most sense to consider when comparing the two poems? Choose one feature and type its number in the box.

 

1. Metaphors

2. Alliteration

3. Stanza length

4. Imagery​

Now let's compare 'Singh Song!' with 'Winter Swans'.

 

Which feature/theme would make the most sense to consider when comparing those two poems? Choose one and write its number in the box.

 

1. Repetition

2. Personification

3. Pathetic fallacy

4. Motif of peace

Now let's compare something in 'Singh Song!' and 'When We Two Parted'.

 

Which feature/theme would make the most sense to use when comparing the two poems? Choose one and write its number in the box. 

 

1. Rhetorical questions

2. Love

3. Death/grief

4. Alliteration

Now let's try comparing 'Before You Were Mine' with 'Love's Philosophy'.

 

Which features would make the most sense to highlight when comparing these two poems?

 

This time, tick the two correct features in the options below.​

Natural imagery

Theme of sex/desire

Similies/metaphors

Rhetorical questions

Directly addressing the lover

We're halfway through. Don't give up now! Soon we'll be trying something different.

 

For now, let's try comparing 'Singh Song!' to 'Sonnet 29' in terms of ideas.

 

Which idea would you use to compare these two poems?

 

The idea that love is strong and powerful

The idea that love lasts forever

The idea that love is expressed through extended metaphor

The idea that love is something all-consuming and that occupies the speaker's mind

Let's try a triple challenge this time! We'll compare 'Singh Song!' to 'Walking Away' and 'Sonnet 29'.

 

 

Magnifying glass

 

 

What themes, language/structural/form features and ideas does each poem have? Have a look at the table and tick the features and ideas that apply to each poem

 

Some themes are shared amongst the three poems, so you may correctly tick two poems, or even all three! 

 'Singh Song''Sonnet 29''Walking Away'
Metaphor
Simile
Romantic love
Consistent theme of separation
Unity
Love between parent and child
Caesura
Song-like rhythm

When you think about comparing 'Singh Song!' to 'Neutral Tones', what themes, language/structural/form features and ideas do these two poems have in common?

 

Some of these features and ideas are shared between the two poems.​

 

 UnityRomanceBitternessPersonificationSimilesSong-like rhythmCultural motif
'Singh Song!'
'Neutral Tones'

Lots of options in this one, but only one is correct. Pick one poem, out of the eight poems listed, that you think would best compare to 'Singh Song!' when considering the themes of unity and love.

 

Box of chocolates

 

'Follower'

'Before You Were Mine'

'When We Two Parted'

'Porphyria's Lover'

'Neutral Tones'

'The Farmer's Bride'

'Sonnet 29'

'Walking Away'

Here is your chance to compare two poems in your own words.

 

How do 'Winter Swans' and 'Singh Song' present the idea of romance?

 

Write two sentences explaining how these poems present the theme similarly.  Use the first box to make your comparison, and the second box to include your evidence (two marks in total).

 

We're at the end at last! You've done brilliantly to stick with it, and you've learned a bit about how to present your arguments convincingly.

 

 Let's finish by comparing 'Singh Song!' and 'Before You Were Mine'. How do these two poems present the theme of unconventionality?

 

 

Red high-heeled shoes

 

Write two sentences on how the theme of unconventionality is presented similarly in these two poems. Think about the devices used in both poems. Make sure to include your evidence (two marks).

 

Two sentences for how the theme is presented differently. Make sure to include your evidence (two marks).

  • Question 1

For some practice, let's compare 'Singh Song!' and 'Sonnet 29'.

 

Couple holding hands - faced away

 

Which language feature would make the most sense to consider when comparing the two poems? Choose one feature and type its number in the box.

 

1. Metaphors

2. Alliteration

3. Stanza length

4. Imagery​

CORRECT ANSWER
1
EDDIE SAYS
Both poems use metaphors! Look at the way 'Sonnet 29' uses metaphors to describe the loving, sexual nature of the speaker's feelings: "rustle thy boughs and set thy trunk all bare"/ "my thoughts do twine and bud around thee..." Consider the metaphors in 'Singh Song!': "tiny eyes ov a gun and di tummy ov a teddy". In 'Sonnet 29', metaphors are used to describe a deep, sexual relationship. In 'Singh Song!', they're used to describe the wife's character. So, it's an interesting comparison when we consider that 'Sonnet 29' is a little more focused on the abstract emotions of the unnamed speaker, whereas 'Singh Song!' is a little more personality-based.
  • Question 2

Now let's compare 'Singh Song!' with 'Winter Swans'.

 

Which feature/theme would make the most sense to consider when comparing those two poems? Choose one and write its number in the box.

 

1. Repetition

2. Personification

3. Pathetic fallacy

4. Motif of peace

CORRECT ANSWER
4
EDDIE SAYS
Peace features in the end of both poems. Look at the tone shift and the way the language changes in both poems, as well. How are they similar/different, and what causes both poems to illustrate this change?
  • Question 3

Now let's compare something in 'Singh Song!' and 'When We Two Parted'.

 

Which feature/theme would make the most sense to use when comparing the two poems? Choose one and write its number in the box. 

 

1. Rhetorical questions

2. Love

3. Death/grief

4. Alliteration

CORRECT ANSWER
2
EDDIE SAYS
Love is the one theme that appears in both poems, but that's just the bottom of the barrel! If you want to earn better marks, think about the way in which love is expressed in both poems. In 'Singh Song!', where love is a point of pride and celebration, the speaker loves his wife so deeply that he forgets his duties and responsibilities. However, in 'When We Two Parted', love is definitely presented as something sad: it is about a speaker who still loves his lover despite having separated from her. It's good to practice comparing two quite different poems to get a real sense of how they are different and the techniques that make them so different. Once you have the technique down, you're good!
  • Question 4

Now let's try comparing 'Before You Were Mine' with 'Love's Philosophy'.

 

Which features would make the most sense to highlight when comparing these two poems?

 

This time, tick the two correct features in the options below.​

CORRECT ANSWER
Theme of sex/desire
Similies/metaphors
EDDIE SAYS
Yes, it's getting a bit more difficult, but it helps to have two correct answers here! Hopefully, you've had a close look at the two poems and noticed that they both use the theme of sex and desire (both poems are about sexual love and the desire that each speaker has for his lover). You will have also noticed that both poems use similes and metaphors to convey this desire! Think about the effect of similes/metaphors in both poems: 'Love's Philosophy' has an extended metaphor of nature, where the speaker is attempting to persuade his love to give him a kiss. He uses nature to elaborate on the fact that sex/desire/love is natural, and that everything is paired up in nature! Smooth, isn't he? In 'Singh Song!', similes and metaphors aren't really used to persuade. Instead, they're used to enhance the bride's quirky and unconventional personality: she stumbles 'like a drunk' and has eyes "ov a gun", etc. She is exceptional and unique!
  • Question 5

We're halfway through. Don't give up now! Soon we'll be trying something different.

 

For now, let's try comparing 'Singh Song!' to 'Sonnet 29' in terms of ideas.

 

Which idea would you use to compare these two poems?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The idea that love is something all-consuming and that occupies the speaker's mind
EDDIE SAYS
Both poems are similar, in that each speaker is preoccupied with their lover. In 'Singh Song!' the speaker can't get his bride out of his mind, even stating that she is "above my head" (signifying, symbolically, that she is on his mind at all times. This is further reinforced by his irresponsible attitude towards his shopkeeping duties). Similarly, in 'Sonnet 29', Barrett Browning's speaker states, "I think of thee!", which quite obviously shows that her lover is on her mind!
  • Question 6

Let's try a triple challenge this time! We'll compare 'Singh Song!' to 'Walking Away' and 'Sonnet 29'.

 

 

Magnifying glass

 

 

What themes, language/structural/form features and ideas does each poem have? Have a look at the table and tick the features and ideas that apply to each poem

 

Some themes are shared amongst the three poems, so you may correctly tick two poems, or even all three! 

CORRECT ANSWER
 'Singh Song''Sonnet 29''Walking Away'
Metaphor
Simile
Romantic love
Consistent theme of separation
Unity
Love between parent and child
Caesura
Song-like rhythm
EDDIE SAYS
Hopefully, this exercise has helped you see shared ideas and devices across the three poems! Jot down any new ideas you find! Think about how these ideas/devices convey certain themes and attitudes, too.
  • Question 7

When you think about comparing 'Singh Song!' to 'Neutral Tones', what themes, language/structural/form features and ideas do these two poems have in common?

 

Some of these features and ideas are shared between the two poems.​

 

CORRECT ANSWER
 UnityRomanceBitternessPersonificationSimilesSong-like rhythmCultural motif
'Singh Song!'
'Neutral Tones'
EDDIE SAYS
Hopefully, this exercise helps you to look at shared ideas and devices across the two poems! Jot down any helpful inspirations you find! Just to define a couple of features: a motif is a theme that occurs in a poem consistently. Usually, a semantic field (a bunch of words which link to one theme) showcases a poems motif. Neutral Tones, for example, contains a semantic field of words such as 'deadest' 'die' and 'ominous', forming a motif of death and grief.
  • Question 8

Lots of options in this one, but only one is correct. Pick one poem, out of the eight poems listed, that you think would best compare to 'Singh Song!' when considering the themes of unity and love.

 

Box of chocolates

 

CORRECT ANSWER
'Sonnet 29'
EDDIE SAYS
Both 'Sonnet 29' and 'Singh Song!' present the idea of unity in romantic relationships! And both use similes/metaphors and the tone of the speaker to do this!
  • Question 9

Here is your chance to compare two poems in your own words.

 

How do 'Winter Swans' and 'Singh Song' present the idea of romance?

 

Write two sentences explaining how these poems present the theme similarly.  Use the first box to make your comparison, and the second box to include your evidence (two marks in total).

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
With questions like these, try to think as logically as possible: how are the two themes presented and what devices do the poets use to get the themes across? It is a great idea to think about the subject's attitudes, the speaker's attitudes and what's actually going on in the poems. And it's easier than you might think! Also, consider how these attitudes are presented. Is it through passionate adjectives, symbolism/metaphor, or maybe short sentences? You've detailed all the important bits. Now structure your answer into a simple paragraph. For example, someone might write: "Where Sheers' poem presents the theme of (x) as (x), Nagra's poem presents the theme of (x). Sheers does this by (x), which presents the theme of (x) as (x). On the other hand, Nagra uses (x) to present the theme of (x) as (x).
  • Question 10

We're at the end at last! You've done brilliantly to stick with it, and you've learned a bit about how to present your arguments convincingly.

 

 Let's finish by comparing 'Singh Song!' and 'Before You Were Mine'. How do these two poems present the theme of unconventionality?

 

 

Red high-heeled shoes

 

Write two sentences on how the theme of unconventionality is presented similarly in these two poems. Think about the devices used in both poems. Make sure to include your evidence (two marks).

 

Two sentences for how the theme is presented differently. Make sure to include your evidence (two marks).

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
With questions like these, try to think as logically as possible. How are the two themes presented and what devices do the writers use to their themes across? So, thinking about the subject's attitudes, the speaker's attitudes and what's actually going on in the poem (easier done than you might think) is a great idea. Then, think about how these attitudes are presented. Is it through passionate adjectives, symbolism/metaphor, maybe short sentences? Lastly, you've detailed out all the important bits. Now structure your answer into a simple paragraph. Here's an example of such a paragraph: Where Nagra's poem presented the theme of (x) as (x), Duffy's poem presents the theme of (x). Duffy does this by (x), which presents the theme of (x) as (x). On the other hand, Nagra uses (x) to present the theme of (x) as (x).
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