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Compare Content in 'Climbing My Grandfather' and Other Poems

In this worksheet, students will begin to think about comparing the poem 'Climbing My Grandfather' (part of the Love and Relationships cluster in the GCSE anthology) to other poems. The worksheet will allow the student to begin practising forming content-based links between poems.

'Compare Content in 'Climbing My Grandfather' and Other Poems' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA

Curriculum topic:   Poetry

Curriculum subtopic:   Love and Relationships: 'Climbing My Grandfather'

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Begin to revise your comparative skills between 'Climbing My Grandfather' and other poems (in the Love and Relationships cluster).

 

Thought bubble

 

In this activity, we will be jogging your memory with comparing the content of 'Climbing My Grandfather' with the poems you best see fit out of the options you get given. 

 

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

 

Metaphors/ Similes

Familial love

Natural imagery

Peace

Childhood

Nostalgia

 

You can think of any other themes which you think Waterhouse 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 'Climbing My Grandfather' with?

 

 

Think about the theme of peace.

 

'Mother, Any Distance'

'Before You Were Mine'

'Follower'

'Winter Swans'

Which one poem from the cluster would you compare 'Climbing My Grandfather' with?

 

Think about the theme of familial love.

 

'When We Two Parted'

'Love's Philosophy'

'Before You Were Mine'

'Neutral Tones'

What two poems would you compare 'Climbing My Grandfather' with?

 

 

Think about nature

 

There are two right answers.

'Winter Swans'

'Before You Were Mine'

'Eden Rock'

'Porphyria's Lover'

'Mother Any Distance'

'Love's Philosophy'

What two poems would you compare 'Climbing My Grandfather' with?

 

Think about the way Waterhouse uses extended metaphor.

 

There are two right answers.

'Porphyria's Lover'

'Sonnet 29'

'Letters From Yorkshire'

'When We Two Parted'

'Love's Philosophy'

'Before You Were Mine'

What two poems would you compare 'Climbing My Grandfather' with?

 

Think about the way the close family relationship is conveyed.

 

There are two right answers.

'Singh Song!'

'The Farmer's Bride'

'Neutral Tones'

'Mother, Any Distance'

'Walking Away'

'Before You Were Mine'

Link the ideas in each poem which you think match up best with 'Climbing My Grandfather'

 

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

 'Sonnet 29''Walking Away''Before You Were Mine'
Metaphors
Familial love
Closeness/unity
Childhood
Extended metaphor

Link the ideas in each poem which you think matches up best with 'Climbing My Grandfather'.

 

HINT: tick one box each.

 Familial loveUnityPeaceChildhoodNatureDistance
'Winter Swans'
'Mother Any Distance'

Link 'Climbing My Grandfather' to two other poems in the cluster, which show the relationship between peace, love and connection.

 

 

 

 Familial loveUnityPeaceChildhoodNatureDistance
'Winter Swans'
'Mother Any Distance'

Pick the two options from below which you think best showcase how 'Singh Song!' and 'Climbing My Grandfather' 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.

 Familial loveUnityPeaceChildhoodNatureDistance
'Winter Swans'
'Mother Any Distance'

Last question! 

 

Tick the four poems that you think are the easiest to compare to 'Climbing My Grandfather'.

 

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

 

Think about familial love.

 

'When We Two Parted'

'Mother Any Distance'

'Porphyria's Lover'

'Walking Away'

'Love's Philosophy'

'Eden Rock'

'Neutral Tones'

'Before You Were Mine'

  • Question 1

What one poem from the cluster would you compare 'Climbing My Grandfather' with?

 

 

Think about the theme of peace.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
'Winter Swans'
EDDIE SAYS
Out of all the poems, 'Winter Swans' really conveys peace, especially at the end of the poem. It is a theme which develops and satisfies the reader, after conflict or adventure.
  • Question 2

Which one poem from the cluster would you compare 'Climbing My Grandfather' with?

 

Think about the theme of familial love.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
'Before You Were Mine'
EDDIE SAYS
Well done if you chose 'Before You Were Mine'. 'Before You Were Mine' is about the love between the speaker (who is confirmed to be Duffy) and her mother. How is this love presented in the two poems? Look at the way that relationships are defined, developed and established in the two poems.
  • Question 3

What two poems would you compare 'Climbing My Grandfather' with?

 

 

Think about nature

 

There are two right answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
'Winter Swans'
'Love's Philosophy'
EDDIE SAYS
Out of all the poems, 'Winter Swans' and 'Love's Philosophy' both use nature as a motif in their poems to convey the connection between romantic love and nature - through imagery, influence, similes, metaphors etc... How is 'Climbing My Grandfather' similar to the way these two poems convey nature? How is it different? Does the theme of nature develop or stay the same? How is nature (think about mountains and climbing and conquering) used to reflect and symbolise the emotional closeness between speaker and grandfather?
  • Question 4

What two poems would you compare 'Climbing My Grandfather' with?

 

Think about the way Waterhouse uses extended metaphor.

 

There are two right answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
'Sonnet 29'
'Love's Philosophy'
EDDIE SAYS
A bit of a tricky one! But, hopefully, after looking through all the poems in the cluster, you found that 'Sonnet 29' and 'Love's Philosophy' come the closest to 'Climbing My Grandfather' in terms of stretching/extending metaphors, and keeping a solid metaphorical motif in their poems.
  • Question 5

What two poems would you compare 'Climbing My Grandfather' with?

 

Think about the way the close family relationship is conveyed.

 

There are two right answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
'Walking Away'
'Before You Were Mine'
EDDIE SAYS
'Walking Away' and 'Before You Were Mine' portrays the close relationship between family, alongside 'Climbing My Grandfather'. Now, look at how this close relationship is presented in each poem - look at the way language and structure set up the dynamic of the relationship.
  • Question 6

Link the ideas in each poem which you think match up best with 'Climbing My Grandfather'

 

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

CORRECT ANSWER
 'Sonnet 29''Walking Away''Before You Were Mine'
Metaphors
Familial love
Closeness/unity
Childhood
Extended metaphor
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 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 'Climbing My Grandfather'.

 

HINT: tick one box each.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Familial loveUnityPeaceChildhoodNatureDistance
'Winter Swans'
'Mother Any Distance'
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 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 8

Link 'Climbing My Grandfather' to two other poems in the cluster, which show the relationship between peace, love and connection.

 

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
'Winter Swans' and 'Letters From Yorkshire' both illustrate this connection between peace, love and connectivity. How is this expressed? Jot down any language features which expresses peace, love or connection in each poem.
  • Question 9

Pick the two options from below which you think best showcase how 'Singh Song!' and 'Climbing My Grandfather' 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 are about a relationship, simple enough. But the way that the relationship is presented in both poems is also similar in that the speaker is attempting to get closer to the subject. In 'Singh Song!' the speaker, Mr Singh, does this by attempting to shirk his duties and spend time with his new bride. In 'Climbing' the speaker metaphorically 'climbs' his grandfather like he's a mountain, instilling this connection between physical and emotional closeness and conquering. However, both poems are also vastly different- 'Singh Song!' is obviously a lot more lighthearted, more rooted in reality (the realities of the speaker's shop-keeping duties, his cultural stereotypes always surrounding him and making him into a comical figure, even when he might not want to be that way - the long hours and expectations instilled on him by his 'daddy'). 'Climbing' is a lot more abstract and metaphorical and symbolic. There's a lot more to beinferred in 'Climbing', and we aren't told many details straight away. Instead, we must deduce and assume things about the poem which aren't handed to us on a plate.
  • Question 10

Last question! 

 

Tick the four poems that you think are the easiest to compare to 'Climbing My Grandfather'.

 

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

 

Think about familial love.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
'Mother Any Distance'
'Walking Away'
'Eden Rock'
'Before You Were Mine'
EDDIE SAYS
Simply put- 'Climbing' is a family-based poem and so it would make most sense to compare it to family-oriented poems. This doesn't mean you have to! Of course, you can compare 'Climbing' to any poem out of the cluster because all feature love/relationships. However, be cautious about which poems you choose and why (make sure you provide plenty of evidence to back up your claim!). Well done, that's another activity completed!
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