Well done on completing the work, tasks and videos on the Oakes Future page. This really shows your commitment to the course and we are excited to be working with you more in September. This next page will be updated with different tasks to help develop your skills further. It gives you the opportunity to delve into content from the course and get you ready to start in the new term. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions but use this page to strengthen your knowledge and interest in English.

Writing a Poem in Response to a Poem

A fun and useful way to get inside a poem is to write your own poem in response to it. The EMC’s emagazine is a resource we often use at A-level in English to support your further reading and critical awareness of the texts studied. The EMC have also run competitions for students to write creative and critical commentaries, with many of these being published in their magazine editions. Below are some of the guidelines produced by the EMC emagazine to guide you through creating one of these commentaries of your own in the form of a poem. Also included are examples from the emagazine of entries and winners from a competition they supported in previous years. Please use these examples and follow the bullet point steps they outline below to have a go at your own creative and poetic commentary. This is fantastic preparation for your poetry units at A-level as you are guided to think deeply about the poem and respond critically. Enjoy something a little bit different!

  • Read the poem, poetic response and commentary in the resources included with this task. Reflect on the different ways, the student responded to the poems they read. What do their commentaries reveal about what they have learned?


  • Now it is over to you. Begin by choosing the poem you’d like to respond to. It might be a poem you know well, a poem you like but feel you never really got to grips with, a poem on a subject you are interested in , a poem with a form that intrigues you. The choice is really up to you and you can always have a go at a different approach on another day.


  • Read the poem several times- including out loud. Leave it to one side, let it live in your head, come back and read it again after you have mulled it over a bit.


  • Write your poem in response. If you need to, try several different ways of writing it. Experiment with it, changing the line breaks, or the images. Read it out loud. Record it and listen back to it – what do you notice when you hear it rather than see it?


  • When you are satisfied with your poetic response read both poems. (The original and your creation)


  • Write a short critical commentary on the two poems, along the lines of the examples you read.


Optional extra: Create a visual and audio presentation of the two poems- the original and your response. Use your critical commentary as the starting point for a short introduction to the two poems.