INTRODUCTION

This schoolbag collection of poems is suitable for younger students and the Key Stage 3 curriculum. There is a brief introduction to each poem and comprehension exercises for you to complete. If you want to learn more about the rhythm and structure of poetry, including language and imagery, this anthology will introduce you to the most important concepts.

LOVE

Love is one of poetry's most popular and enduring themes. Each poem in this selection explores the speakers’ intense feelings towards someone they love.

SOCIETY

Poetry has always been a great way to expose injustice and call for change. It can give a voice to anyone who has been forced to remain silent and the messages in the following poems still resonate today.

THE HIGHWAYMAN

Written by Alfred Noyes, “The Highwayman” tells the story of the doomed love between the unnamed thief and the dark-haired Bess. Betrayed by a jealous worker, the King’s men wait at the inn to arrest the highwayman, but Bess sacrifices her life to warn him of the danger. The highwayman dies in a bloody attempt to avenge her death.

NATURE

We are all on a journey of self-discovery. The following poems look to nature for answers and analogies about our world and identity.

THE THEME OF FAMILY

Inspiration for poetry can often be found close to home.

ANNOTATING POETRY

Annotating poetry is an important skill you need to learn if you want to succeed in English Literature. It will help you remain firmly focused on the writer’s use of language devices and poetic techniques. This guide, which can be found in our Essay Skills section, will develop your ability to engage closely with a poem.