Punishment & A Poison Tree

In this 45 minute recording we offer an overview of the GCSE exam format for the poetry question in OCR Literature and then focus on two poems in the anthology. The first, 'Punishment' by Seamus Heaney, presents a complex portrait of a narrator struggling to come to terms with his reaction to the Troubles in Northern Ireland as well as the strong feelings provoked by one of the 'bog bodies' discovered in the 1950s in Ireland.

We then go on to compare Heaney's text to the late 18th century poem 'A Poison Tree' by William Blake. In contrast it is a seemingly simple portrayal of wrath and revenge but, in poetry nothing is as simple as it seems...