You will find discussions and activities on 10 of the poems from the prescribed list in Tutorial

Letter 501 on pages 5-51. You should read the discussions and work through these activities

before attempting the activities in this tutorial letter. The activities for the remaining 10 poems

appear in this tutorial letter. Please work through these activities to guide you in studying these

poems in preparation for the examination.


The questions below and the activities in Tutorial Letter 501 should be considered points of

departure for your readings of the poems.

While some of the questions that appear in assignments and exams might resemble some of

the questions and concerns set out below, others might not. In other words, you should be able

to engage in your own critical analysis of each poem. The study of poetry cannot be rushed and

you should be prepared, in some instances, to spend a number of hours working through a

single poem.

Remember to read the section entitled ‘Analysing poetry’ that appears at the beginning of

Seasons Come to Pass (pages 11-29). You should pay particular attention to the ways of

reading poetry that are evidenced on pages 24 and 27 of the anthology.

2.1 ‘Stop All the Clocks’ by W.H. Auden

Read through ‘Stop All the Clocks’ by W.H. Auden on page 169 of Seasons Come to Pass, and

then read through the supporting notes provided below the poem. If you find words and

concepts that you are unfamiliar with, consult a dictionary and Introduction to English Literary


1. The first two stanzas of this poem present as images of mourning. How does this set the

tone of the poem?

2. Analyse the rhyme scheme of the poem. What effect does this have on how we read the

poem? (For the second part of this question, you might want to look specifically at the

third stanza, and how the rhythm and rhyme achieve a particular effect in line 12).



3. The poem explores the intensity and immensity of love, but it seems to be about the very

absence of love. In a brief analysis of the images that appear in the final stanza, explain

how the use of hyperbole develops and emphasises this absence. (Another word for

hyperbole is exaggeration.)

4. Consult a dictionary to find the meaning of the word ‘elegy’. Then, utilise your answers to

questions 1-3 to write a short essay about why ‘Stop All the Clocks’ can be considered an

example of an elegiac poem.

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