Past exam questions on Dickinson

‘The dramatic aspects of Dickinson’s poetry can both disturb and delight readers.’
To what extent do you agree or disagree with the above statement? Support your answer with reference to both the themes and language found in the poetry of Emily Dickinson on your course.

‘Emily Dickinson’s original approach to poetry results in startling and thought-provoking moments in her work.’
Give your response to the poetry of Emily Dickinson in the light of this statement. Support your points with suitable reference to the poems on your course.

What impact did the poetry of Emily Dickinson make on you as a reader?
Your answer should deal with the following:

  • Your overall sense of the personality of the poet
  • The poet’s use of language / imagery

Refer to the poems by Emily Dickinson that you have studied.

‘Emily Dickinson’s vision of death and immortality is wonderfully conveyed in verse of stark grandeur and intensity.’
Discuss this view, supporting your answer by quotation from or reference to the poems of Dickinson on your course.

'Hope is the thing with feathers'
‘Hope is the thing with feathers’

Vocabulary Vault: More Treasure

Read, read, read. There is no better way to improve your store of vocabulary. You can also improve by checking out what is revealed on the blog here.

This week there is a different challenge. Below is a list of three sentences, each with a word or two missing. A selection of words is provided for you to choose from and fill in the gaps correctly.The questions are taken from an SAT preparation website. In the comments, all you have to do is write the number of the sentence and beside each number write the letter of what you think is the correct choice. Good luck and use a dictionary or thesaurus if you need to!

As always, the challenge must be completed by Sunday noon. 🙂

1. Today Wegener’s theory is ____; however, he died an outsider treated with ____ by the scientific establishment.

A. unsupported – approval
B. dismissed – contempt
C. accepted – approbation
D. unchallenged – disdain
E. unrivalled – reverence

2. The revolution in art has not lost its steam; it ____ on as fiercely as ever.

A. trudges
B. meanders
C. edges
D. ambles
E. rages

3. Each occupation has its own ____ ; bankers, lawyers and computer professionals, for example, all use among themselves language which outsiders have difficulty following.

A. merits
B. disadvantages
C. rewards
D. jargon
E. problems

Vocabulary Vault: Gem 1

The VaultIt’s the first day when gems and treasures will be released right here (on the Blog) from the boundless Vocabulary Vault. Keep reading all around you to raise your standard and to facilitate your access to and interaction with words.

Today we’ll start with a word root. You will see a word root here and your task is to state the meaning of the root, the language of origin (if you know it) and most importantly as many words that contain that root in some shape or form. You can make your contribution by posting a comment below. You have until noon on Sunday to add your contribution. All comments will be published before class on Monday and we will look at everyone’s contributions in class. So put your verbal skills to the test and add as many words as you can that contain the root ‘rupt’. Good luck!rupt2

Poetry Aloud 2014

It’s time to start memorising and practising the effective recital of poetry. Here are the details of what’s required if you wish to enter this worthy and rewarding competition:

Two poems to be spoken by each student – one chosen by student from the prescribed anthologies and one poem prescribed for their category.


The Rattle Bag edited by Seamus Heaney & Ted Hughes (Faber & Faber, 1982)

Lifelines: Letters from Famous People About Their Favourite Poem edited by Niall McGonagle (any edition)

Something Beginning with P edited by Seamus Cashman (O’Brien Press) 


Junior: 1st and 2nd Years

Your chosen poem – not less than 14 lines (not more than 35-40)

Prescribed poem – TBC

Intermediate: 3rd and 4th Years

Your chosen poem – not less than 18 lines (not more than 35-40)

Prescribed poem – TBC

Senior: 5th and 6th Years

Your chosen poem – not less than 23 lines (not more than 35-40)

Prescribed poem – TBC


Regional Heats: End Oct (Venue to be confirmed – probably NLI)

Semi Finals: End November in NLI

Final: Early December in NLI


Winner from each category receives €300 and books for school library

Overall Winner receives a further €200 and the Seamus Heaney Perpetual Trophy

Runner up in each category will receive a book token


For more information and the latest 2014 competition details keep an eye on

Or see your English teacher 🙂