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John Keats HL 2009

Here’s a look at how to handle a Keats poetry exam question. You can see a model introduction and then some broad tips on how to plan the essay. A plan is just the bones – some flesh will be added in the next day or two. LC HL 2009 Keats presents abstract ideas in […]


Some audio resources to help with revision

Connemara Community Radio Station has some excellent podcasts that will help you along with your revision. Be sure to listen with a pen and paper at the ready to write down all useful points of information. The series is designed with Leaving Cert students in mind – you are sure to find something that will […]


Analysing the paper

Some students gain comfort from analysing the poets that have come up in the past. Here is a quick overview of the last few years: 2015 John Montague Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin Robert Frost Thomas Hardy 2014 W.B. Yeats Emily Dickinson Philip Larkin Sylvia Plath 2013 Elizabeth Bishop Gerard Manley Hopkins Derek Mahon Sylvia Plath 2012 […]


Past exam questions on Philip Larkin

2014 ‘Larkin is a perceptive observer of the realities of ordinary life in poems that are sometimes illuminated by images of lyrical beauty.’ 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 Philip Larkin on your […]


Questions on Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Eiléan Ní Chilleanáin is a relatively new poet on the course and has only appeared once on the Leaving Certificate exam so far. What a lovely question about this wonderful poet! 2015 ‘Ní Chuilleanáin’s demanding subject matter and formidable style can prove challenging.’ ‘Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with reference to the poetry of […]


Past exam questions on Dickinson

2014 ‘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. 2011 ‘Emily Dickinson’s original approach to poetry results in […]


Two Approaches to Answering Poetry: Yeats 2010

When answering a Leaving Certificate Poetry question, the key is to answer the question. That might seem obvious but not every stays on task throughout the whole answer. The question must be responded to from the outset, so engagement with the task from the introduction, through the main body and right into the conclusion. Take […]


Past exam questions on Bishop

2016 ‘Bishop uses highly detailed observation, of people, places and events, to explore unique personal experiences in her poetry.’ Discuss this statement, supporting your answer with reference to the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop on your course. 2013 ‘Bishop’s carefully judged use of language aids the reader to uncover the intensity of feeling in her poetry.’ […]


Notes written by Justus Baier on ‘The Prodigal’

Justus Baier from 5th year, one of our overseas students, has written an excellent set of notes on Elizabeth Bishop’s poem ‘The Prodigal’. He has kindly allowed them to be shared here on the blog.   Some more students from 5A3 have agreed to publish their notes here too and we look forward to reading […]