Trisha Shetty (Editor)

AQA Anthology

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AQA Anthology

The AQA Anthology is a collection of poems and short texts which are studied in English schools for GCSE English and English Literature, produced by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (the AQA). The anthology is split into several sections covering poems from other cultures, the poetry of Seamus Heaney, Gillian Clarke, Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage, and a bank of pre-1914 poems. There is also a section of prose pieces, which may be studied in schools that have chosen not to study a separate set text.


English: Poems from Other Cultures

GCSE English students study all of the poems in either cluster and answer a question on them in Section A of Paper 2.

Cluster 1

  • Edward Kamau Brathwaite: "Limbo"
  • Tatamkhulu Afrika: "Nothing's Changed"
  • Grace Nichols: "Island Man"
  • Imtiaz Dharker: "Blessing"
  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti: "Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People In A Mercedes"
  • Nissim Ezekiel: "Night of the Scorpion"
  • Chinua Achebe: "Vultures"
  • Denise Levertov: "What Were They Like?"
  • Cluster 2

  • Sujata Bhatt: "Search for My Tongue"
  • Tom Leonard: "Unrelated Incidents"
  • John Agard: "Half Caste"
  • Derek Walcott: "Love After Love"
  • Imtiaz Dharker: "This Room"
  • Niyi Osundare: "Not My Business"
  • Moniza Alvi: "Presents from my 'Aunts' in Pakistan"
  • Grace Nichols: "Hurricane Hits England"
  • Criticism

    In 2005, Andrew Cunningham, an English teacher at Charterhouse School complained in the Telegraph that the inclusion of the poems represented an "obsession with multi-culturalism". After removing "Education for Leisure" from the anthology, the exam board was accused of censorship.

    Seamus Heaney

  • "Storm on the Island"
  • "Perch"
  • "Blackberry-Picking"
  • "Death of a Naturalist"
  • "Digging"
  • "Mid-Term Break"
  • "Follower"
  • "At a Potato Digging"
  • Gillian Clarke

  • "Catrin"
  • "Baby-sitting"
  • "Mali"
  • "A Difficult Birth, Easter 1998"
  • "The Field Mouse"
  • "October"
  • "On The Train"
  • "Cold Knap Lake"
  • Carol Ann Duffy

  • "Havisham"
  • "Elvis's Twin Sister"
  • "Anne Hathaway"
  • "Salome"
  • "We Remember Your Childhood Well"
  • "Before You Were Mine"
  • "Education for Leisure" - removed from Anthology
  • "Stealing"- from 2010 onwards
  • Simon Armitage

  • from Book of Matches', “Mother, any distance greater than a single span”
  • from Book of Matches, “My father thought it...”
  • "Homecoming"
  • "November"
  • "Kid"
  • from Book of Matches, “Those bastards in their mansions”
  • from Book of Matches, “I've made out a will; I'm leaving myself”
  • "Hitcher"
  • Pre-1914 Poetry Bank

  • Ben Jonson: "On My First Sonne"
  • William Butler Yeats: "The Song of the Old Mother"
  • William Wordsworth: "The Affliction of Margaret"
  • William Blake: "The Little Boy Lost" and "The Little Boy Found"
  • Charles Tichborne: "Tichborne's Elegy"
  • Thomas Hardy: "The Man He Killed"
  • Walt Whitman: "Patrolling Barnegat"
  • William Shakespeare: Sonnet 130 - "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun"
  • Robert Browning: "My Last Duchess"
  • Robert Browning: "The Laboratory"
  • Alfred Tennyson: "Ulysses"
  • Oliver Goldsmith: "The Village Schoolmaster"
  • Alfred Tennyson: "The Eagle"
  • John Clare: Sonnet - “I love to see the summer...”
  • Percy Shelley: Ozymandias
  • English Literature: Prose

  • Doris Lessing: "Flight"
  • Sylvia Plath: "Superman and Paula Brown's New Snowsuit"
  • Michèle Roberts: "Your Shoes"
  • Joyce Cary: "Growing Up"
  • Ernest Hemingway: "The End of Something"
  • Graham Swift: "Chemistry"
  • Leslie Norris: "Snowdrops"
  • References

    AQA Anthology Wikipedia