#FocusonExams Literature in English GCE’O’Level – 16th May 2020


Definition: Poetry is a literary genre that lays emphasizes strong emotions, rhymes, rhythms and other intricate patterns of sounds. William Wordsworth  defines poetry as, “ A spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions recollected in tranquility.”

  • The content (answer the Wh questions: what, who, where, when).
  • Form( structure and type)
  • Stylistic devices( broadly divided into sense and sound devices). Sense devices include metaphor, simile, euphemism, metonymy, oxymoron, paradox, sarcasm, e.t.c. Sound devices, which are meant for musicality are pun, onomatopoeia, alliteration, and assonance.
  • Diction( Are the words modern or archaic, complex or simple, denotative or connotative, etc?
  • Poet’s attitude.



  • Essay Questions.
  1. Give a detailed account of ‘ The Monument’ by Alobwede Eppie and comment on the poet’s use of sarcasm and irony.
  2. Give a detailed account of ‘ My Woman Is A Tiger’ by Bole Butake and comment on the poet’s attitude vis-à-vis the subject matter.
  3. Give brief accounts of ‘ The Buggle Call’ and ‘ The weaver birds’ and bring out their similarities.
  4. Give brief accounts of ‘ My Woman is a Tiger’ and ‘ Song of Sorrow’ bringing out their similar and dissimilar features.
  5. Give a detailed account of ‘ Lament of A mother and say what you like or dislike about the poem.



Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow.

His tongue darted in and out

like a chameleon’s

snatching a confetti of flies.


O child,  your stomach is a den of lions

roaring day and night.

  1. State the title of this poem and the name of its author.. (2marks) – ‘ The Face of Hunger’ by Oswald  Mbuyiseni Mtshali.
  2. Identify two instances of the figurative use of language and comment on their effectiveness.(6marks)
  3. Give an account of the first part of this poem. (6marks)
  4. Give the meanings of the following word and expression as used in the poem. (4marks)
  • darted
  • confetti of flies.


  1. Comment on the poet’s attitude towards the subject matter.(5marks)
  2. Transform the following expression into the simple present tense.(2marks)


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