3 articles

Commenting on a poem : example

Par YANNICK GUILLETPublié le 11 avr. 2012 à 11:33 ♦ Mis à jour le 06 mars 2013 à 11:32

Here is a commentary by a native speaker from one of the Terminales. We are grateful she has kindly accepted to lend her work for you to take as an example both for the structure of her commentary and the quality of her spoken English.

Enjoy !

Commentary on Ted hughes's poem The Thought Fox


Par YANNICK GUILLETPublié le 07 mars 2012 à 08:09 ♦ Mis à jour le 07 mars 2012 à 16:48

How you must work

Be confident !

Do not lose precious time trying to find explanations on the net !! 

You cannot make mistakes when you study a poem !  

Listen to the voice of the poet and analyse with your own knowledge, comment with your own reactions and feelings. Your teacher and classmates will provide for additionnal views if needed.

THINK by yourself to express your own SELF.

That's the only thing you are asked for...

This book is not only a collection of poems !! It is in fact a series of essays, targeting teachers and children, on how to write and why writing, poems or stories. That's why, you can study the book as you would 'articles' and take the five-step worksheet used for the unknown document.


introduction/summary/commentary/main themes/personal opinion

However, the poet gives examples to illustrate what he says : so you'll also have to study poems alongside the essays.

download the METHODOLOGY File  and never work without it !


You must PREPARE YOUR POEM ALONE (= Homework preparation!),  because the most important is how YOU (and you alone) understand/feel about the lines. Then only, can you listen to your friends’ commentaries : use another colour to complete your own preparation in class.

download Worksheet for preparation 


Understanding a literary notion (in French)

Looking for an unknown word in the dictionary (in English)


Rappel des modalités de l'épreuve:

Il est rappelé que la première partie de l'épreuve (10') comprend le compte rendu, par le candidat, d'un des passages les plus significatifs de l'œuvre complète étudiée et un échange, entre l'examinateur et le candidat, portant sur l'ensemble de cette œuvre. Pour cela, le candidat présente une liste d'extraits représentant un volume global d'environ vingt pages.
La seconde partie de l'épreuve (10') est un entretien prenant appui sur un document non étudié en classe.

Donc à la fin de l'étude, pour le Bac, vous devrez avoir lu toute l'oeuvre pour être capable d'en parler de façon globale, même si  en classe nous n'étudions de façon approfondie que certains passages.

Il vous est vivement recommandé de suivre le plan d'étude (schedule) prévu par l'enseignante même (surtout!) en cas d'absence de votre part.


Par YANNICK GUILLETPublié le 07 mars 2012 à 08:18 ♦ Mis à jour le 07 mars 2012 à 08:19

You don't 'explain' Poetry -

"Poetry is the voice of spirit and imagination and all that is potential, as well as of the healing benevolence that used to be the privilege of the gods"  Ted Hughes


Here is the list of pages you'll have to present to the examiner for the 'BAC'.

The Introductions to Chapters are studied only as regards the study of poems within these Chapters. You can find Notes to understand Introductions in each chapter concerned.

The Chapters which do not belong to the list will nevertheless be studied in class, for you to be able to refer to them if needed.

(cf Homework Schedule and BAC list : downloadable file).

  • Introduction (3 pages)


  • Chapter 1 Introduction (4 pages)
  • Thought-Fox (2 pages)
  • Pike (2 pages)


  • Chapter 2 Introduction (2 pages)
  • Wind (1 page)
  • The Storm (1 page) 


  • Chapter 5 Introduction  (3 pages)
  • The Sea  (1 page)
  • Wuthering Heights (1 page)


  • Chapter 3 Introduction (3 pages)
  • Behaviour of Fish in an Egyptian Tea Garden (1 page)
  • Mr Bleaney  + conclusion (1 page)


  • Chapter 8 Introduction (2 pages)
  • My Brother Bert (1 page)
  • Nessie (1 page)


  • Chapter 9 Introduction (1 page)
  • Snail of the Moon (1 page)
  • Moon Man-Hunt (1 page)


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