Youssef Abdul Samad (Author of So That the Poem Remains)
Remains by Simon Armitage
I empty myself of the names of others. I empty my pockets. I empty my shoes and leave them beside the road. At night I turn back the clocks; I open the family album and look at myself as a boy. What good does it do? The hours have done their job. I say my own name.
For this question, and all other unseen analysis questions, I think it's important to approach the analysis of the poem in a certain order. You should begin by establishing the bigger ideas, as your answer is likely to be confused and less logical if you try to pick out certain lines before you've grasped the basic ideas and structure of the poem. I would try to stick to the following order when approaching these types of questions:1 The basic ideas of the poem: is there a clear story? Is the poem more abstract? Who is speaking?
Revise and learn about Simon Armitage's poem, Remains with BBC Bitesize GCSE English Literature poetry resources.
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Simon Armitage, poet of Remains, was named...
Generally, I like to go into it unseen and usually like my pupils to do the same. These days, unless I find a poem particularly obscure or complex, or feel that it is essential that pupils know the context in advance, I prefer to discover a poem for myself and get my students to do the same. This also, obviously, helps develop skills for the unseen section. I will in good time but for now this is my take on this accessible, impressive and affecting poem…. The soldier and his colleagues shoot dead one of these looters; the speaker is left to reflect on the decision he has taken and deal with the psychological consequences of this action upon his return to civilian life.