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Form and uses of language
Form and uses of language

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2 Using language in poetry and prose

2.1 Using poetry: exercise

Exercise 3

We have seen that writers make different choices of words, and ways of using them, according to why they are writing – and to whom. People often like to use poetry, or ‘poetic language’, when they are writing in commemoration of someone or something. We will now consider this point.

Note down any further reasons why you think writers might consider poetry particularly suitable for memorials.


People often consider poetry a suitable form for making a public statement of feelings. It may be because a poem can seem more complete than a prose statement. Some people might see a poem – perhaps ‘tied up’ with rhymes – as a neat verse package, like a gift: others may associate poetry with a sense of occasion. Or perhaps people find it easier to use poetry as a vehicle for conveying feelings. Feelings are difficult to pin down, but in poetry you can suggest meanings more subtly and obliquely than you can in the plain statements we associate with prose.