AQA Anthology

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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,[1] 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[edit]

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[edit]

Cluster 2[edit]


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".[2] After removing "Education for Leisure" from the anthology, the exam board was accused of censorship.[3]

English Literature: Poetry[edit]

Seamus Heaney[edit]

Gillian Clarke[edit]

Carol Ann Duffy[edit]

Simon Armitage[edit]

  • 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[edit]

English Literature: Prose[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^

External links[edit]