Saturday, 22 August 2015

Sample answers to essay questions

SPM 2014 question:

Explain what the persona tells us about ageing in the poem Crabbed age and youth cannot live together by William Shakespeare.   [8 marks]

Shakespeare reveals that the persona in his poem, Crabbed age and youth cannot live together yearns to be young again as he 'abhors' being old for various reasons. Firstly, the persona views ageing as the stage in life where one needs to be looked after instead of being able to indulge in “pleasure” like in his youth. This suggests that the speaker thinks of ageing as burdensome because it is “full of care”.

In addition, ageing can be likened to winter, according to the persona because it is full of suffering like one would experience in the cold of winter. Another interpretation is that it is lonely as there are few who would keep the aged company,  just as in winter when people leave for warmer places. This is further emphasised when growing old is likened to ‘winter bare” as well suggesting that the late stage of life is desolate as it is devoid of happiness.

Throughout the poem, the persona points out that ageing is the opposite to being young. When he tells that “age’s breath is short”, it is contrasted against “Youth [which] is full of sport” meaning that physical exertion will be a challenge as one ages and makes one short of breath. The description of “age’s breath [as being] short' also suggests that his life is nearing its end, lending a morbid tone to the words.

Furthermore, line 6 reveals  that instead of being "nimble", in growing old, one would be 'lame" as the legs will no longer be able to provide the support needed to walk properly. He also tells that ageing makes him frail and afraid because instead of being "hot and bold", he is "weak and cold". No longer is the persona "wild" as in his youth but has now become a "tame" version which he views with disdain.

Finally, when the persona tries to defy age with his statement that "[his] love is young", it implies his view of age as merely a physical affliction because he still feels young inside. This explains why he tells the 'shepherd' to go away even though the time for him to depart is near; only his body grows old  as the heart still feels the thrill of life itself.

Sunday, 8 March 2015



Villasha Anbalagan - Sri Kuala Lumpur: A+
Ebony Pharamond - SMK Damansara Jaya: A
Amani Fadzlina Abdul Aziz - SMK USJ 13: A-
Wan Hay-Ley - Beaconhouse: A-
Mira Ashvini - Sri Kuala Lumpur: B+
Wong Yu Hao - Tsun Jin High School: B

Sunday, 18 January 2015

NEW! 7th Cycle of Texts for SPM 2016.

The new cycle applies to students sitting for SPM in 2016 and later.

Go to for more information on the 7th cycle texts.

POEMS: from Poems Then And Now by Fiona Waters
Theme: Lessons in Life
1.  Scattering the Ashes - Andrew Fusek Peters
2.  Remember- Christina Rosetti
3.  A Little Learning - Alexander Pope
4.  If - Rudyard Kipling 
5.  Half-Term -  U A Fanthorpe
6.  London - William Blake
Theme: Nature
7.  The Tyger - William Blake
8.  Mooses - Ted Hughes
9.  To Autumn - John Keats
10. Winter - Andrew Young 
11. Daffodils - William Wordsworth
12. Address to a Child During a Boisterous Winter Evening - Dorothy Wordsworth
Theme: People
13. The Passionate Shepherd to His Love - Christopher Marlowe
14. Best Bone - Paul Hyland
15. When You Are Old - WB Yeats
16. The Little Black Boy - William Blake
17. Field of Vision - Seamus Heaney
18. Miners - Wilfred Owen


-The Clay Marble by Minfong Ho
-The Lost King by Scot Gardner

-The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
-The Play of FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON (by Daniel Keyes) adapted by Bert Coules
-Hope Springs by Richard Conlon

Anthology of Short Stories - Form 4 & 5

- Embracing Your Shadow by Chua Kok Yee
- Thieving Daughter by Chua Kok Yee
- Sambal Without Anchovies by Chua Kok Yee
- Turning Thirty by Minfong Ho
- Birds of Paradise by Minfong Ho
- The Winter Hibiscus by Minfong Ho

Thursday, 20 March 2014



Asia Pacific Smart School
Alishya  A
Arif      A
Izzat    A+
Shani   A-

SMK Damansara Jaya
Yen Ni  A

SMK Aminuddin Baki
Wan Aiman  A

Sri Kuala Lumpur School
Jinghann   A

SMK Methodist
Jason Lin   A+

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Classes For SPM 2015 Students

The classes for SPM 2015  have commenced. Anyone interested to join can send a request via email. All classes are held in Petaling Jaya and numbers are limited to four students per group. Students from out of town can opt for online sessions via Skype.

Wed  4.30pm - 6.30pm
Sat    8.30am - 10.30am
Sat    10.30am - 12.30pm (full)

The texts taught in these classes are:
NOVEL:  Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
DRAMA: The Lion and The Jewel by Wole Soyinka, An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley
SHORT STORIES: All five stories from the prescribed list.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Guides to studying some of the poems

Click on the title to read the BBC guide to studying WILFRED OWEN's Dulce et Decorum Est

Read what this blogger has posted on STANLEY KUNITZ's poem, The War Against the Trees.

Andrew Moore provides a detailed study of THOMAS HARDY's poem The Man He Killed

Read the sample essay on ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING's poem How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count The Ways in this blog.