Cranes: Poetry and William Cullen Bryant

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Paper 1 Sample Essays
Posted on October 18, 2012 by tonyapaul

Please read the Paper 1 Sample Texts before you read this post. Then try to write your own analysis and compare it to the following HL samples.

Paper 1 HL Sample 1.1 (birds)

In this comparative commentary, Cranes by Jennifer Ackerman and To a Waterfowl by William Cullen Bryant will be compared and contrasted. Even though one is a scientific, informative article, and the other one is a descriptive poem, they still have a common theme, cranes and their migration.
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The message of Text 2 is also built on the premise that nature is important. The poet asks the crane why it pursues its solitary ways (line 4). Eventually he claims that the bird’s purpose is to guide him on his lonely path in life, as stated in the final stanza: “He who, from zone to zone, / Guides through the boundless sky they certain flight, / In the long way that I must tread alone, / Will lead my steps aright.” Its message is very characteristic of Romantic poetry: We can learn how to live through observing nature. As in Text 1, the premise that we must preserve nature and look to it for inspiration is never questioned but affirmed.
As the texts have a common theme, there are also similarities in their use of tone and mood. As Text 1 aims to engage readers with the fate of the whooping cranes in North America, it uses diction that is descriptive. The narrator seems to be hiding in the reeds or ‘emerald green grasses’ (line 3). This colorful choice of words indicates that she is enthralled by the natural elements around her. Words like ‘snow-white plumage’ and ‘elegant black wingtips that spread like fingertips’ are rather poetic and sketch an image in the reader’s mind that is quite romantic, rural and rustic. The effect of this descriptive language on the reader is both intriguing and sympathetic. As the interviewee
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