Poems of the Decade

Poems of the Decade is a collection of poems from the first decade of the 21st century, published by the Forward Poetry Foundation. A selection of 20 of these poems has been chosen by Edexcel for the Poetry paper of the A Level specification.

The selected poems cover a wide range of styles and subject matter, opening up plenty of material for discussion. It is often profitable to make connections between them, but in Edexcel Paper 3, students are asked to compare a previously unseen poem with one from Poems of the Decade.

The list of poems set for study appears below. Follow the links for discussion of individual poems.

Please note that the list of poems for the examination in 2022 has been reduced in order to mitigate for teaching and learning time lost during the pandemic. Those which remain set for 2022 are listed with * below.

Eat Me Patience Agbabi *

Chainsaw Versus the Pampas Grass Simon Armitage

Material Ros Barber

History John Burnside *

An Easy Passage Julia Copus *

The Deliverer Tishani Doshi

The Lammas Hireling Ian Duhig *

To My Nine-Year-Old Self Helen Dunmore *

A Minor Role UA Fanthorpe

The Gun Vicki Feaver *

The Furthest Distances I’ve Travelled Leontia Flynn

Giuseppe Roderick Ford

Out of the Bag Seamus Heaney

Effects Alan Jenkins

Genetics Sinéad Morrissey *

From the Journal of a Disappointed Man Andrew Motion *

Look We Have Coming to Dover! Daljit Nagra

Please Hold Ciaran O’Driscoll *

On Her Blindness Adam Thorpe

Ode on a Grayson Perry Urn Tim Turnbull *