English Literature GCSE: Ciaran Carson on his poem 'Belfast Confetti'

Hip-hop star Akala explores the poem 'Belfast Confetti' with its author Ciaran Carson.

They discuss how the poem uses language to express the poet’s experience of conflict and identity during the Troubles.

Young poets break down the language of the poem, while Akala investigates the historical backdrop of the text and what it can tell us about the present.

This clip is from the series Poetry: Between the Lines.

Teacher Notes

After watching the clip, you could discuss with your class how the poet presents the effects of conflict in Belfast Confetti.

You could look at how the form of the poem shows how life has become chaotic.

You could examine the use of metaphor and verbal imagery, discussing how it is both strange and confusing, for example the lists of hard, ugly objects and reference to street names.

It can be used to explore the theme of conflict in poetry, to illustrate the poetic work of Ciaran Carson and to teach analysis of poetic technique and form and to explore the historical backdrop of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

It can be used to encourage fluency with critical terminology and language, to highlight context and biography in literature, to encourage students to develop their own interpretations of poems they have read and to encourage viewers to explore and develop their own taste in poetry.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching English Literature.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC KS4/GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 in Scotland.