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CBSE Class-XI Poetry Syllabus (English Core)

In the 2021-22 academic session, the final examination will comprise a fair number of questions from the Literature section. In their English Core syllabus, CBSE has said to give 37.5% weightage on this section in the final paper. It amounts to a total of 30 marks which is more than the marks allotted to the Reading Comprehension and Creative Writing Skills and Grammar sections. For further details, refer to the CBSE Class-XI English Core Syllabus (2021-22).

CBSE Class-XI Poetry Syllabus

For the academic year 2021-22, students have to read five poems from the prescribed textbook Hornbill.

  1. A Photograph by Shirley Toulson
  2. The Laburnum Top by Ted Hughes
  3. The Voice of the Rain by Walt Whitman
  4. Childhood by Markus Natten
  5. Father to Son by Elizabeth Jennings

You can find the analyses of all the poems here. We have prepared guides to help you understand the text in a simple way. Each guide includes a Summary, Line-by-Line Analysis, Themes, Poetic Devices, and more from the poem.

Questions to be asked from Poetry


There will be two poetry extracts from Hornbill. Each extract will consist of three Multiple Choice Questions and students have to attempt only one set of MCQs A total of 3 marks will be awarded in this section.

Six MCQs will be asked from Prose and Poetry sections. Out of which students have to answer five questions. A total of 5 marks will be awarded in this section.


There will be one Short Answer Type question to be asked from the poems in the book Hornbill. Students have to answer this question in 30-40 words. The SAQ carries 2 marks. 


Out of two Long Answer Type questions, students have to answer only one question that carries 5 marks. The questions will be asked from the Prose or Poetry section of Hornbill. 


The poetry extract is followed by three MCQs. If all the answers are correct, students can score 3 marks. Then moving to the next MCQs section, if there are more or less three questions from poetry, they can fetch another 3 marks.

The SAQ from poetry carries 2 marks and the LAQ carries 5 marks. So, a total of 16 marks will be asked solely from the poetry section. If you prepare well, you can grab 16 out of 16 easily. It means the poetry section can fetch you more than 50% marks in the examination!

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