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“Half Past Two,” and “Dear Mr Lee,”

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Essay The two poems "Half Past Two," and "Dear Mr Lee," are both written by U.A.Fanthorpe. They are both about school-life, one from a young child's point of view and the other from an older child's point of view. The titles of these two poems do not, at a first glance, give the reader the distinct impression that they are about school-life. The reader's first thought on the poem "Half Past Two," is probably that it is about a meeting. A first impression from "Dear Mr Lee" could be that it was a letter. Although both the ideas fit very well into the poems, it is hard to get a full impression of what is exactly going on in the poems. Both poems give quite negative impressions of school. "Half Past Two," mentioning that the child does not quite understand what is going on, and that the teacher has left him on his own "I forgot all about you." Fanthorpe makes the reader feel quite sympathetic towards the child as the poem implicates him feeling quite bewildered and worried. "He was too scared of being wicked...." This could perhaps make the reader have negative feelings towards school, once realising what a terrible time the boy was having. "Dear Mr Lee," gives strong, negative feelings towards the teacher, the teaching system, and school. ...read more.


It is also very clear that he has not written a plan before writing the letter as it takes him the whole poem to come to the point, and even then it is not precise. He very abruptly manages to change the subject without successfully finishing the first "I've got the next one ( book)....about Spain, and I asked mum about learning....the fiddle." He also seems to find a subject that interests him (negatively or positively) and will talk about that, even if it was not something he meant to talk about. "I used to hate English....as for Shakespeare....he's a national disaster." When really what he meant to say was "I used to hate English, but having read your book, I now love it." The student also begins the letter four times, showing that he does not find it easy to focus and finds himself getting sidetracked and distracted, making it impossible to get his point across. After reading the poem "Dear Mr Lee," the reader would probably have a feeling of speed, as if in a race. Because the poem is written in one sentence, it is quite easy to get lost in the poem and not to pause, as there are no allotted places in which to do so. ...read more.


At the end of "Half Past Two." The poet wants to make the reader feel quite relaxed. The ideas in the poem, of there being no time or not understanding it, make the poem lengthier and the use of long words. E.g. "chrysanthemums" lengthen the poem and make the reader take more time whilst reading. The poet also seems to want you to feel quite sorry for the boy, due to the fact that the teacher has forgotten him. Also because he has been left on his own for what seems like eternity without knowing how long he must stay. "Dear Mr Lee," at the end of the poem, would probably give the reader a feeling of bewilderment because of the structure of the poem and the ongoing speed, which is kept up. It would also give the reader quite a pleased feeling as, the student shows so much enthusiasm towards the book "Cider With Rosie" and even after failing his exam, he still manages to love the book without feeling angry that the exam was on his favourite book, and he failed. It is also possible, from another angle, to understand where the teacher is coming from. It would be very difficult to act differently towards the child when he finds him so hopeless in English. Even though he does not encourage him, he tries to push him towards the right direction. E.g. correct punctuation. ...read more.

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