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Going away and returning by Raymond Wilson and First visit to the seaside by Phoebe Hesketh share as a central theme a day trip to the seaside.

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Introduction

'Going away and returning' and 'First visit to the Seaside' 'Going away and returning' by Raymond Wilson and 'First visit to the seaside' by Phoebe Hesketh share as a central theme a day trip to the seaside. They create vivid images and recollections as we remember our own visits to the sea, but are used within the poems in different ways. The title 'First visit to the Seaside' immediately tells you what the poem will be about. The fact that it is the 'first visit' of the author to the seaside shows that the poet is recounting childhood memories, and as such the poem takes on a child-like quality in its portrayal of the innocent beauty of the first visit to the sea. This contrasts with the far more cryptic title 'Going away and returning', which is a far more forbidding, less cheerful hint at a theme of travel. ...read more.

Middle

This helps draw the reader into the poem, experiencing everything as Wilson did, all the sights and sounds. The sense of wonder conveyed by the sights and sounds reflects a feeling of vibrancy about the bay and town, which are in all probability a stark contrast to his usual habitation, perhaps a 'slum street' as alluded to - 'sand-dunes where slum streets...should be'. 'Going away and returning' however, shows rather less positivity in its assessment of what can be an amazing experience. The colours are limited to 'white' and 'grey'. Waves are 'slopping', a listless sound which one could almost imagine as being onomatopoeic. In contrast to 'First visit to the seaside', explored through the eyes of a child, 'Going away and returning' has a distinctly adult tone; no child is cynical or world-weary enough to write a somewhat depressing and hard-edged poem on a seaside visit! ...read more.

Conclusion

The line suggests their futility, and is a metaphor for Hesketh's view of the people: how pointless their lives and activities are, equally as futile as a sandcastle, and will be washed away... this mood and idea is reinforced by the final passage of the poem, in which a return home is shown. The day away has changed nothing; the 'letter unanswered on the fridge' is still there, the 'dead flowers' are in the 'same vase'. A contrast to the end of 'First visit to the Seaside', where even leaving is comparatively happy. The final image is of lights on both the prom and pier glowing 'dimly' in the night, as they recede into the distance, with stars 'winking' and 'glimmering', a final piece of magic as the day draws to a close. While I enjoyed both poems, I much preferred the vibrant, cheerful and vivid impression Wilson creates of his first visit to the seaside. ...read more.

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