Childhood in poetry
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Poetry Essay Childhood is a formative period in life, and memories from that time often affect adults in later years. Childhood memories leave a permanent mark upon one's heart. This is the case in U.A. Fanthorpe's "Half-Past Two", D.H. Lawrence's "Piano" and "My Parents kept me from Children who were rough" by Stephen Spender. All of these three poems are reminiscences of each poet's childhood. All poems follow a central theme of childhood and relations with adults. However, each poet tackles a more personal matter. There are variations in the themes and conflict that arouse in each poet's life. D.H. Lawrence's "Piano", deals with a theme of manhood and identity, and the insecurity his memories bring about. This is evident when he says, "Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast" This tells the reader how Lawrence is unable to reconcile the man and the child in him as he feels each one contradicts the other. He faces waves of emotions and tries to close the doors to his past in order to try and be a grown up man. In addition, a theme of security and blissful love flows through "Piano", as "hymns in the cosy parlour" create a pleasant image of comfort.
This is conveyed in the lines, "He was too scared of being wicked to remind her." This tells the reader that the poet resents not asking what time the teacher had meant towards the end of the poem, and hence resents his fear and suggests how the poet was submissive. A thoughtful and disappointed mood is hinted in the poem. Whereas, "Piano" carries a more musical and joyful tone, which is evident in the following line, "And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide" This tells us how a happy mood surrounded the situation, along with warmth and love. The words 'cosy' and 'tinkling', creates a very merry mood. However, towards the end a tone of regret and nostalgia can be found. On the other hand, Spender expresses a contrasting tone, such as one of jealousy and melancholy. An embarrassed and lonesome mood is further built up. This is apparent in the line, "And their jerking hands and their knees tight on my arm." Moreover, a tone of admiration can be detected. This line shows physical pain, however the poem also mentions emotional pain.
This creates a great image and emphasises just how cruel these boys are and how devastating it was for the poet. The alliteration in the poem, "climbing cliffs", explains how great a deal this activity was for the poet, as he was obliged to live a very restricted life. It tells us how important and meaningful such daring tasks were for the poet. Furthermore, the direct association to the title in the opening line creates a wonderful effect. It hints subtle accusation towards the poets parents, and how his controlled life was the cause of his bullied and lonely childhood. The poet "longed to forgive them", as he secretly wanted to fit in with them and feel like he belonged somewhere, however didn't have the chance. In conclusion, all three of these poems connote the importance of childhood years. The contrasting themes help emphasis how childhood years are a blend of several different situations, which leave great impacts on one's life. All three poets have been very successful in depicting their memory, that had the deepest effect on them; their style and imagery highlight just how significant these reminisces are. Overall, childhood is a period of happiness, remorse and a collection of various other feelings. ?? ?? ?? ?? MEGHNA HARJANI 10E
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