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Compare the poems "Long distance" and "My Grandmother."

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Poetry Coursework Compare the poems "Long distance" and "My Grandmother." What impressions do the two poets give of the main characters in their poems? "Long distance" and "My Grandmother" are poems that explore the feelings and emotions of the main characters as a consequence of someone they knew dying. "Long distance" written by Tony Harrison describes the affect of death of a mother on the father. "My Grandmother" explores the relationship between the grandmother and speaker, focusing on the feelings between the grandmother and the speaker. Both these poems are interesting from the fact that the main characters can only be distinguished from personal perception. Consequently, the poets portray different impressions of the main characters. Initially, it can be argued that the main characters of the two poems, are the son and granddaughter from "Long distance" and "My Grandmother" respectively. The basis for this perception is that Tony Harrison utilised his poems to explore his working class childhood and family life. Also, Elizabeth Jennings exercised her poems to reflect the difficult personal experiences in her life. However, it can also be argued that the main characters of the two poems are the father and grandmother from "Long distance" and "My Grandmother" respectively. ...read more.


In the same way, in "Long distance" the father could not risk his sons "blight of disbelief," this signifies that the father became absorbed in preserving his wife's memories, unable to move on. In an analytical sense, this illustrates that the main characters both had obsessions that absorbed their lives, perhaps creating sympathy in the reader for them. Also, it appears that the grandmother and father do not need human company, as they attempt to preserve what is dear to them. This paints a desolate image of them to the reader, Furthermore, both the grandmother and father seem to be vulnerable at some point. In "My Grandmother" the grandmother becomes "too frail to keep a shop," this illustrates her susceptibility as she can no longer maintain her beloved possessions. Similarly, in "Long distance" could not risk the son's "blight of disbelief," this illustrates that the father's feelings were vulnerable and he does not want his son to shatter his hopes, ending his grief. Thus, the main characters draw sympathy from the reader due to their vulnerability, also making the reader more susceptible to the deaths in the poems. Additionally, the main characters experience loss in both poems that affect them emotionally. ...read more.


The word "knew" is written in italic and the sentence is almost sarcastic. This portrays the son's disapproval towards the father denial. Similarly, in "My Grandmother" the granddaughter "once refused to go out" with the grandmother and the grandmother's "wish was not to be used like antique objects." This shows that the granddaughter rejected the grandmother, because she disapproved of the way the grandmother treated everything a on a superficial level, like the antiques. The impression created of the son is that he could be inconsiderate towards his father feelings. The impression that is associated with the granddaughter is that she was "afraid," arousing sympathy and consideration in the reader. In conclusion, both poems follow individuals who cannot come to terms with something. In these two cases, it is guilt, in the poem "My Grandmother" and grief in the poem "Long distance." The different versions of main characters both ignite different impressions in the reader. Furthermore, the poems use a variation of different and similar themes to create a certain affect on the reader. Impressions of the main characters such as sympathy and callousness are exposed to the reader. Therefore, the poems can be perceived as a person's movement towards closure and the method in which they handle their suffering, creating different impressions as their struggle progresses. 1 Sharif. Mostafa ...read more.

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