• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. 'First Love' & 'Long Distance'.

    He does an admirable job of telling the message behind the poem The father is unable to accept the truth about his wife. He is still listening out for the key to 'scrape in the rusted lock' which hasn't been opened for a long time.

  2. Compare and Contrast 'The Sick Equation' by Brian Patten and 'Long Distance' by Tony ...

    However, in the closing stanza, Patten uses a rhyming couplet to round off the poem. It is said in defiance towards his parents because he is saying that even though his parents put him through so much grief and trauma, he came through it all and has found his fears to be totally unjustified.

  1. A Comparison Between the poems ‘Cousin Kate’ and ‘Ballad’

    He is described as 'faithless'. As I have mentioned before, this connotation shines a negative light on him. It tells us, the readers, that he is not to be trusted or relied upon. Line fourteen suggests that she is unhappier with herself than she is with him.

  2. comparison of the poems: "The sick equation" and "Long distance"

    The fact that his parents love did not last after marriage, but turned into pure hatred, proves that it was never real in the fist place, and that their commitment was a mistake all together. An even bigger mistake was to bring up a child in that "raw" atmosphere.

  1. Analyse an Compare the themes of loss and isolation in Long Distance (Harrison), The ...

    Then in Long Distance is rather sad and quite a lot reflective because he has just lost his mum and dad and he keeps on doing things he would normally do with his mum and dad by himself as a sort of ritual.

  2. Compare and analyse themes of loss and isolation in looking for dad and the ...

    parents put him through so much grief, he came through it all and has found his fears to be totally unjustified. Patten has successfully maintained a loving and caring relationship with someone, which he thought earlier could never be the case.

  1. 'Looking For Dad,' and 'The Sick Equation' by Brian Patten, and 'Long Distance' by ...

    His parents do not show him very much love or attention, and so they buy him gifts and toys to make up for it. 'That night I dreamt Dad was hidden Beneath the things I'd been given' When his father leaves, he is upset and wants him back.

  2. Analyse, Long Distance by Tony Harrison, I Shall Return and The Barrier both written ...

    'Dad kept her slippers warming by the gas put hot water bottles her side of the bed and still went to renew her transport pass.' This line portrays that even after two years; the death of his wife has not made any impact on his life at all, as well

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work