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

Comparing "Long Distance" and "The Sick Equation"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Comparing "Long Distance" and "The Sick Equation" "Long Distance" by Tony Harrison and "The Sick Equation" by Brian Patten are two poems written in different ways about different subjects. While "Long Distance" is a poem about the abundance of love, conquering even death, "The Sick Equation" is about the total lack of it. In Long Distance, Tony Harrison describes how his father is still in denial after two years of his mother's death. I believe that the poem is called Long Distance because death is the longest distance possible. This dark irony is mirrored in The Sick Equation, where the title describes how even though 1+1=2, at home 1+1 stays 1+1. I believe Brian Patten is talking about his parents, and even though they are still married they stay separate. Long Distance describes how Tony Harrison's fathers love was "Still raw love" as if his wife was still alive, and that his love hadn't faded even after two years. It shows that they had a very intimate relationship, a passionate love that will not die. ...read more.

Middle

In line twelve of the third verse he tells us how "He knew she'd just popped out to get the tea". The use of italics in this way outlines how definite and how strongly his father felt. He didn't believe, he knew. The poem also shows Tony Harrison's father had created a solitary world of his own. It was solitary because if anybody else was there his fantasy would be gone, the harsh truth become apparent, his bubble burst! "You couldn't drop in, you had to phone. He'd put you off an hour to give him time to clear away her things." Once again the opposite is true in The Sick Equation with his ironic us of "home sweet home". He is throwing away love and keeping love away from him. He does not let himself fall in love as he believes that it would be like the horror and depression that his parents marriage is. "I never let love stay long enough to take root," means that he would never get emotionally attached to someone that he loved, in fear that it would turn out like his parents attempt. ...read more.

Conclusion

Tony Harrison's poem is written in the style of blank verse, containing rhyme in an ABAB form for the first three verses and ending with an ABBA formation to conclude his poem. Brian Patten on the other hand uses free verse, occasionally adding a rhyming couplet (but very rarely). The verses do not stick to any form whatsoever and neither do the length of the lines. He uses enjambment and personification, describing divorce as a bird (the albatross) giving imagery to love "taking root". He also has a reoccurring theme of flight, in that divorce was flying free and that he couldn't fly as souls (his parents) weighed him down. Tony Harrison also had a reoccurring theme in his poem. Telephone calls were often brought up in his poem, mainly at the end "and the disconnected number I still call" and also in the title. Both poems are written to get their message across. While Tony Harrison's message is that "life ends with death and that is all", Brian Patten realises that his thoughts on marriage were wrong (which he admits in the conclusion of his poem) and others shouldn't make the same mistake as he did. ...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. three Tony Harrison poems

    In 'Long Distance' the poet shows his father being unable to cope with the loss of his wife and so creates a reality whereby the mother is going to return alive from the shops, which portrays the father's "raw love" as he is unable to let go of his wife.

  2. Compare Long Distance 1 and 2 by Tony Harrison, and My Grandmother by Elizabeth ...

    The finishing line to the last stanza is " He knew she'd just popped out to the shops" This is instantly contradicted by Harrison's opinion. "I believe life ends with death and that is all" It's as if Harrison can't leave his farther to have his own opinion.

  1. Visiting hour

    He arrives at the ward where his friend or relative lies. He is shocked by what he sees - in a white environment, doped up with morphine and on a drip. He has difficulty making this fit with the woman he knows.

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

    The love described in this poem is between two different races. However, in Claude McKays I Shall Return the theme of love is not for someone, but for something, his homeland, Jamaica. The first line of the sonnet immediately explains to the reader the purpose of the poem, 'I shall return again I shall return'.

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

    Their style of living is very simple and unpretentious, which creates a very rustic yet warm atmosphere, just like the simple and genuine love between them. On the other hand, Brian Patten's "raw cocoon of parental hate" is completely the opposite.

  2. Compare the ways Tony Harrison and Elizabetyh Jennings write about their parents in their ...

    In comparison, 'One Flesh' has an irregular rhyming scheme which consists of rhyming couplets and alternate lines rhyming. It also does not have a regular rhythm. The fact that One Flesh has a more irregular rhythm and a random rhyming scheme reflects the awkwardness of the parents' relationship.

  1. The choice, the option, the decision of marriage is one that I have been ...

    . . I maintain, with the profoundest conviction, that this, and this only, is the ideal of marriage. . . The moral regeneration of mankind will only really commence. . . when human beings learn to cultivate their strongest sympathy with an equal rights and in cultivation"(Habibi 45).

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

    Thus, the impression created of the main character is that they are isolated, not portraying the emotions they should have, in a situation as such. Moreover, the poems uses of language are very different. "Long distance" uses colloquial language. The colloquialism that Long distance" uses such as "slippers warming by

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