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

Comparing Two Poems: Half-past Two by U A Fanthorpe and Leaving School by Hugo Williams

Extracts from this document...


Comparing Two Poems: Half-past Two by U A Fanthorpe and Leaving School by Hugo Williams In Half-past Two, U A Fanthorpe writes as a man reminiscing about how he had viewed 'time' as a child and recounting the moment when it had struck him he had to learn how to tell it. Hugo Williams' Leaving School is also one man's memories of childhood. This time it examines his first weeks at boarding school. Both poems set out to present childhood experiences in an interesting way. The first lines of the two poems manage to immediately strike your attention and set the tone of the whole poem. Half-past Two begins "Once upon a schooltime", which gives you the impression that the rest of the poem will be in quite a childish tone and also creates a kind of fairytale atmosphere. Leaving School starts off: "I was eight when I set out into the world wearing a grey flannel suit". ...read more.


Repetition is also used in this poem to show emphasis of certain themes and ideas. For example, the constant repetition of "time" in "gettinguptime, timeyouwereofftime, timetogohomenowtime, Tvtime" empasises the boy's misunderstanding of the concept as well as adding to the childish, conversational tone this poem shares with Leaving School. In the latter, Williams doesn't use as many obvious poetic techniques, but like Half-past Two, uses capital letters when they are not needed ("Inspection") to show how certain things are peculiarly significant to children. Both poems present the child in a similar way. In Half-past Two, the boy is timid ("he was too scared of being wicked to remind her"), and also seems to be quite dreamy and in a world of his own ("he escaped into the clockless land of ever"). The child in Leaving School appears to be shy and scared- the poet recounts how he "started saying nothing"- and also quite scatty: "Every day my name was read out because I'd forgotten to hang something up". ...read more.


The title, Leaving School, suggests an end of an era; a new beginning; escaping from rules and regulations. However, the actual poem isn't about literally 'leaving school'. In the last line of the poem, the narrator explains how he "was miles away, with my suitcase, leaving school". Of course, the child was dreaming, and "miles away" is meant metaphorically explaining how his daydreams were taking him far away from reality. The boy has had to grow up fast ("wearing a grey flannel suit"...), learn new responsibilities, and gradually gain independence. However, you get the impression that he doesn't want to grow up ("I liked all the waiting...but I didn't like the work") and therefore isn't having the best of times at his boarding school. Leaving School examines the issue of children being forced to become like adults and the detrimental effects this can have when the children in question are determined to act their age. As you can see, both poems suggest how it is possible to escape into a dreamworld and sometimes that is the only solution ...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 U A Fanthorpe 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 U A Fanthorpe essays

  1. By Reference to three poems in the 'Tracks' anthology, discuss how Fanthorpe explores the ...

    By including this, Fanthorpe has succeeded in proclaiming the fact that men are seen as the absolute authority when it comes to judging how a person should act or behave within society, and men have gradually inherited the attitude of superiority over women, which will take a long time to rectify.

  2. Look again at the poems "Half-past Two", "Reports" and "Dear Mr. Lee". How does ...

    The teacher is trying to write reports for their students yet in order to justify the truth about the students they must be politically correct. This leave's the teacher stranded and unable to write an accurate, truthful and fair report for the pupils.

  1. How is the world of childhood presented in 'Hide and Seek', 'Leaving School' and ...

    The boy has not been taught time however, and does not dare to tell the teacher. Adults do not really think about what they are saying which does sometimes results in a child feeling confused. The mood of the three poems differs some-what.

  2. Half Past Two

    The boy is constantly just thinking about the time throughout the poem, he thinks about all the different times that he knows. The boy is probably wondering when his teacher will come back and tell him to go home. That would make any child feel scared and probably worried if

  1. Compare and contrast ‘Hide and Seek’ by Vernon Scannell and ‘Half-past Two’ by U. ...

    He is trying to show that all the pain he went through was not worth it because he was unwanted. Similarly to 'Hide and Seek', 'Half- past Two' is about a young child. He has done something naughty in school and is told by his teacher to stay in the room until 'Half- past Two'.

  2. How does U.A. Fanthorpe create different personalities within the poems 'Not My Best side' ...

    The stereotypical businessman contrasts with the allusion to his organisation, which is perhaps lost by age, '...as you forget / If you've smoked your timetabled cigarette?' The old man was once well organised (also shown by the labelling of bottles)

  1. W far do you agree with the view that Fanthorpe "offers us new perspectives ...

    "We found contemplatives, with green umbrellas, Making symbolic gestures at the stream." This stanza is quite amusing as for a person who doesn't recognize the water god would believe the poet was strange and the poet is selecting the most ordinary of things in a human beings life to pick out where they are contemplating towards the water.

  2. An appraisal of the poetic techniques used by the poet U.A.Fanthorpe and what effect ...

    ostentatiously beardless, and ride a horse with a deformed neck and square hooves" The virgin has a high opinion of herself and appears not to be very bright. The words used and the way they are put together gives the reader a clear feel of "Essex Gal" she even uses modern slang "I mean, I quite took to the dragon.

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