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Discuss the poet's experiences of childhood and family life - The three poems under discussions are, Long Distance by Tony Harrison, looking for dad and The Sick Equation by Brian Patten.

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Discuss the poet's experiences of childhood and family life The three poems under discussions are, Long Distance by Tony Harrison, looking for dad and The Sick Equation by Brian Patten. These poems can be classified as elegy types of poem because they relate to the poet's experiences of family life during their childhood, which mostly resort to death, divorce and depression. In Long Distance, Tony Harrison, shows a loving and caring family where the death of his mother is not accepted by the rest of the family, and thus avoid grieving, whereas Brian Patten, in both of his poems, show the trouble which existed with his parental relationship and how it impacted his life. Long Distance is a short poem, with short sentences with common words, aimed at luring the readers attention. Harrison choice of words are based on everyday life which is in a simple language to reflect on ordinary working class family. ...read more.


Yet he finds it difficult to let go. Brian patten is a contemporary of Tony Harrison in his two poems " The Sick Equation" and " Looking for Dad", he shows the impact of broken marriage has on children. These poems are longer than Tony Harrison, he uses lots of metaphors and ironies to get his message across. In "The Sick Equation" Brian makes an analogy of his home environment to that of his school. At school, there are rules and order, which one has to follow, he learnt that 1+1=2 and that " It could have been engraved on stone", and that they are "absolute" and he cannot "dispute" or "refute". He compares that to his house environment, where there is hate between his parents 1+1 remains 1. He is tormented and traumatised by the constant dispute and hatred at home. He would rather bare physical pain than psychological pain. "..... all that household's anger and its pain stung more than any teacher's cane". ...read more.


Eventually they stopped yelling at Brian and started arguing between themselves. It became so intense that his father left. Brian felt guilty, he thinks that he was responsible for the domestic argument and that his father left because of him. He has since tidy up his room and was hoping that his father " will come back soon and admire my very tidy room". The common factor which underline the three poems is family life and the relationship which exist among each member of the family, and the impact it has on children and as they grows up in adulthood. However all is not doomed, as children grew they can overcome, the trauma suffered during childhood. This is clean in "The Sick Equation" last stanza. " I was wrong of course, just as those who brought me up were wrong. It's absurd to believe all others are as damaged as ourselves, and however I ate on, I am better off fro knowing now that gives love, by taking love all can in time refute. The lesson that our parents taught, and in The Sick Equation not stay caught". ...read more.

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