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Choose two or more poems, which deal with childhood experiences - Show how they are successful in expressing their chosen theme - Comment particularly on writers' techniques, as well as the social context of the poems.

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Comparing Poems Choose two or more poems, which deal with childhood experiences. Show how they are successful in expressing their chosen theme. Comment particularly on writers' techniques, as well as the social context of the poems. I have chosen to compare the poems 'Hide and Seek' by Vernon Scannell and 'Leaving School' by Hugo Williams. Both 'Hide and Seek' and 'Leaving School' are very alike in the sense that their themes concentrate on childhood experiences and the main characters are eventually overcome with feelings of realisation. Vernon Scannell and Hugo Williams use some similar writing techniques to convey their chosen themes. Brief sentences are used in both poems to give a feeling of urgency. In 'Hide and Seek', the boy gives himself several sets of commands. Using short snappy sentences he tells himself 'Don't breathe', 'Don't move,' 'Stay dumb'. Sentences like these are often used to boost the pace of the poem, making it increasingly rapid, creating a sense of seriousness which then engages the reader's attention. Shorter sentences are also used to stand out in the middle of lots of enjambment. Just a simple sentences like, 'They had the Beacon Series' stands out more than any other sentence in the second stanza of 'Leaving School', as it is very concise making it even more effective. ...read more.


The environment he is living in has very rigid rules unlike the rules of a game like hide and seek. In 'Hide and Seek', the boy is terribly competitive, he almost treats the game like a military campaign; taking the game very seriously and is trying his best to stay hidden from the other children. This character is probably more suited to the situation that the boy in 'Leaving School' finds himself as he evidently enjoys games of strategy. He is in fact so serious about this game, that he withstands the 'cold floor' of the tool shed and tries his best not to 'sneeze'. Throughout the poem he is acutely aware of his physical discomfort and sensitivity which contrasts with his lack of emotional sensitivity, however in 'Leaving School' the reader's attention is focused on the boy's emotional discomfort. In 'Hide and Seek', he former tries to outwit the other children and believes that they will think him remarkably clever, when in reality they are laughing at him. Because he fails to realise this, he is in truth over estimating his own capabilities and under estimating theirs. The reader is able to empathise in part with the other children as the boy is portrayed as insensitive and over confident. ...read more.


Both boys are hiding, one literally and the other by retreating into his own world where he doesn't listen and daydreams about the day he leaves school. He realises he doesn't fit in while the boy in hide and seek does want to be there even though he's not wanted initially. He can't see that the others don't like him and is therefore deluding himself. At the end of both poems the reader is left with bad feelings. In 'Hide and Seek' the feeling of something sinister dominates as even nature reflects his emotions 'The bushes hold their breath' in suspense and the garden has darkened as has his optimistic mood. It is an emotional milestone for the character as he comes to realise that perhaps his own childish perception of being central to the world was not reality. The reader is left with a question and it is assumed that the boy is left with many. In 'Leaving school' the reader is left with an enigmatic line as the boy seemingly either retreats into his own world where in his mind's eye he enacts the day he leaves school or he is possibly recounting what had actually happened to him as he was on his way home. In both poems the reader is left to question the outcome. ...read more.

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