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

'Looking For Dad,' and 'The Sick Equation' by Brian Patten, and 'Long Distance' by Tony Harrison are all poems about family relationships. I am going to discuss the different themes of family relationships and compare each one.

Extracts from this document...


'Looking For Dad,' and 'The Sick Equation' by Brian Patten, and 'Long Distance' by Tony Harrison are all poems about family relationships. I am going to discuss the different themes of family relationships and compare each one to see which is most effective. 'The Sick Equation' is about a boy whose parents are constantly arguing with each other. Because of this, the boy began to believe that love did not really exist, as he had grown up around people who never loved each other. He thought that even if his parents did stay together, someone, maybe even him, would get hurt. 'For by becoming two, one at least would suffer so' I think the poet would rather his mum and dad be separated, because all they do when they are together is argue, and it just causes more pain, not just between the two of them, but for him also. He preferred to stay at school, away from the fighting because the pain he suffered at school was worse than that of going to school. 'All that household's anger and its pain Stung more than any teachers cane' I think he found school as a refuge, as it was a place he could get away from all the fighting and arguing that went on at home. 'In school I learned that one and one made two,' I think the poet opens the poem with this statement because it is a fact that cannot be argued with. ...read more.


He would rather have his dad than all the toys and presents they had given him. He would choose love over material possessions. 'In my dream I was in despair And flung about My underwear But could not find Him anywhere' He is looking under all his things to try to find his dad. The boy gets desperate and is very upset. 'I looked for him Lots and lots Beneath crumpled sheets And old robots' The poet uses 'and' a lot in this quotation. This makes the reader read a lot quicker, as 'and' is used in place of punctuation. This is effective, as it makes the poet sound as if he is panicking, because he cannot find his dad. In addition, reading the poem quicker reflects a child's voice, which adds to the effect of it being written from a child's perspective. Another poem about losing a loved one is 'Long Distance.' This is a poem about a Husband trying to come to terms with losing his wife. The couples' son writes it. The poem opens with 'Though my mother was already two years dead' This is a fact. The poet makes a statement that his mother has been dead for two years. 'Dad kept her slippers warming by the gas,' His father knows that she is dead, but he still keeps everything the same as it was when she was still alive. ...read more.


The poem is about how people cope with death, something that almost everyone will experience at some point in their life. The poem is set out in iambic pentameter. I think this makes the poem seem more real, as it sounds as though the poet is telling someone about the death of his mother. All three poems are about family relationships, although each one differs in actual content. 'The Sick Equation' is about a boy whose parents divorce, and this leads him to believe that he will end up getting divorced also. 'Looking For Dad' is about a boy whose parents by him presents to make up for the fact that they do not show him any love for affection. However, the boy would much rather have love than material possessions, and when his father leaves, the boy believes that it is because all of these possessions have made his room a mess, and his dad left because of this. 'Long Distance' is about a man whose father cannot cope with the grief of losing his wife, and so keeps all of her things around him. The poet does not understand why his father does this, until his father dies, and he then realises how hard it is to cope with losing someone you love so much. Overall, I think that all three poems are very effective at portraying family relationships, but I think that 'Long Distance' does this most successfully. Nicola Brame ...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. 'The Sick Equation' - Brian Pattern

    He then says in lines fourteen and fifteen that he doesn't feel as tough he has any self worth and therefore rejects love - 'But by thinking myself of too little worth I crushed all its messengers'.

  2. three Tony Harrison poems

    The second poem is 'Long Distance', his still continues the portrayal of the broken relationship between Harrison and his father, but also shows how the father still lives without her and how he remembers her. The title, 'Long Distance', can be analyzed as a metaphor used to describe the mentally

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

    He can't risk anyone knowing about his actions and telling him that she is dead because it would make it so much harder for him to cope. The themes of both poems are based around loss. In 'Long Distance', Harrison's father has to cope with the loss of his wife

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

    In my opinion love was like a maths problem that Brian could not yet solve, due to him being so young. "The Sick Equation", which refers to Brian's belief that "one and one stayed one and one", is actually created by his parents; this is what he had learnt "in that raw cocoon of parental hate".

  1. Explore the different types of relationships in "Valentine" and "Before You Were Mine".

    She was going to become a movie star leading a romantic and glamorous life before the "loud, possessive yell" interrupted her career. However, the mother doesn't mind about the way her life has turned out because "that glamorous love lasts" and she can still laugh when she gave birth to Duffy.

  2. In Sick Equation the poet explores his experience love. Compare this poem to one ...

    This shows how unstable and depressed she is. 'Sick Equation' is written in 5 verses all with different amount of lines in each verse. There is also some rhyming couplets dispersed in some single lines. This shows how unstable the poet is as he cannot control the structure of the poem.

  1. Compare the ways that the theme of family relationships are explored in the three ...

    The poet's feelings are subtly conveyed here, hinting at the misery he felt as a child watching his parents' unhappiness. Pattern uses a metaphor in the title-"sick", referring to the equation he had been taught in school that one person and another makes two.

  2. Rejection and Years Ago are both poems that discuss the theme of love and ...

    The fatal sound can be described to be deathlike highlighting that rejection is so heart-breaking that it is equivalent to death. On the contrary in Years Ago Jennings uses imagery however in a much more literate manner by solely recollecting memories she uses imagery by using a narrative voice until the third stanza.

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