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Poetry Analysis-Childhood

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Introduction

English Coursework Laura Hui To what extent did these poems effectively construct the theme of childhood? Innocent. That's what we were during the course of our childhood, before we became corrupt, greedy and stressful. The poems "Half-Past Two" (HP2) by U.A. Fanthorpe, "Piano" by D.H. Lawrence and "My Parents kept Me from Children who were Rough"(Rough Children) by Stephen Spender reminds us of how innocent life was when we were children. They reveal to us how arrogant we were lacking knowledge of the real world. Through diction and persona, emotion and depth, the poems play on the nostalgic senses for our bittersweet childhoods. "Once upon a schooltime", that is the first line of the poem "Half-Past Two" it immediately shows that it is narrative, almost as if telling a story to a child. The second line of the first stanza, "He did Something Very Wrong", this emphasizes the childlike thinking, the guilt of doing "Something Very Wrong" the very simple minded child worrying about a simple thing. Then the author's voice comes in, as if stating a side note, "(I forget what it was)" ...read more.

Middle

It tells of a man, all grown up, losing his innocence long ago and forgetting about it. He reminisces when something reminds him of his bittersweet childhood. Lawrence portrays the distinct childhood theme by using reminiscence, he paints a picture for you and using sophisticated diction he desperately longs for his childhood again. "Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;" this is the opening line for "Piano". Immediately it creates an image in the reader's head, picturing a musky dark place, with a highlighted woman, singing. The next line "Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings" brings us back into the past, down the memory lane of this man until we see a frame of the child sitting under the piano. Using diction Lawrence creates sounds like "tingling strings". Also note that Lawrence is writing in the present tense to make us feel as if we're going down the memory lane with him. The next stanza starts off with "In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong." ...read more.

Conclusion

The rough children saw through him though, they knew that he thought they belonged in different worlds and that's why they "never smiled" All three poems constructed the theme of childhood in different techniques. Which one did the best? That would be a matter of opinion. I prefer the poem "Half-Past Two", the childlike perspective and the diction and the compression of words really affected me. The poem made me think and reminisce too. "Piano" is a really effective poem also, but it is told from an adult point of view, in my opinion I think it constructed the theme of memories better than the theme of childhood. "My Parents kept Me from Children who were Rough" in my view is not effective. First of all it seems to be set in a time that's not modern day, and also it is a very personal and specific experience. Having never been kept from "rough" children myself, I cannot relate to the poem and in a way I don't really understand what it would be like to be in that situation. As I said, it's a matter of opinion, and I think "Half-Past Two" by U.A. Fanthorpe was an extremely witty and well written poem that to a great extent, effectively construct the theme of childhood. ...read more.

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