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Poets' memories of their childhood.

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Introduction

ENGLISH ESSAY The four poems that I have looked at are all based on the poets' memories of their childhood. Two of the poems are of loving memories, while the other two are based on not so happy memories. 'Autobiographical Note' by Scannell is the first poem. It is based on the loving memories of going to the 'Picture Palace' every week as a child. The second poem is slightly different to the first. It is 'I shall return' by McKay. It is about how he wants to return to Jamaica where as a child he was very happy. The third poem is by Thomas and is called 'Going Back'. It describes the hard time the poet had as a child because of being an evacuee. It is different from the second poem because the poet does not wish to return to the place of his childhood. The first poem by Scannell 'Autobiographical Note' is started with a description of where he spent his childhood, in Beeston. He puts across the picture of Beeston as a town which is not particularly rich. This image is created by the description of the children. The poem describes them as 'natural enemies of cops and schoolteachers', implying that the children are troublemakers with 'snotty noses'. ...read more.

Middle

The third poem 'Going Back' by Thomas, is one of the poems which contrast with 'I shall return' the most. The feelings and images created in each poem are totally different from each other. The obvious difference is that 'Going back' talks about unhappy memories unlike the second poem and also the first. It talks about childhood memories which like the other poems are not terribly clear, 'names of friends by decades hidden', it also comments on how the bad memories are not as easily forgotten 'clear as fear'. The poet has returned to his school where he went as a child to 'recreate the golden years before the touch of truth'. This means that he wants to return and remember his childhood, before he realised the truth, that life was hard work and not all care-free. When he returned Thomas wanted to remember good things that happened 'raced my cars, talked of conkers' but he remembers none of this. Only memories off how he was bullied as child come when he tries to remember what fun he had in the playground. The fact that no memories came implies to me that none of it happened and that it was just what Thomas wanted to remember. Thomas goes on to describe what terrible memories he had of his childhood when he was bullied. ...read more.

Conclusion

'The Places Fault contrasts immensely with 'I Shall Return'. This is because McKay makes the place of his childhood sound beautiful and idyllic , unlike in the 'Places Fault' where a war was going on. 'I Shall Return' is slightly similar to 'Going Back' as both poets want to return, they are different though because the poet of 'Going Back' didn't want to return to what really happened in his childhood but an imaginary childhood where people didn't bully him. In every poem it mentions that at some stage in the poets life something has gone wrong. I all but one of the poems it has happened in their childhood and is described in the poem. 'The Places Fault' is about the unhappy time the poet had as an evacuee. 'Going Back' is about how the poet was bullied and 'Autobiographical Note' is all about how the poet was different from every one else. The poem which doesn't mention having an unhappy childhood is 'I Shall Return', it does however mention the poet had 'long years of pain' after leaving Jamaica. 'I Shall Return is similar to 'Going Back' because the poets are both yearning, the only difference is that Thomas is yearning to return while McKay is yearning to remember something happy. I think that all of the poems are very expressive about the poets feeling and all very well written. ...read more.

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