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There are four poems in "At the Crossroads" which tackle the theme of childhood. These are "Hide and Seek", "Half-past Two", "Dear Mr Lee" and "Leaving School". Each poem tackles the theme of childhood from different perspectives and views.

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Introduction

Childhood in "At the Crossroads" There are four poems in "At the Crossroads" which tackle the theme of childhood. These are "Hide and Seek", "Half-past Two", "Dear Mr Lee" and "Leaving School". Each poem tackles the theme of childhood from different perspectives and views. "Half-past Two" takes the perception of a small child who gets lost in another world. He only knows a range of basic times which are important to him. These words are highlighted by being joined up, which is what a child is taught to do at school, e.g. 'timetogohomenowtime'. These basic times are the ones that he hears everyday but has not been taught any other times by his/her teacher. ...read more.

Middle

She starts off by making conversation, which is shown in the first sentence in brackets. She calls the author of the book by his first name, Laurie, because she feels that she knows him more personally. The words 'lived with' and 'stained with Coke and Kitkat' suggests to us that this person has become closely attached to the book and feels strongly about it and can make reasoned judgements. She talks about how the book has altered her view of English Literature. She has no interest in the other sections of the subject because she can't express her views. The poem is written very much as someone would speak, with little or no punctuation. ...read more.

Conclusion

At first he starts off excited, because he feels he is growing up. This new school is different to his old one in numerous areas. 'They had the Beacon Series', which is a series of reading books, unlike what he is used to. For him this is a big step up from his normal 'Billy Goat Gruff' books. After a while he starts to give up hope of ever getting things right, 'I started saying nothing'. Even basic things like putting on his shoes and getting undressed become increasingly harder as the stress of the school life gets to him, 'I forgot how to get undressed'. A key theme which runs throughout the poem is communication, or lack of it. The intention of the poem is to explain to parents what their children go through when they change school and how they experience these changes. ...read more.

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