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

three Tony Harrison poems

Extracts from this document...


After reading and analysing the three Tony Harrison poems I found that, they portray many relationships between families with three members. In all of the poems Harrison was the son and they talked about the relationships between him and his father. The first poem is 'Book Ends'. This poem shows us how the death of the mother affects father and son. Throughout the poem, Harrison shows the broken relationship he has with his father, commenting "We never could talk much". His father's occupation was a baker; this can be seen from the words related to baking bread. An example can be seen from the following quote, "Baked the day she suddenly dropped dead", Harrison's father considered labour to be a male occupation., however this was incorrect as his father was ignorant and used to mock his interest in poetry and calling him a "scholar", and making statements about Harrison being unable to inscribe his feelings on his mother's gravestone, "You're supposed to be the bright boy at description". His father's bitterness towards the poet is a paradox, as he still requires Harrison to help him through this sad period, "At night you need my company to pass". ...read more.


Harrison shows an understanding of his father when describing how his father developed a reality in his mind where the mother was still alive, "Dad kept her slippers warming by the gas", and also knew that his father was embarrassed of this practice, "He'd put you off an hour to give him time to clear away her things and look alone". By the end of the poem it is clear that the father is dead, "You haven't both gone shopping", as the father believed that the mother had just gone shopping and would return, Harrison applied the same logic to his father's death. The poet makes similar actions by creating his own reality, in order to cope with the loss of his father, "in my new black leather phone book there's your name and the disconnected number I still call". This also links to the idea of 'Book Ends' by the mother's definition, as both the poet and his father use similar methods to endure the loss of a loved one, therefore showing similarities in personality. The last poem,'Marked With D', describes the cremation of his father, using words to with baking, which cause shock in the context that they are used. ...read more.


These topics are the relationship between the poet and his father, the poet's father's love for his wife and his attitude to death. The poet and his father are shown to have many differences, religious beliefs amongst the many, but both show similarities in their methods of coping with the loss of a loved family member. Superficially it would seem that the poet has dealt with the subject of death in a way calculated to amuse or entertain. His startling imagery, for example "chilled dough of his flesh", "ash (not unlike flour) for one small loaf", might raise a smile. Other lines reveal the misfortune of their lives, for example "Though my mother was already two years dead Dad kept her slippers warming by the gas". This line allows us to feel his father's broken heart and his inability to come to terms with loss of his wife. Tony Harrison deals with the subject of religious beliefs in a decent manner. It is clear that his parents had conventional beliefs which the poet did not have. He is "sorry for his sake there's no Heaven to reach" displays that Harrison's parents had hope of entering heaven. The poet makes his absence of belief by using the following," I get it all from Earth my daily bread. ...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. Compare and analyse themes of loss and isolation in looking for dad and the ...

    The consequences of the horror he witnessed at home left him physically, a grown man, but mentally he was still a small boy. Brian Patten isolated himself from everyone as he thought that if he were to venture into a relationship it would mirror that of his parents and end

  2. Compare Long Distance 1 and 2 by Tony Harrison, and My Grandmother by Elizabeth ...

    This stanza is all about the nature of her grandmother. "She kept an antique shop, or it kept her, Among apostle spoons and Bristol glass" The antique shop is very important in this poem.

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

    deeper effect, like "absolute I could not question or refute" (line 3). "Long Distance" on the other hand, is written in 4 quatrains with a practical rhyming pattern of ABAB, which applies to all stanzas but the last. It merely suits the Patten's practical beliefs, like "life ends with death,

  2. Free essay

    Compare how death is presented in three poems in the Anthology

    It is in a strict and orderly fashioned. This rhyme scheme reflects how Hardy feels abut love and death. That love would have happy times but at the end it will just lead to despair. Also by having such a strict rhyme scheme it also suggest how Hardy views women opinion in love.

  1. Compare the poems "Long distance" and "My Grandmother."

    This creates the impression that they do have some importance in their lives and have feelings. Also, as the father and grandmother attempt to preserve something it can infuse impressions of desperation to the reader. In addition to this, the grandmother and father have both veered from reality and have obsessed themselves with only one thing.

  2. Compare the ways Tony Harrison and Elizabetyh Jennings write about their parents in their ...

    Alternatively, this may just mean that his parents are united through him. Whilst Harrison's parents were connected through his birth, they are also separated by death, as his "father and his background are both gone". Similarly to 'Background material', in 'One Flesh' Jennings herself appears to be one of the key things that connects her parents together.

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

    His irony is evident. It shows how his own childhood experience led him to the conclusion that love is something that is doomed to fail, because it is intrinsically sick and will never develop healthily. He indicates that he believes it is "sick" because it has a bad effect on the people involved in a love relationship.

  2. Analyse, Long Distance by Tony Harrison, I Shall Return and The Barrier both written ...

    'Dad kept her slippers warming by the gas put hot water bottles her side of the bed and still went to renew her transport pass.' This line portrays that even after two years; the death of his wife has not made any impact on his life at all, as well

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