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How have modern poets such as Charles Causley been inspired by the ballad?

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How have modern poets such as Charles Causley been inspired by the ballad? A ballad is a popular way of telling a story. It is part of an oral tradition where the ballad is sung or told aloud. The old surviving ballads were mostly from the middle-ages and mainly Scottish. A lot of the English ones were lost as the written word was used for the spreading of the news and stories instead of making ballads with them. People were normally paid to create and sing the ballads. These people were called ballad mongers. Ballads were first made because not many people could read or write and they were an easy way of remembering the stories. The ballads were based on true stories, which were stripped down to the basics. Such as in The Twa Corbies, this ballad tells a simple story of two crows planning to eat a dead man who was killed by his wife. One of the crows asks the other "Where shall we gang and dine to-day?" The second one replies "I wot there lies a new slain knight." Later on it is suggested that his lady killed him because "His lady's ta'en another mate". Some ballads are in a question and answer form to help the listener to understand and it is also another way of revealing the storyline, like in Edward Edward, where the mother questions her son till she finds out that he ...read more.


The Ballad of the Bread Man deals with the story of a hero, Jesus, and his heroic way of life. It shows that even though he never fitted in with anyone, "That boy will never be one of us" said the neighbours, he still persisted with his cause even when no one wanted to hear about it, "Nobody seemed very hungry. Nobody seemed to care." The bread man ended up dead which was a tragedy made worse because still no one wanted his "bread", "Now do you want any loafs?" He cried. "Not today, they said." One of the vivid scenes is at the start, where God is described as being in his "big gold heaven. Sitting in his big blue chair," this scene is so vivid because of the child-like alliteration in the description. Another vivid scene starts with "Nobody seemed very hungry." This is vivid because of the repetition of "Nobody" at the start of each stanza and the fact that the poem takes on a more serious note from this scene onwards. The poem also has the ballad form. All of this proves that Causley was inspired by the ballad in this poem. Causley was also inspired by the ballad in another poem called 'What has happened to Lulu?' The poem, just like a ballad, tells a story. ...read more.


His teeth are sharp and pointed as they are made of thorns. He also sounds elf-like as he has "dancing shoes", and wares a green "jacket and shirt and trews." This poem is about how you can't hide from your fears. Your fears are represented by the green man, you can try and hide from them by locking the door, but they always come back, you can't run from them. Like the others, this poem has the traditional ballad form. Yet unlike a ballad or the other poems this one does not have a hero or a tragedy in it. Yet it does have vivid scenes in it like the ballad. One of them is where the green man is being described in the second stanza. It's so vivid because the description makes you think if the green man is real or not. This is because it sounds like a tree, "sycamore", "elder-branch" and "thorns". It could have been a tree moving in the wind. Another vivid scene is where the person locks up the house in the fifth stanza. This is vivid because there is the repetition of the word "bolted" and it clearly shows the persons feelings towards the green man. He doesn't want the green man in his house, "I drew the blind that I should find the green man never more." This poem, as well as the others, prove just how much the ballad has influenced modern poets. ...read more.

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