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The poems I am comparing in this essay are 'Half-past two' and 'Reports' by U.A. Fanthorpe and 'Leaving school' by Hugo Williams.

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20th Century Poetry comparison The poems I am comparing in this essay are 'Half-past two' and 'Reports' by U.A. Fanthorpe and 'Leaving school' by Hugo Williams. All three of the poems are about school, and about the different aspects of it. There are several points of view expressed in the poems, such as that of a teacher, the confusion of a child starting boarding school, and a child who cannot tell the time. In the poem 'Half-past two', the poem tells of a child who, after being told off as been told to stay inside until half-past two and then he can go. To the dismay and confusion of the child, he cannot tell the time and so wonders what to do when and if, half-past two ever came. In this poem, the style is very much that of a child speaking firsthand to himself and thinking in his head. The poem begins with 'Once upon a...' which is a harsh clich� of old fairytales of which the majority of them started in this way. In the first paragraph, as he is so young he did 'something very wrong' but then carries on to say that he had forgotten what it was that he had done to deserve his punishment. ...read more.


Just as the beginning, the poem ends with clich�s that resemble fairy stories in order to make the experience seem like a dream or a distant foggy memory where the writer cannot remember the exact details and so elaborates and exaggerates them. 'Reports' by U.A. Fanthorpe is written in the voice of a teacher who is writing school progress reports. As the amount of reports the teacher is doing increases, the more she makes them as clich�d and cynical as possible, perhaps not thinking about doing so, but in order to cut down on time, she uses the same, dull, un-descriptive words and phrases for each report. In the poem when we hear what the teacher has written, italics indicate what the teacher has said, just as the first line of the poem shows. In order to get the right tone of the tired, bored teacher, U.A Fanthorpe uses worn out, over used descriptive words such as 'fair, quite good' and, 'satisfactory'. She uses these meaningless words in order to be cautious so that parents are not offended by the report. She knows that child, parent and the head of the school will read the poem, so it is best to be safe with what is said. ...read more.


He feels as though he is leaving school and going into the wider world as he is leaving his home, parents and all sense of normality. The vocabulary used in the poem is short and simple, like that of a child. Sentences are usually in 1st person pronoun, which is a child-like way of starting sentences. Hugo Willams also jumps from one event to another in order to recreate the childish way of not linking sentences together. In the start of the poem, the child starts out optimistic and seemingly hopeful, but towards the end of the poem the tone changes and the child becomes confused and alienated as he is not adjusted to the new surroundings of his school. Hugo Williams writes 'I was fully dressed again, ready for bed' and everyday things become a huge effort for the child as he struggles to remember how to do things, although certain things he is expected to know and do, he has never been taught. The poem is quite upsetting as you can see how the child struggles to adjust to his bewildering new life and how he copes with being away from his parents, and all sense or normality he had ever known. English Coursework Comparison- 20th Century Poetry Louise Poole ...read more.

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