Hide and Seek - poetry analysis

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Introduction

Hide & seek - poem analysis The poems first two lines are very childlike and give the impression of an innocent game of hide and seek. The alliteration of the 's' sound in line two sets a seaside scene. Line three, however, plants a seed of doubt in my mind. The phrase 'salty dark' is a little suspect and shady, it makes me think that something isn't perhaps as it first seems. The next line reads ' But be careful that your feet aren't sticking out', this line returns to a jovial and childlike tone once again. It forms a perfect rhyming couplet with the next line ' Wiser not to make another shout'. 'The floor is cold', this touches once again on the more ominous feel of the verse, but again, the cheerful pitch of the poem returns with 'Whatever happens you mustn't sneeze'.

Middle

It seems a long time since they went away. 'Your legs are stiff, the cold bites through your coat. The dark damp smell of sand moves in your throat.' These three lines are particularly chilling and quite disturbing. The reference to 'stiff legs' conjures up a corpse-like picture in my mind. The phrase about cold biting through the coat is menacing and sets a dark scene. The choking imagery is also very unpleasant, and portrays an image of death. 'It's time to let them know you are the winner. Push off the sacks. Uncurl and stretch. That's better.' This, to me sounds like a last ditch attempt to stay positive and convince oneself that everything will be fine. 'The darkening garden watches. Nothing stirs. The bushes hold their breath; the sun is gone. Yes, here you are. But where are they who sought you?'

Conclusion

From this point forward the seeker is portrayed as the enemy. The setting of the poem now changes to a dark, cold and unpleasant place to be as solitude sets in. For the child this place is the tool shed, but for the Christian it could be the world without God governing it. 'The darkening garden watches. Nothing stirs. The bushes hold their breath; the sun is gone'. These two lines support my theory; the garden is relevant to Christianity, because of the garden of Eden. Also 'the sun is gone' could have a parallel meaning - Jesus, the son of God is gone from the Christian's life. Perhaps the message of the poem is that we cannot hide from God and expect him to find us. In order to be a true Christian, we must fully embrace God into our lives, not renounce him. Only if we actively seek and welcome God into our lives will we be assured a life of contentment, free from the fear of solitude.

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