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Autor: anton • July 8, 2011 • 1,964 Words (8 Pages) • 702 Views
Choose two poems from your reading on the theme of childhood. Compare and contrast the experiences described in each poem showing clearly why each poem affected you the way it did and with close reference to the poetÐ²Ð‚™s use of language show how he/she conveys these feeling to you.
A person is affected by life occurrences differently as a child than as an adult. Childhood is a period of life every person experiences and therefore can relate to. In the selection of poems that I have studied the poet attempts to stir feelings and emotions of childhood in the reader.
The two poems that I have chosen to compare and contrast are Ð²Ð‚ÑšIn Mrs TilscherÐ²Ð‚™s classÐ²Ð‚Ñœ by Carol Ann Duffy and Ð²Ð‚ÑšMid-term BreakÐ²Ð‚Ñœ by Seamus Heaney.
Carol Ann Duffy was born in Glasgow, 1955. She grew up in Scotland attending local catholic schools before going to Liverpool University to study Philosophy. She later worked as a free lance writer in London and Manchester. She decided to become a poet when she was fourteen and felt that was her vocation. She won all the major poetry prizes and awards. In 1995 she was presented with an OBE and in 2001 she was presented with a CBE. She also writes plays, radio plays, edits poetry and teaches creative writing.
Seamus Heaney was born in 1939 to a Catholic family and spent his childhood on the family farm in County Londonderry. He won a scholarship to St. ColombÐ²Ð‚™s College and then went to QueenÐ²Ð‚™s University, Belfast. He lectured in QueensÐ²Ð‚™ for 6 years. He began publishing poetry in 1966 and he wrote a lot in the years that followed. He became a Professor of poetry at the University of Oxford 1989-1994 and he was awarded the Noble Prize for literature in 1995. He now lives in Ireland.
Ð²Ð‚ÑšIn Mrs TilscherÐ²Ð‚™s classÐ²Ð‚Ñœ is about DuffyÐ²Ð‚™s childhood experiences at primary school. It is autobiographical in the sense that Mrs Tilscher is a real person who taught Duffy when she was at Primary School. The theme of the poem describes the transition from childhood to adolescence and it reflects the lessons we learn at school from our teachers and peers.
Duffy uses sensory poetry Ð²Ð‚" images which we feel, smell, taste and hear. She brings life to the classroom; we sense the excitement of the children as they sit captivated by Mrs TilscherÐ²Ð‚™s lesson.
Ð²Ð‚?You could travel up the Blue Nile
With your finger, tracing the route
While Mrs Tilscher chanted the sceneryÐ²Ð‚™
Later we feel the change in the children.
Ð²Ð‚?A tangible alarm made you always, untidy,
Hot fractious under the heavy, sexy sky.Ð²Ð‚™
Duffy is effective in creating snapshot images so we really get a sense of the environment she creates, she picks up her own memories and also taps into the readers.
The language Duffy uses reflects the happy trusting relationship between teachers and students in early primary school years and then highlights the difficult transition through hormonal teenage years.
Figurative language is used to transcribe these experiences to the reader. The first two stanzas contain positive images.
Ð²Ð‚?The laugh of a bell swung by a running childÐ²Ð‚™
The bell is personified so that we get a clear sense of the childrenÐ²Ð‚™s laughter and excitement.
Mrs Tilscher Ð²Ð‚?chantsÐ²Ð‚™ the lesson adding a Ð²Ð‚?sing-songÐ²Ð‚™ feel to the poem which contributes with the Ð²Ð‚?enthralling booksÐ²Ð‚™, classroom that Ð²Ð‚?glowed like a sweet shopÐ²Ð‚™, Ð²Ð‚?sugar paper. Coloured shapesÐ²Ð‚™ and Ð²Ð‚?gold starsÐ²Ð‚™
There is a sense of time passing in the second half of the poem. The seasons and the weather are changing Ð²Ð‚?Over the Easter termÐ²Ð‚™, Ð²Ð‚?That feverish July.Ð²Ð‚™
Duffy uses a punctuation metaphor, Ð²Ð‚Ñšthe inky tadpoles changed from commas into exclamation marksÐ²Ð‚Ñœ, to indicate the growth of tadpoles and then extends the metaphor. She compares the release of the frogs in the playground to the changes taking place in the growing children.
The language becomes uncomfortable filled with unrest. Duffy hints at the uncomfortable effects of hormones which make the children Ð²Ð‚?feverishÐ²Ð‚™, Ð²Ð‚?untidyÐ²Ð‚™, Ð²Ð‚?hotÐ²Ð‚™, Ð²Ð‚?fractious.Ð²Ð‚™ Duffy associates the oppressive feeling we have in humid weather with the physical change of puberty. The same children who were once captivated by Mrs TilscherÐ²Ð‚™s lessons are now impatient to be grown.
Mrs TilscherÐ²Ð‚™s love protects the children in the first half of the poem and makes the horrors of life fade away. However later in the poem when asked about sex she is unable to answer them because they are moving into new territory.
Duffy structures the poem in regular stanzas which help to add emphasis to the Ð²Ð‚?Snap shotsÐ²Ð‚™ of childhood and adolescence that she presents. The poem is written in blank verse. There is no obvious rhyme scheme, but the change in stanza length (First two stanza have eight lines and the second two have seven lines) which reflects the change in the children.
The tone reveals a lot about the speakerÐ²Ð‚™s attitude towards the subject, in this case the difference between the innocence and security of childhood and the troublesome years of adolescence. Duffy establishes the tone of the poem through her use of language and structure. The first two stanzas are positive and warm. In the second stanzas the tone becomes uncertain and ominous as growing sexuality causes confusion and irritability, Ð²Ð‚?fractious under the heavy, sexy sky.Ð²Ð‚™ The weather reflects the oppression as childhood innocence is lost.
The poem ends with an image supporting turbulent years to come Ð²Ð‚?the sky split open into a thunderstormÐ²Ð‚™.
Similarly to Ð²Ð‚?In Mrs TilscherÐ²Ð‚™s classÐ²Ð‚™, Ð²Ð‚?Mid-term breakÐ²Ð‚™ is also a childhood memory through the subject matter is completely different. The poem is also autobiographical as it is about a family tragedy and he describes reactions to grief.
The title suggests a holiday but this break does not happen for a pleasant reasons. The poem is about the death of HeaneyÐ²Ð‚™s younger brother, Christopher,