A Comparison of Mrs. Tilcher’s Class
and death of a naturalist
Kerry Mears | English Literature | 8th November 2017
The two poems are both tragic in the sense of that they are both about loss of innocence, loss of childhood. As you read them you get the feeling that they are reminiscing on their childhoods and the things that bought them both joy and sadness.
Out of the two poems I found myself drawn more towards Mrs. Tilcher’s Class written by: Carol Ann Duffy.
The reason I preferred this poem is because there are things mentioned that took me back and got me thinking about my own childhood, especially the following quotes “The chalky pyramids rubbed in to dust, A window opened with a long pole, The classroom glowed like a sweetshop, A good gold star by your name”. To me this screams primary and junior school.
As it shows growth from childhood through to adolescence I found this in the following quotes “the laugh of a bell swung by a child” and then from the last stanza “ you ran through the gates, impatient to be grown, as the sky split open in to a thunderstorm”. This poem also uses a feature called sensory imagery, the sentence that jumped out to me containing this feature is “ A xylophones nonsense is heard from another form”. As it reminded me of being in a class when I needed to concentrate in junior school and primary school classes were just messing around on the instrument during a music lesson. That being said the second poem The Death of a Naturalist written by: Seamus Heaney shows similar themes as this poem also describes youth and loss of innocence. The child in the first stanza has a fascination of nature and countryside especially with frogspawn and frogs. Going by the quote “But best of all was the warm thick slobber of frogspawn that grew like clotted water, you could tell the weather by the frogs too they were yellow in the sun and brown in the rain”.
The metaphors in both poems both show growth the following quotes to prove this are “As the sky split open in to a thunderstorm” and “ Here every spring I would fill jampots of jellied specks”. The form of this poem however is different to In Mrs. Tilcher’s Class as there are only 2 stanza’s and they both show unpredictability and they are both chaotic. The narrative points of view on both poems are adults reflecting on their childhood. However The Death of a Naturalist reminded me more of my grandparents back garden especially being around the garden pond during the spring and summer months.
Both poems also describe growth through mentions of the time of year, “All year the flax-dam festered in the heart of the townland”, which is a sentence from Death of a Naturalist and then from In Mrs. Tilcher’s Class “Over the Easter term the inky tadpoles changed from commas in to exclamation marks”, “That feverish July, the air tasted of electricity” The sentence “A rough boy told you how you were born, you kicked him, but you stared at your parents, appalled,...