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Childhood Essay

1260 words - 6 pages

Carol Ann Duffy and Sheenagh Pugh have both written a selection of poems about the topic of childhood and there are several techniques that are used by both poets which is what I am going to discuss in this essay.

In the poem ‘In Mrs Tilschers Class’ Carol Ann Duffy, uses several themes with the deeper meaning of childhood, such as memories, school, growing up and losing innocence and she uses imagery and language involving the 5 senses throughout the poem which would help the reader create a vivid image in their head of how the author felt when she wrote this poem and could possibly evoke different memories of the reader themselves, taking them back to their childhood which is what makes ...view middle of the document...

Another poem that has a theme of childhood and transition is ‘The Way My Mother Speaks’ which also shows a journey through life with the metaphor of a train and Duffy also uses personification when she says that the train is “browsing for the right sky” which could show the significance of how a child is looking for the correct way of growing up without the loss of innocence which is portrayed at the end of the poem where the author says the child “dipped a net in a green erotic pond” which is a shocking phrase added into the poem and is an odd choice of wording which really grips the readers attention and dwells on the fact that childhood is a really safe innocent place however the journey through life will not let the innocence stay for long.

The form and structure in these three poems is very different and the two authors have very different techniques in which they put their points across. The poem 'Quetzal' has a very odd structure as it contains many different one word stanzas which draws the attention of the reader to these particular words such as "ocean", "autumn" and the main focus of the poem "quetzal". This makes the reader thing of all the colours associated with the words, such as the blues and greens in the "ocean", the browns and reds of "autumn" and then the different bright colours of the "quetzal". The ocean and the autumn were the images in the kaleidoscope that the child didn't really care about and the colours could be used to represent adulthood with the muddy browns and the dangers of the colour red. The negative connotations of the colour blue which is linked greatly to sadness. Finally the image in the kaleidoscope turns to the "quetzal" which contained the different colours which could be used to represent childhood and happiness. The child then asks the mother to make the image in the kaleidoscope again however the mother says that she cannot because "quetzals only come once" which could be used to show that childhood can only come once and you cannot go back once you've grown up and that it is over in the blink of an eye. This final line is also on a stanza of it's own...

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