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Poems, Hide And Seek And Once Upon A Time By Gabriel Okara Share A Theme Of Childhood

1166 words - 5 pages

‘Hide and seek’ and ‘Once Upon A Time’ both share a common perception on the theme, ‘Childhood’ and both have a significant messages which are played out through a nostalgic tone. Childhood has its pleasures and fears that are both valuable and insignificant to are modern selves, in ‘Hide and seek’ it presents a both demoralizing yet scarce message to us in the form of a commonly played childhood game in doing so making the poem feel a bit more personal and something you can relate to. The message being that as a result of over flowing insolence/ confidence, you may drop yourself into a pit of self-despairing failure even though a lap of luxury lay around the corner. We see this in the poem ...view middle of the document...

But teeth, which are hard, white, and expressionless, reveal nothing. In the poem the people's eyes have now become "ice-block-cold", revealing no warmth. This gives off very negative, false feelings towards us as readers and it is a cold, sharp description. This creates a harsh tone and generally gives off a sinister and bitter attitude. The father that is talking to the soon shows a great deal of regret, in stanza 6 we see the repetitive use of the letter ‘I’, almost as if he’s broken away from society and by using this it emphasizes even more his burden to return to his old self. Again we also see how he wants to "unlearn all these muting things"; this suggests that he has learnt how to behave in a way, which "mutes" or silences his real emotions. He wants to get rid of his false laugh, which "shows only my teeth like a snake's bare fangs" - the comparison with the snake's fangs makes the false, mask-like smile seem dangerous. The speaker regrets the loss of his innocence, but hopes his son can teach him.

‘Hide and Seek’, and ‘Once Upon A Time’, shares similarities between their structures, both manipulating rhythm to symbolize key elements of life. ‘Hide and seek’, instead of using stanza’s, is just one big block, by doing this ‘Hide and Seek’ manages to control a constant flow, whereas ‘Once Upon A Time’ has stanza’s as well as caesura to signify a change in subject or pause. ’Hide and uses rhyming couplets in it’s poem to build up a flow of tension, for example line 4 and 5 “Out…Shout”, line 9 and 10 “Door…Before”, line 14 and 15 “Lane…Again”, line 19 and 20 “Coat…Throat”. The tension stops when the boy rise’s from the bushes and finds his companions have abandoned him, the rhyme also helps create a constant rhythm to the poem, which makes you read it faster, then once he finds himself alone, the rhythm goes and makes you read the poem slower letting the fact that the ones that “sought him”, have left him alone. We also see this build up of anger and tension in ‘Once Upon A Time’ as it shows Gabriel Okara’s ever-worsening attitude towards modern society and gets even more...

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