Post 1945 Poetry

All things about post-1945 poetry that I may use in the exam

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Remains - Tony Harrison (1)

"It's never trespassed on 'the poet's' aura,

Nor been scanned, as it is, five strong verse feet"

- Saying Martin is the true Poet not Wordsworth

- Irony/ Sarcasm of "'the poet's'" further suggests that Harrison is saying Martin is the true poet

- "Five strong verse feet" is the perfect way to write a poem and is very strong. Perhaps what Wordsworth and Harrison both strive to write but can't.

- "Nor been scanned" is a comment on modern society and how Wordsworth's work has been published but Martin's hasn't

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Remains - Tony Harrison (2)

"the paperhanger's one known extant line

as the culture that I need to start off mine

and honour his one visit by the Muse"-

- Martin's line is good as it links to his 1891 culture

- Martin is Harrison's inspiration (Muse) for this poem not Wordsworth or Wordsworth was Martin's inspiration (Muse)

- "one extant line" (extant = surviving) suggests that Martin may have been a great poet yet this is the only line that remains

- Harrison is almost jealous of Martin as he is able to capture his culture whereas Harrison seems to be struggling to capture his

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Remains - Tony Harrison

"our heads will be happen cold when this is found"

- Written by W. Martin the paperhanger

- Humour is used as it says that he and his paperhangers will be dead when the line is found

- Interesting it is at the end of the poem as death happens at the end of life

- The language and rhythm of the line captures the 19th century writing patterns

- Harrison is creating Martin's legacy by including this line in his poem

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Canal: 1977 - U A Fanthorpe (1)

"the leaves' design

On uncommitted water, the pocky stonework

Ruining mildly in mottled silence,

The gutted pub"

- Fanthorpe remembering the canal in 1977 and now looking at is in its ruined state

- "The leaves' desigin on uncommitted water" shows how water runs through the tunnell and how the leaves lay on the still water that is still from no presence of any movement

- "The gutted pub" shows the pub not being in use anymore

- "Pocky Stonework" means patchy stonework which is caused by water damage e.g. not in use

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Canal: 1977 - U A Fanthorpe (2)

" And before. I remember the sly lurchers,

The rose-and-castled barges, serious horses,

Coal smell."

- Fanthorpe remembering the Tunnell when it was working and the miners lives in that time

- "The rose-and-castled barges" is a boat that has a flat bottom and primarily used for transport of heavy goods

- "Coal Smell" is a very nostalgic line of the poem as it links to Fanthorpes rememberance of her past and the smells of the past

- "Sly Lurchers" and "Serious Horses" are both personifying animals (Lurchers = a breed of dog) which makes the poem rather pastoral as it links to natures goodness through life.

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Canal: 1977 - U A Fanthorpe (3)

" And before, the mute persistence of water

And grass and trees. Humanity goes out

Like a light, like the Roman-candle miners,

Shifting their pits on a donkey-winch."

- Links to light difficulties in the tunnell and how difficult it must've been for the miners

- "Humanity goes out like a light" could be saying how quickly people will give up their humanity for easiness and links to "Roman-candle miners" who are all gone.

- "Donkey-winch" is an old winch used to pull things up from the tunnell from the term donkey engine frim ships and boats

- "And before" links to nostalgic attitudes towards the misuse of the tunnell today and is quite pastoral as we see Fanthorpes nostalgia to something that was once used to make use of nature and natural resources

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Church Going - Philip Larkin (1)

"Unignorable silence

Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off

My cycle-clips in awkward reverence"

- "Unignorable silence" suggests an awkward silence inside the church he has entered

- "Brewed God knows how long" is controvertial as he is using God's name in vain in a church and also "Brewed" is added to make it more poetic

- "I take off my cycle-clips in awkward reverence" is used for comedy as it is amusing to see someone feel the need to take something off in a church

- It all seems like Larkin is an outsider as it seems as if he's very confused. Ironic as the church is meant to be a welcoming place.

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Church Going - Philip Larkin (2)

"When churches fall completely out of use

What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep

A few cathedrals chronically on show"

- "churches fall completely out of use" is saying that churches won't be around forever e.g. religion/ Christianity will die out

- "What shall we turn them into" is Larkin thinking about what the churches will be turned into when religion dies out e.g. will they be something useful? rhetorical question

- "A few cathedrals chronically on show" suggests that Larkin thinks they will be museums or historical artifacts that are ultimately useless

- A very fatalistic attitude to religion as a whole which shows an anti-pastoral view

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Church Going - Philip Larkin (3)

" And what remains when disbelief has gone?

Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky"

- Larkin saying that without religion this is all that churches are

- Churches are only a sacred place because of religion and that they are the same as castles or other historic ruins without religion

- Churches are still beautiful buildings but are perhaps something that is not more worthy of worship than other historic places

- Fatalistic/ Melancholic attitude towards religion and churches

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Fern Hill - Dylan Thomas (1)

" In the sun that is young once only,

Time let me play and be

Golden in the mercy of his means"

- "Sun that us young once only" is a link to the life cycle

- Time is personified as the controller of him

- Linking himself to the sun in the fact that he is young only once and time is what dictates when play stops and work starts

- Time controls everything

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Fern Hill - Dylan Thomas (2)

" And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house

Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long"

- "Honoured among foxes ..." links to opening stanza line of "Honoured among wagons..."

- "Happy as the heart was long" is playing on the well known phrase "Happy as the day is long"

- "The gay house" means the happy house and is a transferred epithet

- It is said on a new day ("new made clouds"

- Links to "The sun that is young once only"  through "New made clouds" as the clouds are young everyday possibly envious

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Fern Hill - Dylan Thomas (3)

"Time held me green and dying

Though I sang in my chains like the sea."

- Time is good but you can't escape growing old or dying

- Negative: "Held...Dying...Chains"

- Positive: "Green...Sang...Sea"

- Link to time being the controller as it is personified again

- "Though I sang in my chains..." suggests that although he knows death is coming he accepts it with grace and joy

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A Peasant - R S Thomas (1)

"Iago Prytherch his name, though, be it allowed,

Just an ordinary man of the bald Welsh hills"

- He has a posh name yet is just an ordinary man

- He is alone = anti-pastoral

- "Bald Welsh hills" suggests it is boring where he is which again suggests the anti-pastoral as it is not romanticised

- "Be it allowed" is quite conversational

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A Peasant - R S Thomas (2)

"So are his days spent, his spittled mirth

Rarer than the sun that cracks the cheeks"

- Although it seems negative at first it is quite happy

- He is happy in the landscape even if it is boring it is his home

- "Rarer than the sun" suggests it is a rather dull place and not very typically nice

- "Cracks the cheeks" is a transferred epithet and the cheeks are personified

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A Peasant - R S Thomas (3)

"Yet this is your prototype, who, season by season

Against seige of rain and the wind's attrition,

Preserves his stock, an impregnable fortress"

- Positive as even though they are hit by bad weather they are still alive and value the life they have

- "Your prototype...Preserves his stock" Could be adressing God through "Your" and also "Preserves his stock" could link to Jesus being the shepard or God owning all of us

- "Wind's attrition" suggests army/warfare imagery

- "Impregnable fortress" suggests that they are being saved for some reason by God and that he values all life he has created

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