Post 1945 Poetry


Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas

AO1: A praise and lamentation of the days the speaker spent at Fern Hill as a youth.. Throughout the poem, he talks about how happy he was as a youngster and how oblivious he was that youth was passing. The speaker personifies time as he wishes he was back in his golden days. Time and inevitability of growing up.

AO2: Form: Almot an ode, which is usually celebratory. Sense of story, as he begins with childhood and ends on connotations of death. Idea of his thoughts tumbling out, suggesting a narrative form. Structure: Each stanza has the exact same number of lines with the exact same number of syllables-open verse. Chronological order of going through experience with the poem. Sense of pace created by enjambament, long sentences running into each other. Language-Repitition of green and golden. Repeated chliches but refreshed. Religious images such as Eden, Adam and Eve, the snake being time as temptation 'apple boughs' and 'apple towns'. Golden-innocence, childhood, value of time and experience that comes with age. Green-innocence, childhood, youth, innocent and naive.

AO3: 'Golden in the heydays of his eyes' heydays are associated with youth, however golden years are associated with ageing. Different readings for the quote that the time is golden, his youth was golden or he's aged now and this time is golden that he has now.

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Show Saturday by Philip Larkin

AO1: A way of life Larkin regrets is disappearing, a sense of tradition being lost, skills that are gradually dying out. Juxtaposition of nature and industry, putting on a show, pastoral people, public and private spheres. 'Represents an ideal-in themselves and in the style used to describe the-of familiar Englishness'-Andrew Motion.

AO2: Form: Narrative, storylike, on going. Structure: Appearance on page echoes excitement of the on going show, then the show coming to an end. Regular rhyme scheme but easy to miss as the lines follow on from one another. Use of brackets suggests a story. Leads us chronologically through the show. Language: Cross over of animal and human characteristics and descriptions. Inelegent terms of style but adds to the chaos, a spontanious story being told. Anaphoria of "Back now", ending the poem with a prayer like statement. assonance of 'Grey day for the show' evocation of typical Britich weather. 'Announcements, splutterying loud' onomatopeoic adverb reflecting the unreliability of loudspeaker systems. Cinematic. Simile of 'like great straw dice'.

AO3: Just a show, idea of return and retreat, Bakhtins theory of carnival, pretending to be someone you're not just for the show, unrealistic. It's all magic and manufactured, like a set on a stage "dismantle Show".

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Going, Going by Philip Larkin

AO1: In Larkin’s view, what is ‘going’ is the landscape of England as a green and pleasant land. It is being replaced by shoddy development, summed up by the auctioneer’s excited cry of ‘going, going’ as another piece of the old heritage falls under the hammer. Going, going, but not yet quite gone. Larkin once thought it would ‘last his time’. Now he doubts that. A lamentation of the pastoral tradition lost, not celebrated.

AO2: Form: Conversational and prosaic tone. Structure: This tone is partly contrived by the rhyming pattern of each six line stanza: A B C A B C, which makes for a more open quality than couplets. Language: 'We can always escape in the car' urbanisation. 'chuck filth in the sea' bitter irony, careless. 'Doubt?' added impact. 'kids screaming for more' subtext of Enlgand screaming for more urbanisation. One stanza of one pastoral image shining through the urbanised language 'the shadows, the meadows, the lanes, the guildhalls, the carved choirs' sums up the parts of England Larkin wants to preserve. Sense of community and religion.

AO3: Or is it simply age? Here ‘age’ refers to his own advancing years, and also to the deterioration of things, as in the spirit of the age. Age is contrasted with 'the crowd is young in the M1 cafe', emphasising the urbanisation, how careless the young are and the aged remember what it was like before the industrial world, when England was preserved.

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Chruch Going by Phillip Larkin

AO1: The speaker of the poem sneaks into a church after making sure it's empty. He lets the door thud shut behind him and glances around at all the fancy decorations, showing his ignorance of (or indifference to) how sacred all this stuff is supposed to be. Larkin expresses his distaste for the present church as well as the trivialization of religion in modern society.

AO2: Form-Storytelling, acendotal, blank verse (10 syllables) often used in formal writing. Conversational speaker. Structure-Ordered neatly and structured, referencing to religion. Church Going has a strict structure however there are irregularities making the poem seem uneven. Larkin uses this is illustrate the breaking down of the present church as well as to make the reader feel at unrest so that we can relate to how he feels when he enters a church. Language-Colloquial, informal tone, how he approaches the church. 'thud shut' assonance/onomatopoeic suggesting traditional solidity of church doors.'he once heard' church is a folk tale. Uniting man-made and natural world. Nature claiming back what's theirs 'the special shell'.

AO3: He knows enough to avoid the place when real churchgoers are there. He might be afraid of offending them by doing something wrong, or he might want to explore the church with a sense of total freedom. In this opening line, Larkin sets the stage for the entire poem, which will concern the theme of feeling out-of-place among a community of true believers.

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In a Garden by Elizabeth Jennings

AO1: The gardener is not there to maintain the garden, therefor it grows wild and free, but she is stil in the garden without the gardeners care and guidance. The poets feeling of being lost has associations of Paradise lost when Adam and Eve were driven out, but she is puzzled because she feels lost inside the garden.

AO2: Form: Deliberate choice of sonnet form-petrarchan sonnet. Associated with love but in this poem is it human love or spiritual love, sense of ambiguity. Structure: Alternative rhyme scheme.Meter is iambic pentameter, allowing poet to use language that sounds converational, expressing simple yet profound idea's. Language: 'shares its shadows' suggests the tree outside the garden is casting shadows into the garden, bringing the idea of an 'outside' world into Eden, corrupting it. 'Sickness for Eden' represents the longing for the Golden Age and for spiritual healing. The garden is an insufficient substitute for Eden as well as being a traditional metaphor. The unobtrusive use of alliterative phrases and enjambment creates a rhythmic flow that is occasionally interrupted by a caesura 'in the wrong way.'

AO3: The gardener in this poem can be seen as a spiritual figure such as a Jesus as it also had biblical connotations or just a lamentation of a relationship ending.

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Absence by Elizabeth Jennings

AO1: This is a carefully crafted poem about loss. Jennings vists the place she once went to but has returned with different feelings as we're not sure who is 'absent' but things have changed since she last returned to "the place where we last met".

AO2: Form-The first stanza sets the scene, the second poses the question about how there could be anything discordant in such surroundings and the third stanza answers the question. Structure-Iambic pentameter, appropriate conversational tone which disguises profound feelings. Language-Simple and direct. Life continues with the lines 'nothing was changed', 'there was no sign', 'nothing to instruct me to forget' regardless of personal feelings or tragedies. 'well-tended' gardens and 'steady jet' of the fountains, creating continuity. Plays with words 'gentleness' and 'earthquake tremor' against each other. In such a tranquil scene there should not be 'pain' or 'discord' but the birds are described as 'singing in ecstasy I could not share' and 'shook out of trees'. Language suggests there is a strange meet in the middle of human and natural world.

AO3:Alternatively, it is a pastoral setting, the birds are still singing and the breeze is still blowing, but these elements in the garden do not reflect Jennings feelings.

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