Analyse an Compare the themes of loss and isolation in Long Distance (Harrison), The Sick Equation and Looking for Dad (Patten)
In all three of these poems the two authors are obviously going through extremely tough times in there lives. Therefore we would expect a theme of loss and isolation through out all of these poems. The first factor I am going to look at is the meaning in all the poems which should be fairly obvious from the titles. The meaning in Looking For Dad is to say that the mum and dad are arguing about the little persons untidy bedroom and eventually the dad leaves home and the boy thinks it is all his fault, when the dad doesn’t leave hoem because of him.
The meaning of the poem in Long Distance is that it is not easy losing a loved one let alone losing two loved ones, so this shows you how this particular person would deal with that sort of situation. The meaning of the poem The Sick equation is how hard love can be and as the boy grew up he found out as his mum and dad divorced and he found out that ‘ one and one made one’ by the end of the poem I think he has found love because one and one doesn’t always equal one. Brian Patten had a very emotional life as put forward by his website ‘From first to second childhood and back again, with a little chaos and much humour on the way!
Liverpool poet Brian Patten takes us on a hilarious, sometimes heart-rending and always fascinating journey through a chaotic boyhood, a love-struck adolescence and a disrespectful middle-age, to leave us teetering on the brink of yet another childhood. A very special journey – one that all ages can enjoy together. ‘ Tony Harrison on the other hand went through a different sort of life he went through a ‘The material of much of his poetry is provided by the memories of his working-class childhood.
His poems and translations show a powerful command of rhyme and an expert adaptation of colloquial speech. ‘ The first concept i’m going to explore is the tone through out all three of the poems. The tone in Looking for Dad is generally guilt and more of confusion as the little boy in it thinks it all his fault that his mum and dad are arguing but its not. Then in Long Distance is rather sad and quite a lot reflective because he has just lost his mum and dad and he keeps on doing things he would normally do with his mum and dad by himself as a sort of ritual.
The Sick Equation is more reflective and more relief and not so much resouloution is included as well this is about love and how it can be confusing through out life and the rollercoaster it can be. The next area I am going to look through is the structure and see if this affects the way the poets thought are put across. The structure in Long Distance is fairly consistent with most of the lines the same length. This I think reflects normality. In the last verse this is not as consistent as the first three stanzas. The poets thoughts are also put acros about on how he feels about his dad and how perhaps he feels isolated maybe.
Also he is starting to suffer from the loss of is not so long lost dad. Also this poem flows and uses enjambment well enjambment being ‘The continuation of a syntactic unit from one line or couplet of a poem to the next with no pause.. ‘ The structure in The Sick equation is more varied of lengths of the fairly long lines and the verses are all the same length. This reflects the uncertainty and puts across this view that the idea is disjointed. There are some rhyming couplets in places this helps to piece together some of the authors ideas. At the end of the poem the couplets give a rather good rounding off to the end of this poem.
The structure in this poem is there are many short lines this is just meant to make you want to read on and think of the boy which is the author. This only has one long flowing stanza this is used to create tension. Another effect of the one long flowing stanza is that it makes the poem more like a story. This is probably the reason as the child has probably been read a few stories so this is the only way he knows how to write things down. There is also a long stream of unconsciousness through out the whole poem. The rhyme and rhythm in Long Distance is quite strong throughout.
There are 10-11 syllables in most of the short lines this poem consists of. I think the reason for the short lines is to get the depressed view of the poet across to the reader. In Looking For Dad There is the odd few rhyming lines but not in a pattern because the author is trying to use the vocabulary of the child which seems to be extremely limited. The effect of this is to make the poem have a theme of unhappiness. In the sick equation the rhyming is scattered there is some rhyme and the effect of this is that it keeps the poem flowing without the rhyme. The last feature I am going to explore is the language used.
In looking for dad the language is very basic as the poem is written from a small persons point of view, so therefore his vocabulary is limited. In the sick equation and long distance the language is very similar because they are both writing about the same sort of situatuion , the language used is very depressing. In All three poems the theme of loss and isolation is put acroos very well as it is easy to write about something when you have actually experienced it in your life. But it is not always easy so these three poems are ones of a kind. Thereofre I think the theme is put across well.
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