Throughout the three poems, Half past two by U.A.Fanthorpe, Piano by D.H.Lawrence and Poem at Thirty Nine by Alice Walker, the themes of childhood and adulthood are put in relief. There is always a communication between the two worlds and an every day event or a sensory detail can suddenly make them connect.
The poem Half past Twoexpresses the innocence of childhood. Piano talks about the transforming power of music that makes the speaker remember about his childhood. Finally, Poem at Thirty-Nine explores the marks left by an adult on his child.
Ursula Askham Fanthorpe uses U.A. Fanthorpe as her writing name. She is born on the 22nd of July 1929 and died in the 28th of April 2009. She’s a british poet and won theawards of the “Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature” and the “Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry”; U.A.Fanthorpe wrote the poem Half past Two
In this poem, the influence of time on children and adults is the main theme. A schoolboy is told he’s done something “Very Wrong” and gets punished until half past two. The boy hasn’t any notion of time and doesn’t know what half past two signifies “shehadn’t taught him Time” (v 8). Time seems to pass very slowly for him “and so he waited, beyond onceupona” (v 19) whereas it goes much to fast for adults. At the end of the poem, the teacher rushed into the room saying “ I forgot all about you Run along or you’ll be late” v 26-27. The child doesn’t know how to read the time ‘But he couldn’t click it’s language’.
In the 8th stanza, there ishere a shift between the point of view of the child and the point of view of the speaker. The pace slows as if Time had suddenly stopped leaving the child to daydream. The smell of old chrysanthemums of her desk’ is a connotation to death. “Into the air outside into ever” expresses freedom. This shows that the room the child is in feels like a prison.
The theme of authority is also observed.Throughout the poem, the teacher loses hers. At the beginning, she is very powerful, “and She said” “He was too scared of being wicked” . At the end, she is compared to a bug ‘scuttling in’ to fetch the little boy. The child has changed in a way, according less importance to the teacher and to what he has done.
The child represents innocence, we do not know why he is punished, and he doesn’t seem tounderstand either. The capitalisation of ‘Very Wrong’ shows that the child thinks he’s done something very bad. However, the speaker’s words between parenthesis ‘I forgot what it was’ demonstrate that it isn’t really.
David Herbert Richards Lawrence was born on the 11of September 1885 and died on the 2nd of March 1930. he was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist and literary critic.His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. He wrote the poem Piano in 1918
Different themes are here expressed in the poem, such as nostalgia. The speaker hears a music that makes him remember about his childhood. ‘vista of years’ ‘childish days is upon me’ and misses the innocence and lack of responsibilitiesthat children have. This feeling is also seen in many other poems, such as Once upon a Time by Gabriel Okara. In this poem, the speaker is nostalgic about the old society he used to live in, regretting he has changed with the years.
There are contrasts exposed in the poem. First between ‘the winter outside’ and the ‘cozy parlor’. The speaker makes the moment feel familiar. “The Sunday evenings athome” with family and the piano show the cozyness of the situation. Then between manhood and childhood verse 13 which emphasises the changement of comportment of the speaker.
These contrasts are similar as the ones enounced in the poem Once Upon a Time, when the speaker contrasts the society he used to live in and the modern society, as well as the way he has changed.
The transforming power of...