The poems I am comparing in this essay are Half-past two andReports by U.A. Fanthorpe and Leaving school by Hugo Williams.
All three of the poems are about school, and about the differentaspects of it. There are several points of view expressed in thepoems, such as that of a teacher, the confusion of a child startingboarding school, and a child who cannot tell the time.
In the poem ‘Half-past two’, the poem tells of a child who, afterbeing told off as been told to stay inside until half-past two andthen he can go. To the dismay and confusion of the child, he cannottell the time and so wonders what to do when and if, half-past twoever came. In this poem, the style is very much that of a childspeaking firsthand to himself and thinking in his head. The poembegins with ‘Once upon a’ which is a harsh clichA© of old fairytalesof which the majority of them started in this way. In the firstparagraph, as he is so young he did ‘something very wrong’ but thencarries on to say that he had forgotten what it was that he had doneto deserve his punishment.
At the end of the lines in the first verse, there is no punctuation sothat the reader doesn’t pause and is forced to carry on reading toreach the end of the sentence, and enable them to have a pause. Thisis written just how a child would tell a story, by not taking a pauseuntil the most important bit of a story is told. When the child speaksof phrases that he hears often, they are written as, ‘Gettinguptime,timeyouwereofftime.’ As the child cannot tell the time, he classesthese as ways to tell the time.
U.A. Fanthorpe attempts to recreate the voice and thoughts of thechild by describing a clock as having ‘little eyes’ and ‘two long legsfor walking’ meaning the hands of the clock.
In the 8th verse, the deliberate repetition of the opening words ofeach line ‘Into the’ are used to suggest a change of mood. The longerlines suggest how his mind escapes and his imagination starts tounwind. This contrasts with the other verses and situation.
When the child writes about his teacher, he uses capitals whenaddressing ‘Her’. U.A. Fanthorpe has done this to show how importantthe child regards the teacher. When the teacher starts talking, U.AFanthorpe uses italics to show how he regards her, and also as acontrast to the normal font used so that her speech catches the