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Poems by U.A Fanthorpe

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1016
  • Category: Poems

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U.A Fanthorpe is a contemporary poet and I have read 3 poems in an anthology called Track 2. She seems to have a low impression with the education systems in schools. She also used to be a teacher, but left early because she didn’t like the job, so she knows quite a lot about schools. The 3 poems I have read are called Half Past Two, Reports and Dear Mr Lee.

In the poem Half Past Two, it tells me about a child who cannot tell time and the teacher told him that he did “Something Very Wrong”, the capital letters show me that the teacher is very annoyed and saying it strongly. So the child ends up getting a detention. The child shows that he fears the teacher when he refers to her using capital letters. The child is now told that he is going home at half past two, but he does not understand time, he only knows time as events like, ‘Gettinguptime’, ‘Timeyouwereofftime’, ‘Timetogohometime’ and ‘Tvtime’. The words are together because that’s how the child speaks and thinks. The detention does not have the desired effect on the child, because One, He did not know, what he had done wrong. Two, Because he did not know what time was, so the detention is meaningless. Three, He had a daydream in the detention, so the detention had no effect on him.

In the sixth stanza Fanthorpe uses personification. Personification means that you give objects human qualities. Fanthorpe explained the clockface as “the little eyes and two long legs for walking”, “But he couldn’t click its language”. The word click deliberately has two meanings, the first meaning is when something clicks in your head (to understand) and the second meaning is what a clock sounds like, (tick tock). In the seventh stanza, the child thinks adults are trapped, they have to do things at a certain time (routine).

“He knew he had escaped forever”, he is free in his daydream, during his detention, but were trapped in time, like when we have to get up for school or when lunch finishes. In the ninth stanza, the teacher returns and her words are in Italics. In the tenth stanza, the teachers words “sending him home” bring him “back into school time”. “She slotted him … school time”, is alliteration, which brings emphasis to the end of his daydream. In the last stanza, it says he was in the land of ever, it means when he learnt how to read time, he would finish daydreaming. But that child never forgot, that moment, that daydream when he was free of time.

The second poem Reports, is not about children in school, but about teachers and it makes you feel sorry for them. It seems like they are victims of a hostile system. Even when they write reports, it can be used against them. “Unholy Trinity”, this phrase means, Headmaster, Parent and Child and teachers are scared of them, because if the child complains that he/she is not learning, the teachers can get told off by the Parent and Head and be accused of wrong things and can lose their jobs.

The teachers always used the same phrases, for everyone like fair and quite good. And sometimes they have nothing to say, so they say must try harder. One thing a teacher should never say in a report is, Unmanageable because it cuts both ways, it could mean that the teacher can’t teach, or the student is disobedient and bad. Some teachers only come to school, to teach because they feel they have power and authority. But some teachers hate coming to school and just for the money and wish they were not alive. And only a few teachers live a life that’s just school, but not understanding their pupils and all teachers think, that its not a great life to teach, they also think they only get peace when they die and all teachers look back and say they could have done better.

The final poem is called, Dear Mr Lee and is about a student who failed his English G.C.S.E’s, and is writing to the author of the book he loved called, “Cider With Rosie”. The author’s name is Laurie Lee, the writer of the letter, loved reading this book, but failed the questions in the exam. So that shows there was a problem with the exam system.

Even when the boy was sick, he used to take the book to bed, with snacks. ” If you could see my copy you’d know its lived with me, stained with Coke and Kitkat and when I had a cold, I would often take you to bed to cheer me up “. The writer looked up to Laurie Lee. He blamed Shakespeare ” I used to hate English and Mr. Smart is roughly my least favourite person. And as for Shakespeare (were doing him too), I think he’s a national disaster, with all those jokes that Mr. Smart had to explain why they’re jokes and even no one thinks they were funny “, and himself for failing the exam, but he still loved Cider with Rosie.

The boy wants to become a poet himself, when he’s older, but his teachers always put him down. He realised knowing a book isn’t as good, as being good at G.C.S.E’s. He also compared Laurie Lee to other poets like T.Hughes and P.Larkin and said they weren’t funny compared to Laurie Lee.

I quite liked this poem, I learned a few things, because it gave me an insight on teachers and how they teach and treat their students, it also tells me that they are scared of the Head the Parents and the students, when they write reports. But this poem does make me, respect teachers more, because most of them don’t just come for the money, but also try

their best to teach us and make us learn, even when they get put down, they ignore it and carry on.

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