The area the poem talks about sounds quite rough. It describes some kids going to ‘smash up’ some ones back yard, ‘bash in his back door’. The language the children used also implies the area is rough, they swear and use slang ‘yah, gurt’ even the poet swears, ‘shouted swear words at them’ The poet writes at the end ‘I shall not return: there’s nothing here that I haven’t had to learn and I’ve learnt nothing that I’d like to teach’.
It puts across the message that the poet feels his time in the town was pointless, that didn’t want to go there in the first place and still doesn’t feel as if it was pointless. It says that he has to learn things but nothing that he feels helped him or would help anyone else. The very last line is ‘I know it was the place’s fault’. This is the line which gives the poem its name. It also tells you that the poem does not blame the people for their behaviour, but he blames their surroundings.Order now
That these people could be good if they had the opportunity of living in a nicer place and without a war happening. Each of the four poems create different feelings and images, each contrasting with some while being similar to others. The first poem ‘Autobiographical Note’ is about the mixed feelings the poet had as a child and how he was different from the other children. You can see in your mind the image of the boy although surrounded by other children, feeling slightly alone and apart from them.
‘The Places Fault’ also has the image of a child feeling separate from the others. The difference though is that the poet makes it obvious that he feels unhappy about it while Scannell doesn’t. ‘The Places Fault contrasts immensely with ‘I Shall Return’. This is because McKay makes the place of his childhood sound beautiful and idyllic , unlike in the ‘Places Fault’ where a war was going on.
‘I Shall Return’ is slightly similar to ‘Going Back’ as both poets want to return, they are different though because the poet of ‘Going Back’ didn’t want to return to what really happened in his childhood but an imaginary childhood where people didn’t bully him. In every poem it mentions that at some stage in the poets life something has gone wrong. I all but one of the poems it has happened in their childhood and is described in the poem. ‘The Places Fault’ is about the unhappy time the poet had as an evacuee.
‘Going Back’ is about how the poet was bullied and ‘Autobiographical Note’ is all about how the poet was different from every one else. The poem which doesn’t mention having an unhappy childhood is ‘I Shall Return’, it does however mention the poet had ‘long years of pain’ after leaving Jamaica. ‘I Shall Return is similar to ‘Going Back’ because the poets are both yearning, the only difference is that Thomas is yearning to return while McKay is yearning to remember something happy. I think that all of the poems are very expressive about the poets feeling and all very well written.