Scannell gives the impression that he looks back on his childhood with displeasure at how they all applauded a fight and had snotty noses. The last line of the poem comments on how the villain would warm his heart ‘with something oddly close to love’. This shows that his memories were not all bad and that some aspects of his childhood were quite enjoyable. Although Scannell makes his childhood sound quite enjoyable, he doesn’t make it sound wonderful, ‘I shall return’ by McKay does. It is about his longing to return to Jamaica where he spent his happy childhood. In the poem he makes Jamaica sound wonderful and idyllic.Order now
This is done by first saying that he is longing to return ‘I shall return, I shall return again’, the repetition also shows how desperate he is to return. McKay then goes on to describe each subject using loving descriptive words ‘wafting their blue black smoke to sapphire skies’. Also he mentions ‘dear delicious tunes’ describing them as if he savours the sound still. McKay also makes everything sound relaxed and tranquil ‘loiter by the stream’ as if in this place you have all the time in the world. You can tell that McKay wants to return because he speaks of the land with love and good memories.
He also mentions the previous years of pain which he has had, and how returning to Jamaica will ‘ease my mind of long long years of pain’. McKay remembers all good aspects of his childhood. He mentions nothing bad. Only the things which he misses are written in the poem, there may have been bad memories, but he does not recall them in the poem. Also, he would not want to return if his memories were really bad. This poem sounds dreamlike because of the vocabulary the poet has used ‘loiter by the stream’, ‘wafting their blue black smoke’. Both of these are tranquil images.
They can be spoken slowly and gently to emphasis this affect. The poem is full of alliterations all adding to the overall effect, ‘bathe the brown blades of the bending… ‘, ‘blue-black’, ‘dear delicious tune’. All of these words add to the flowing style in which the poem is written. The poet also uses repetition ‘I shall return again, I shall return’ and rhymes every other line ‘return’, ‘burn’. This poet remembers some things clearly while other things are ‘dim remembered’. The memories don’t all come clearly, this happens in all four of the poems.
In the third poem unlike ‘I shall return’ it is the bad memories that are remembered. The third poem ‘Going Back’ by Thomas, is one of the poems which contrast with ‘I shall return’ the most. The feelings and images created in each poem are totally different from each other. The obvious difference is that ‘Going back’ talks about unhappy memories unlike the second poem and also the first. It talks about childhood memories which like the other poems are not terribly clear, ‘names of friends by decades hidden’, it also comments on how the bad memories are not as easily forgotten ‘clear as fear’.
The poet has returned to his school where he went as a child to ‘recreate the golden years before the touch of truth’. This means that he wants to return and remember his childhood, before he realised the truth, that life was hard work and not all care-free. When he returned Thomas wanted to remember good things that happened ‘raced my cars, talked of conkers’ but he remembers none of this. Only memories off how he was bullied as child come when he tries to remember what fun he had in the playground. The fact that no memories came implies to me that none of it happened and that it was just what Thomas wanted to remember.
Thomas goes on to describe what terrible memories he had of his childhood when he was bullied. ‘Clear as fear the face of the one unbidden’ gives the image of the poet thinking of nice things when the face of the person who bullied him appeared in his memory, it was clear and a memory that is not easy to forget. This poem is very good in the way that it makes you empathise and put yourself in the poets position and feel the pain caused by the taunts of bullies, ‘his taunting pierced my heart with scorn shafts dipped in poisonous spite’.
This line uses a metaphor that shows how the taunts really pierced the poets heart like an arrow dipped in poison. It gives me the image of the pain caused by the taunt/arrow spreading across your body just like poison in your blood. Near the end of the poem Thomas talks about ‘trapper time’ meaning that you can never forget things in the past as they will be in your memories always. The poet is using personification and describing time as a person/trapper who is setting traps in the past to catch you out when you least expect it, ‘get me caught by setting in the past his other snare’.
At the end of the poem a final point is made, that Thomas had not returned for ‘pain and hurt’ and he did not wish to remember these things. Also that he was ‘glad that memory filters failing’, meaning after all of these years his memory is finally failing and he is glad. Finally the poet ‘s last line reads ‘remembering gold is not dug from dirt’. This line means that although his childhood was not brilliant, represented in the metaphor as dirt, that good will come out of it even if you do have to dig around for it, just like gold.
This poem has two very effective metaphors in it ‘trapper time’ and ‘gold is dug from dirt’ these both add to the overall descriptive finish. The fourth poem ‘The Place’s Fault’ by Hobsbaum unlike the dreamy ‘I shall return’ is very down to earth and harsh, quite similar to ‘Going Back’. The poet was an evacuee, you could tell this because of various different reasons. The poem for a start describes the place in which the poet lives as if it is wartime, ‘grass was tangled with barbed wire’ and ‘wired off beach’. It also describes what could be black out curtains ‘faces behind blinds’.
Another hint that it was about along time ago is the mention of the ‘cane smashing down’. This poem is about the terrible time the poet had which was mainly caused by bullies ‘a stone hissed past my ear’ just like in ‘Going Back’. It sounds like they are chasing him, making him not welcome this could have happened because he was an evacuee. All of the bullying, calling the poet names ‘yah, gurt, fat fool’ and chasing after him may have been because they did not like the idea of having a strange child around. The children ran after Hobsbaum as if they wanted to chase him right out of town, ‘anything to make me run’.