An Essay on Poetry

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  • Topic: Poetry
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  • Published : July 16, 2012
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Discuss texts in which an interesting idea is developed, exploring how the writer has used effective language to convey the idea.

In the poem ‘Rising Five’ by Norman Nicholson, the main idea is about a boy who want to rush through his childhood “like a boy throwing away his toffee wrappers”. We can link this poem to another poem, ‘On Turning Ten’ by Billy Collins, which describes a boy who doesn’t want to move on in life. Through Collin’s writing, the boy is shown as being also scared about growing up and facing life’s challenges. Both poets use a variety of language features such as similes, metaphors, personification and alliteration to capture the audience’s attention and describe the characters feelings.

A main idea in the poem ‘Rising Five’ is the portrayal of the reality of growing up. Personification is used in this poem to make it seem as though the young boy and his surroundings are both on a rush to grow old. This is shown in the quote “the cells of spring bubbled and doubled, buds unbuttoned. Shoot and stem shook out of the ground”, where the cells springs, buds and stems are given human qualities. The poet uses this technique to illustrate the idea of nature being on a rush to grow up, as is the four-year boy in the poem.

In ‘On Turning Ten’, the poet uses the same language feature, personification, but in a completely different way. The poet uses this technique to his advantage to describe the young boy to be coming down with a “disfiguring chicken pox of the soul”. In this quote, Collins presents the idea that growing old can affect not only the body, but even the soul. The poet wants to grab the reader’s attention and show them to live their life to the fullest every day and not to dwell on the past.

The two poems are also very different in their own way. In ‘Rising Five’, the child wants to grow up fast as illustrated in the quote “fifty-six months or perhaps a week more”. In this...
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