U.A Fanthorpe was born in Kent in 1929. After boarding school in Surrey, she read English and became a teacher. She taught for 16 years until she began writing poetry in 1974. Her first volume, Side Effects, was published by Peterloo Poets in 1978.
“You Will Be Hearing From Us Shortly”, is a poem that conjures up an image of a malign interviewer looking down in disgust at the unfortunate interviewee. It is a pessimistic experience for the candidate. The poet discusses prejudice and discrimination through the use of tone and language. The poem uses the voice of the interviewer to convey the prejudice. This poem begins in a realistic way but becomes surreal.
The title of the poem clearly puts the readers into the context of an interview. These are the words resounding in the ears of unemployed people who seek suitable employment. The employer is always in the superior position from where he looks down upon the job-seekers. Though the words ‘You Will Be Hearing From Us Shortly’ sound very polite, they are loaded with prejudice.
From the first line in the poem, 'You feel adequate to the demands of this decision?' until the last line, the speaker uses sophisticated language which implies that the interviewer is well educated. But the language is used in such a way that it sounds very snobbish and rude and this sets the tone for the poem. The interviewee seems to be intimidated and feels insignificant for what he/she is. The interviewer is in command of the situation and controls through his use of sarcasm and rhetorical questions. In verse one, the use of the word ‘adequate’ already gives us the feeling that the interviewer thinks that the applicant is not fit to the position that is sought. The next question about the ‘qualities’ the interviewer seeks from the candidate gives an impression of the candidate as a failure and useless at everything.
We can perceive that the interviewer already has...