Hide and Seek
Ion the poem Hide and Seek, Vernon Scannell makes excellent use of all the sense to bring out the great excitement children usually experience whenever they play this ever- green game. The fact that short sentences are used in rapid succession and that the poem seems to have been written in one short stanza also contribute to this feeling. The persona is the one being sought, so he hides himself in the toolshed at the bottom of the garden making sure that his feet “aren’t sticking out”.
The place smells salty because of the sacks of sand and both the floor and air feel damp and cold. As the seekers draw stealthily close, the poet is almost afraid to breathe and automatically closes his eyes as if by doing so, it would be difficult for his friends to find him. Time passes, the poet feels stiff, cold and uncomfortable so he decides to come out of his hiding place only to find that the other children have long abandoned the search and left him alone in the dark shed.
“The bushes hold their breath: the sun is gone. Yes here you are. But where are they who sought you?”
Although this poem is basically a poem about childhood recollections, a moral can still be learnt form it: namely that in life, when success seems to be within easy reach, we should not allow ourselves to feel too over-confident as we might end up losing all and feeling bitterly disappointed. Diction (The writer’s choice of words)
The poem starts with the imperative verb ‘call’. Examples of words in the imperative are ‘ call out’ ‘call loud’ ‘be careful’, ‘don’t breathe’, ‘don’t move’, ‘stay dumb’, ‘hide’, ‘push pff’, ‘uncurl’, ‘stretch’, ‘come and own up’.
In the poem, these words/verbs in the imperative form are very important because they are showing the expertise of this boy at play in this well-loved game. It is almost as if the boy is instructing the reader as to how we should play the game as well as we possible can, in order not to be caught. In “be careful that your feet aren’t...
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