Poetry Writing Style Of Carol Ann Duffy In The Poems Mrs Tilscher’s Class And Originally

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Mrs Tilscher’s Class and Originally by Carol Ann Duffy were intricately detailed recollections based on the authors transition from child to young adult. They feature many typical conventions of a poem, including metaphor, imagery and symbolism. The poems are formed by the authors personal life experiences., ‘Originally,’ reflects on the emotions felt by someone experiencing teenage confusion. ‘Mrs Tilschers Class,’ was a recollection of common experiences throughout childhood. Both poems depict the transition from child to young adult. They portray the wonders of teenage affliction and child puzzlement. The audience is focused at those who can form an appreciation of what is being depicted.

The description of Mrs Tilscher chanting the scenery, reiterates visual imagery. ‘Tana. Ethiopia. Khartoum. Aswan.’ The use of commas creates a pause for the children to visualise each country. It depicts a familiar aspect of primary schooling where the teacher attempts to engage the students. The first stanza focuses on imagery by engaging with the five senses. The five senses associate the reader with childhood. ‘Your finger, tracing the route,’ representing the feeling of touch. ‘Mrs. Tilscher chanted the scenery,’ Representing the effect of the sound created. ‘A skittle of milk,’ representing taste and sound created by milk being drunk. This becomes effective as it connects the reader to the mind of a child. Especially that they conceptualise their day much differently to adults. Children will not have the same concept of life and the five senses help explore this. Places in the poems are symbols for a deeper meaning. The River Nile described in ‘Mrs Tilscher’s Class,’ is known as the longest river in the world. This symbolises the journey children will undertake throughout their life. It further creates visual imagery of rivers which have twists, turns and rough patches, also a metaphor for life. The third stanza of ‘Mrs Tilscher’s Class,’ effectively uses metaphor to display childhood progression. The children are no longer ‘inky tadpoles,’ they have ‘changed from commas into exclamation marks.’ The fourth and final stanza of ‘Mrs Tilscher’s Class,’ continues the loss of innocence. ‘You ran through the gates, impatient to be grown and the sky split open into a thunderstorm.’ Using symbolism to depict the emotions of ending an important chapter of her life and the start of new beginnings.

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‘The eyes of a blind toy, holding its paw.’ The toy is used to establish the authors alienated emotions. Throughout the stanza the sense of despair grows ‘turning wheels…home, as the miles rushed back to the city,’. The second stanza combines first and third person. This gives an informal effect. The author is trying to relate to the audience. ‘Your accent wrong.’ Insecure emotions make the poet give an impression of weakness. ‘I want our own country,’ depicts feelings of isolation experienced by the author. Raw emotions of acceptance begin in the final stanza. ‘you forget, don’t recall or change.’ ‘Skelf of shame,’ this word explains the level of shame felt. This emotion is again shown as ‘my tongue shedding its skin like a snake.’ A metaphor towards the new language she feels she has been forced to learn. Someone asking, ‘where do you come from,’ and a hesitation at answering depicts insecurity towards her self-identity. ‘Originally,’ does not properly conclude as the audience knows the author is still experiencing the same problems.

‘Originally,’ which describes the ‘big boys shouting words you don’t understand,’ and ‘Mrs Tilschers Class,’ speaks of the ‘rough boy (who) told you how you were born.’ The inclusion of this deplorable moment is effective. Everyone remembers when they first learn how humans procreate, it is shocking and used to represent a loss of innocence. Both poems feature formal and colloquial language, often in the same sentences. Informal language gives a casual atmosphere whereas formal language is sophisticated. A combination of these features makes the audience trust the poet but also understand her emotional connection to the story.

Both poems are made effective by their language features, meaningful tone and attention to detail. Both poems condense the transition from child to young adult within the structures of two delicately written pieces of literature. ‘Originally,’ depicts the fearful move to a new country the poet experienced. It appropriately explores the hardship experienced by a teenager. This is helped by the authors personal experience which add to the raw descriptions. ‘Mrs Tilschers Class,’ is a reminiscence of childhood. The imagery created is helped by rich descriptions to engage the audience. Both poems work through the use of imagery and metaphors to transform the audience back to the classroom and to feel the angst of a teenager. I believe both poems were effective and entertaining. I was always able to paint a picture in my mind of what was being depicted.

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Poetry Writing Style Of Carol Ann Duffy In The Poems Mrs Tilscher’s Class And Originally. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 4, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/poetry-writing-style-of-carol-ann-duffy-in-the-poems-mrs-tilschers-class-and-originally/
“Poetry Writing Style Of Carol Ann Duffy In The Poems Mrs Tilscher’s Class And Originally.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/poetry-writing-style-of-carol-ann-duffy-in-the-poems-mrs-tilschers-class-and-originally/
Poetry Writing Style Of Carol Ann Duffy In The Poems Mrs Tilscher’s Class And Originally. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/poetry-writing-style-of-carol-ann-duffy-in-the-poems-mrs-tilschers-class-and-originally/> [Accessed 4 Jul. 2022].
Poetry Writing Style Of Carol Ann Duffy In The Poems Mrs Tilscher’s Class And Originally [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2022 Jul 4]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/poetry-writing-style-of-carol-ann-duffy-in-the-poems-mrs-tilschers-class-and-originally/
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