Type: Free Verse
- Tells the story of an incident in a young boy’s life – told to stay back in class as punishment for “Something Very Wrong” he had done
- Forgetting is another key theme of the poem
- The boy knows the important times of the day (to him) – doesn’t think the actual time is important
- The teacher presented in an unfavorable light – a reference to her “scuttling in”
Beginning and ending
- The opening line (“Once upon a schooltime”) is a variation of a classic fairytale opening
- This line immerses us in the child’s world
- Encouraged to think of it as a narrative story
- Ends on a note of nostalgia – describing the time-free state
- Personification – “time hides tick-less waiting to be born” – personifying time
- Personification is also used on the clock to a person with legs and arms
- Repetition used a lot
- Anaphora is used – repetition of “into” at the beginning of each line
- Oxymoron – “silent noise”
- Onomatopoeia – “scuttling in” and “tick-less”
- Sensory language – the smell of old flowers “silent noise”
- Made-up words emphasize the child’s response to time and are very endearing and make the reader sympathize
- These made-up words also enable the readers to see things from the child’s point of view
Form and Structure
- 11 three-line stanzas
- Simple structure and free verse contribute to the innocence of the child
- Short verses echo the child’s made up chunks of the day
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