Theme: Childhood memory

Type: Narrative free verse with rhyming couplets


  • Written by Vernon Scannell
  • About childhood from the perspective of an adult
  • The poem takes us inside the child’s head by use of sensory language
  • Short sentences are used – to recreate the suspense and sensory experience of hiding and seek
  • The plot records the thoughts going through the child’s mind it is called a stream of consciousness writing


  • A straightforward narrative poem about an incident in a child’s life
  • He is waiting to be found but remains undiscovered and the seekers have vanished – leaving a sense of mild threat
  • Direct language and short sentences at the beginning of the poem take us straight into the excitement
  • Punctuation is used to create suspense and tension – short sentence convey tension
  • Oxymoron “salty dark” – dark can’t be salty – creates a strong sensory setting
  • Onomatopoeia – “Stumbles”, “mutters” and “scuffle” – is used to convey the sense of the seekers bumbling around
  • Alliteration – “Don’t breath. Don’t move” – conveys the sense of excitement
  • The personification of the cold – “the cold bites through your coat”
  • Contrast – the pleasant smell like the seaside turns to the damp dark – same imagery
  • Echo – child holds his breath and at the end bushes hold their breath


  • Rhyming couplets are used in the poem giving us a sense of structure but the rhyming scheme isn’t too dominant
  • Allows him to present the stream of consciousness more convincingly
Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "Hide and Seek – Vernon Scannell: Poem Analysis," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019,

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