The Drum * John Scott Your Dad Did What? * Sophie Hannah

Comparing structure, meaning, imagery, language, effect and
relationship to the theme- Clashes and collisions
Rayan and Hannah
The Drum
I hate that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To thoughtless youth it pleasure yields,
And lures from cities and from fields,
To sell their liberty for charms
Of tawdry lace and glittering arms;
And when Ambition's voice commands,
To fight and fall in foreign lands.
I hate that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To me it talks of ravaged plains,
And burning towns and ruin'd swains,
And mangled limbs, and dying groans,
And widow's tears, and orphans moans,
And all that Misery's hand bestows,
To fill a catalogue of woes.
Your Dad Did What?
Where they have been, if they have been away,
or what they've done at home, if they have not you make them write about the holiday.
One writes My Dad did. What? Your Dad did
That's not a sentence. Never mind the bell.
We stay behind until the work is done.
You count their words (you who can count and
all the assignments are complete bar one
and though this boy seems bright, that one is his.
He says he's finished, doesn't want to add
anything, hands it in just as it is.
No change. My Dad did. What? What did his
You find the 'E' you gave him as you sort
through reams of what this girl did, what that lad
and read the line again, just one 'e' short:
This holiday was horrible. My Dad did.
The Drum
2 stanzas, both consisting of 4 rhyming
couplets which altogether makes 8
rhyming couplets. The first 2 lines of
both stanzas are exactly the same.
Punctuation is used to break down the poem
to create pace, almost like an actual drum
Rhyming scheme, he choses couplets to
manifest the beat of the drum, and also uses
repetition of the first two lines to create
contrast as the overall feeling of the two
stanzas are opposites.
Your Dad Did What?
4 stanzas, 4 lines each. Rhyming scheme is ab
ab cd cd.
Punctuation is not used so much and so the poem
seems to give a sense of story telling.
However, the fact that the rhyming scheme is very
regular may suggest turn taking when the child
may be ‘a’ and the teacher may be ‘b’. It also gives
the recitation of the poem a nursery rhyme feel,
which may link back to the age and location of the
Both poems have 8 pairs of rhyming lines, however they differ in stanza structure.
Appearance wise, they are both geometric and very regular.
The Drum has pace, unlike the other poem.
Both show grief and death however differ in where it is shown. In The Drum, the whole second stanza
is about grief and death, where as in Your Dad Did What, it is only in the last two lines does the
reader get the shock of death and grief and it ends more suddenly.
The Drum
Expresses his hatred for war, as he thinks that it’s
something that ‘lures’ people in. Considering his
Quaker background- he considered war to be the
closest thing to hell a person could experience.
This is why he feels so strongly about it, since he
believes people completely misunderstand what
war is. They think that it is glorious, when in fact
it’s mayhem.
Your Dad Did What?
Expresses the barrier of communication between
teacher and student, through telling the story of a
tragic loss through something that is so
insignificant (a summer holiday essay) that
becomes a sort of routine. There is a
misunderstanding between the teacher and the
young boy, she tries to rationalize his behavior
and pass it off as laziness or even rebellion, where
in fact he is acting this way out of grief.
Both show a contrast between reality and perception. They both contain death and grief.
The Drum
Your Dad Did What?
The drum itself is a symbol for the discord of war.
There is very little imagery in this poem, because the
language is very bare, stark, straightforward- almost to
show what this child is thinking, since he would be
thinking in short, simple sentences. As there are not
enough words to explain the death
Imagery differs greatly between the two stanzas, the first
one is about people at home, before hearing the drum
(before being sent off to war); he uses language like
‘glittering’ and ‘lace’ and ‘charms’ which gives the idea of
glorifying the sending off to war making associations with
things that are shiny like trophies, charms, medals.
The second stanza gives an overall feel of death and
gloominess, using words like ‘burning’ ‘ruined’ ‘mangled’
and ‘dying’ to show contrast and emphasizes the fact that
he hates it so much. He also tries to show the impact back
home through ‘widows’ tears and orphans’ moans’. This
sends a powerful image that people could relate to.
Difference :
The Drum is all about imagery, and Your Dad did what is all about the lack of imagery.
The Drum
The poet uses very vivid language to set the scene in each
Calling the drum ‘discordant’ is highly significant because
a drum is used to create order and the beats are usually
systematic and paced orderly. However he uses discordant
because the drum is the symbol of war. In stanza 1, the
words used are very shiny and sharp; whereas in stanza 2
the words are very dull and bleak.
In stanza 1 personification is used when he says “and when
Ambition’s voice commands” he does exactly the same
thing in stanza 2 when he personifies “Misery” as he says
“and all that Misery’s hand bestows” . This is very powerful
because he personifies the general feeling of the whole
Your Dad Did What?
The language is very purposely bare, this is done
to convey the grief of the situation. He also uses
language that is fairly simple; this language is
simple enough for a child to understand.
The lack of vivid language also emphasizes the
fact that the child is at loss of words to explain the
grief he is facing.

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