Half past two Josh and Adam

Report
HALF PAST TWO
By U A Fanthorpe
Analyzed by Josh and Adam
Learning Objectives:
- To learn how to interpret the poem
- To know the use of compound words
- To understand the use of capitalization
The Poem
Once upon a schooltime
He did Something Very Wrong
(I forget what it was).
So he waited, beyond onceupona,
Out of reach of all the timefors,
And knew he’d escaped for ever
And She said he’d done
Something Very Wrong, and must
Stay in the school-room till half-past two.
Into the smell of old chrysanthemums on Her desk,
Into the silent noise his hangnail made,
Into the air outside the window, into ever.
(Being cross, she’d forgotten
She hadn’t taught him Time.
He was too scared at being wicked to remind her.)
And then, My goodness, she said,
Scuttling in, I forgot all about you.
Run along or you’ll be late.
He knew a lot of time: he knew
Gettinguptime, timeyouwereofftime,
Timetogohomenowtime, TVtime,
So she slotted him back into schooltime,
And he got home in time for teatime,
Nexttime, notimeforthatnowtime,
Timeformykisstime (that was Grantime).
All the important times he knew,
But not half-past two.
But he never forgot how once by not knowing time,
He escaped into the clockless land for ever,
Where time hides tick-less waiting to be born.
He knew the clockface, the little eyes
And two long legs for walking,
But he couldn’t click its language,
The background info of Poet
Ursula Askham Fanthorpe, was an English poet. She published under the
form U. A. Fanthorpe.
She was educated at St Catherine’s School, Bramley in Surrey and
at Anne’s College, Oxford, where she received a first-class degree in
English language and literature, and subsequently taught English
at Cheltenham Ladies’ College for sixteen years. She then abandoned
teaching for jobs as a secretary, receptionist and hospital clerk in Bristol - in
her poems, she later remembered some of the patients for whose records
she had been responsible. In 1987 Fanthorpe went freelance, giving
readings around the country and occasionally abroad. In 1994 she was
nominated for the post of Professor of Poetry at Oxford. Her nine
collections of poems were published by Peterloo Poets. Her Collected
Poems was published in 2005. Many of her poems are for two voices. In
her readings the other voice is that of Bristol academic and teacher R. V.
"Rosie" Bailey, Fanthorpe's life partner of 44 years. The couple co-wrote a
collection of poems, From Me To You: love poems that was published in
2007 by Enitharmon
Fanthorpe died, aged 79, on 28 April 2009, in a hospice near her home
in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire
STRUCTURE

There are eleven stanzas, all broken down into three lines per
stanza

A free verse poem

There is repetition of the word “time” which is assumed when
looking at the title of the poem.

The words that are joined together may refer to how a boy
interprets time and with that certain time an action goes along
with it.
MEANING OF THE POEM

Some key ideas in the poem that we think was portrayed well by the
U. A. Fanthorpe is childlike senses.

There is the sense of Time in the young boys mind for example in the
fourth stanza; “He knew a lot of time: he knew Gettinguptime,
timeyouwereofftime, Timetogohomenowtime, Tvtime”

The way the boy describes the classroom as

“Into the smell of old chrysanthemums on Her desk, Into the silent
noise his hangnail made, Into the air outside the window, into ever.”

Time and the usage of time

Discipline, all the times he had required discipline.
Language
Language being used is almost childlike, according to the way how the author use his
language. He makes a word by just mixing few shorter words together. Examples are:
“Timetogohomenowtime”- 6 words joined to make a word. Adults would never join the
word because they are not children and know better words. More examples:
“onceupona”- 3 words and “timeyouwereofftime”- 5 words. The language standard is very
low so that the children would be able to understand the poem. The audience might get
confused with some of the words joined together.
Effect- It makes the imagery or the things the author is talking about to easily imagine. The
effect the poem has is because of the vocabulary usage, it helps you to visualize the poem
really easily as the language of the poem is at a level which most English speakers can
understand.
8th stanza- There is a repetition as all the lines starts with into the… This also helps to
visualize more easily, because the word, ‘into’ convey a meaning and add impactful
changes in the phrase.
Pun- “Couldn’t click its language”- first of all, no one speaks time and there is no language
called time. Click is an important term because it is an expression you make when you
understand or realize how the thing works.
IMAGERY

In the beginning of the poem there isn’t much imagery but in the last few stanzas there
is a lot of imagery described in a young child’s mind

Stanza 6- “He knew the clockface, the little eyes And two long legs for walking, But he
couldn’t click its language”

Stanzas 7-8 “So he waited, beyond onceupona, Out of reach of all the timefors, And
knew he’d escaped for ever. Into the smell of old chrysanthemums on Her desk, Into
the silent noise his hangnail made, Into the air outside the window, into ever.”
EFFECT ON THE READER

By looking at the last stanza which practically sums up the whole
poem, we can gather theories to what the true meaning of the
poem is or what we think it is.

Day dream

Wonderland

Simplicity
Activity
In a group of 2 or 3, chat for about 2 minutes what you think is U.A
Fanthorpe’s intention of this poem

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