The poem ‘Half-past Two’ is written from a child’s point of view, and serves to identify the problems that could occur when a child is faced with an authoritative adult. The impact of the teacher’s behaviour on the child is frequently emphasized, either by the use of italics or capitals. In the second line of the first stanza, the capital letters in the phrase ‘Very Wrong’ differentiate the teacher’s voice and the emphasis she bestows on these words, which effectively shows the solid impression the words had in the child’s memory.
This is further supported by the ironic remark by the child ‘I forgot what it was’, meaning that the teacher’s accusation left him a more distinct recollection and that his wrong deed was trivialised. Although the poem is conveyed in a lovely, fantasy way, the poet U. A. Fanthorpe criticized the dismissive teacher by portraying her in an unfavorable light.
The teacher is never addressed directly rather than by ‘She’ or ‘Her’.
Further more, she is described like an animal when she ‘scuttles’ into the classroom. From this, it could be seen that the poem ‘Half-past Two’ does not directly state the specific childhood problem, but depicts the teacher in a negative way so that mild sympathy for the little child is provoked. By thinking in a different way, one could deduce that the child suffered from the neglect by his dismissive teacher, but the poem itself does not convey childhood problem in a very intelligible way.
On the other hand
In conclusion, the poem ‘My Parents kept me away from Children who were Rough’ conveys childhood problems in a coherent manner, followed by the poem ‘Half-past Two’ which attempts to communicate to the readers about childhood obstacles though in an indirect way, while the poem ‘Piano’ conveys nothing about childhood problems. The three poems are well written in their own ways, but the magnitude of which they explore the theme ‘childhood problems’ is quite different. This could be due to the differences in culture at the time when the poems were written.
‘Piano’ was composed in 1918, when the world was dominated by men and little attention was paid to the benefits and rights of children. This perhaps explains why D. H. Lawrence focused more on the man and the problems he encountered while spent little time dwelling on childhood problems. The other two poems ‘Half-past Two’ and ‘My Parents kept me away from Children who were Rough’ are relatively modern, which endeavoured to pay tributes to children in a situation where they are getting more important.