Poetry Analysis: Original Prankster , Evening Schoolboys And Up The Wall Essay, Research Paper
Poetry is a way that stories are told much like the lyrics of contempory song. Poetry has been written since ancient times as a way of story telling. Students have had a constant battle analysing traditional poetry because they haven’t realise that every song they listen to is in fact embedded with poetry. If students can be encouraged to see a contemporary song as a form of poetry then they will value the significance of keeping traditional poetry alive.
The following poems “Up the Wall” and “Evening Schoolboys,” have been chosen to show how they relate to the song “Original Prankster” by the Offspring. These lyrics have been chosen because they deal with a simular discourse on the mischievousness of youth, and how parents don’t understand the youth of today.
The poem Evening Schoolboys, by John Clare is an accurate look into the life and fun of youth. In the first two lines of this poem the reader is exposed to a happy and joyous occasion when the school-house door is thrown open and the youngsters teem out. These two opening lines really set the scene of the school yard and reader is positioned as the supervisor of observer.
(1) Hark to that happy shout! – the schoolhouse door
(2) is thrown open, and out the youngsters teem
John Clare emphasises the excitement of the children throughout the poem, he creates this mood through the use of a rhythmical pattern ABABC as a way of making this poem sound more child like and easier for someone to read. This can be seen in the following.
Hark to that happy shout! – the school house door A
Is thrown open, and out the youngsters teem; B
Some run to leap-frog on the rushy moor; A
` And others dabble in the shallow stream, B
Catching young fish, and turning pebbles o’er C
The rest of this poem has the rhythmical pattern BDBDBDEDF which may have been used to emphasise the childish feature of the two boys. This poem examines the fun and gay laughter of children who despite being stuck in the school yard can look past the fence and imagine that school is over and play.
And the book’s pocketed right hastily.
Ah, happy boys! well may ye turn and smile,
When joys are yours that never cost a sigh.
Another reading of the poem is in the last three lines of the poem. The message in these lines is how the children may bring happiness to the teachers, parents or anyone around them. The poem tells people to go back to their old childish ways of fun to improve life by enjoying it.
Up the wall by Bruce Dawe is an interesting look into the way a mother reacts to kids fun and games. The three lines of the first stanza tells how the mother was driven up the wall by her children and tells how she had no one there to help her through this dilemma. The reader may interpret her being driven to the point of no return and kicked her kids out. But now regrets “if something should go wrong, I’m so alone!”
9) She says, ‘They nearly drove me up the wall’
10) She says, ‘I could have screamed, and then the phone!’
11) She says, ‘There’s no-one round here I can call
12) If something should go wrong. I’m so alone!’
The first stanza rhyming pattern goes ABABCDCD which is a simple but effective rhyming scheme that can be split into 2 ABAB and CDCD.
The kettle’s plainsong rises to a shreik (A),
The saucepan mild is always on the boil, (B)
No weekend comes to mark off any week (A)
From any other something’s sure to spoil (B)
The first half of stanza 1 simply explains the wind up point of where the stress builds. Starting off the kettle shrieks and the milk is always on the boil, this could mean making breakfast for the crew, and how she gets no rest that marks of the ending of the last week (shown in line 3). By this I say it is her life and she is getting sick of it.
the cloudless day. The talk-back oracle’s suave (C)
Spile, like the horizon, closes in (D)
palming a hidden menace, children carve (C)
the mind up with the scalpels of their din. (D)
This second part of the stanza speaks of ‘the cloudless day.” The first half of this stanza is all about stress and hate towards her life. This is the sort of day when she is having to take her mind off the stress that has built up, but as short and sweet as it started it now has finished as we go back to “the talk back oracle’s suave” her life at home in front of the TV. This second half means she is fighting. Fighting with the kids that talk back and make her feel suffocated “like the horizon, closes in.” The children driving her crazy with the noise like her mind getting carved up with scalpels. This poem is pain, pain for the parents caused by the never-ending energy from kids as shown in the last line of the first stanza.
This poem can also bring forth the thought of family as written in the last stanza.
‘It’s a quiet neighbourhood,’ he tells his friends.
‘Too quiet, almost!’ they laugh. The matter ends.
This could represent the family getting back together. Sitting around with friends as they have a quite yarn and joke to themselves. This part portrays the felling of family and how there is no substitute.
Original Prankster by the offspring is an interesting look into the way the life of a prankster kid is portrayed.
Until the break of dawn
Cannot go by the letter
Prozac can make it better
Any kind will do
Can you feel it slip away
When it’s all over you
The first line is about the energy of fun and life “Until the break of dawn” this could mean the original prankster is up all the time waiting and plotting so that life around him does not go by the letter. Maybe needing some sort of help like prozac so it can make it better. This paragraph gives you the sense of how insane and energetic the prankster is. Always annoying someone is his goal till they “can fell it slip away” and makes them feel surrounded.
Knock down the walls, it’s alive in you
Knock down the place, you’re alone it’s true
Knock down the world, it’s alive in you
You gotta keep your head up through it all
Being spontaneous and unpredictable first falls to mind when reading the first 3 lines of the chorus. The message could be seen as breaking the rules. Not caring what happiness as long as you keep your head up and be proud. Proud to have fun.
Also can be seen as bringing the prankster out in you. How the chorus repeats “it’s alive in you” saying you have it in you. All you need to do is knock down some walls. Break some rules.
Bust out on it – original prankster
Break out yeah – original yeah
Bust out on it – original prankster
You never stop now, stop now
That’s what the main man say
The second half of the chorus is explaining how to do it. How to bust out on it and don’t stop. The chorus could be seen as the prankster, how he acts and thinks. How he’s the leader and takes control. He also refers to himself as the main man (in the last line of the chorus). The chorus is mischievous. Trying to influence you into becoming a prankster is its main goal.
Says he’s down in the Bahamas
Bangin’ little hoochie mamas
None of this is true
Well he’ll see there comes a day
When the jokes on you yeah
The first six lines in the 2nd last verse it is saying he is a liar. Another teen that tells lies and tries to big note himself. It explains there is No way what he says he does is true. Also tells us what goes around comes around. This song displays youth and how important it is to be an “Original Prankster.” It tells you to do what you want and to have fun. But also beware of the day when you’re on the receiving end.
After careful analysis the poems “Up the Wall” and “Evening Schoolboys” relate to the song “Original Prankster” by the way they explain life. All three artists have put life into a category. The two poems have portrayed life as being stress related, fun and joyous while the song includes all of the above. These three works reflect the idea of life. It tells us to do what we want because what goes around comes around, and we will be on the receive end sooner or later. I believe after analysing the three works that poetry is more meaningful and deserves a spot in everyday life. The three works that I have analysed describe that life is a game that we all play. No matter what happens to you, as long as you give life your best and don’t fall into any of the many traps your life will mean something. So be in it.
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