Below, you’ll find the poem and part of an analysis of “Hide and Seek” by Vernon Scannell.
Includes a breakdown of the stanzas, an insight into the speaker + voice of the poem, and an exploration of the themes and deeper meanings. This is only a quick overview to help you get to grips with the poem; you can access a full in-depth breakdown of the poem below.
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- Story + Summary
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- Language Feature Analysis
- Form and Structure Analysis
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- Key Quotations
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‘Call out. Call loud: ‘I’m ready! Come and find me!’
The sacks in the toolshed smell like the seaside.
They’ll never find you in this salty dark,
But be careful that your feet aren’t sticking out.’
(Full poem unable to be reproduced due to copyright)
The speaker tells the child to call out – he’s ready to be found in the game. He’s hiding in the toolshed, under some sacks that smell of salt and sea. The speaker warns the child to keep his feet hidden and to not call out again (as this may give away his hiding spot). The floor is cold, and the people are probably looking elsewhere. The speaker reminds the child not to sneeze and then comments that the people are here, whispering at the door of the shed. There’s a tense moment, and then they leave, laughing. The boy waits longer, thinking they will be so confused and frustrated at being unable to find him. Eventually, he comes out and shouts ‘I’ve won!’, but there’s nobody there anymore – either because they are now hiding, or because they got bored, gave up and stopped looking.
The speaker has a playful and excited tone which captures the tense and excitable feeling of playing hide and seek. However, there’s also a lot of tentative language such as ‘be careful’, which creates a lot of uncertainty and shows the worrying nature of the child, or the way in which adults create fear in children by talking to them in this way. Alternatively, we could interpret the speaker as a representative of the child’s own conscience, the inner voice which guides our instincts and tells us when to act, and when to hide or stay hidden.
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