TITLE:- Hide And Seek
AUTHOR:- Vernon Scannell
SETTING:- The garden
CATEGORY:- Children/ Family
THEME:- Playing/ Recreation
LINES:- Twenty Seven
END RHYME SCHEME:- Couplet
SALIENT:- "But where are they who sought you"
INTRO:- Call out. Call loud: ‘I’m ready! Come and find me!’
Narrate The Poem In Prose Form:-
Call out. Call loud: ‘I’m ready! Come and find me!’ because you’re carefully hiding in one of the smelly sacks in the dark toolshed; the sacks seriously smell like the seaside but you can’t risk coming out as not to be caught by those in search.
The ground is wet but you can hear them searching the nearby bush close to the swing. Even if situation calls for sneezing; you mustn’t or breath loud or move your feet but remain numb in your state of darkness.
You can still hear their footsteps again; someone stumbles, mutters, their words and laughter scuttle but they are heard no more yet you can’t risk coming out since they will still check around again
Okay. You’ve been in this dark hiding for quite awhile now: even your legs are now stiff, the cold bites through your coat, it’s time to claim you’re the winner.
You’re out of the dark toolshed only to discover it is already nighttime (darkness in the whole of the garden) and those searching had long gone home.
About The Poem:-
The poem is about children playing the game of hide-and-seek_ even the title of the poem made it known. The poem speaker represented the thought in the heart of the kid in hiding, the thoughts instructing the kid in hiding on how to properly hide in among the sacks in the toolshed so as to win the game of hide-as-seek. Unfortunately, the kid hid himself/ herself too long that those they played together had all gone. The darkness hiding place also prevented him/her from being aware of the nighttime.
Though the poem might portray a very deeper message but the sweet surface message has blindfolded it. For instance, the ambitious "Hide in your blindness" which might mean to stay in the dark whereas the deeper meaning might be to remain in ignorance. Another ambiguity is "Yes, here you are. But where are they who sought you?" which means that those searching for you are already gone but on the deeper side of meaning, it could suggest that in some certain dark recession in one’s life those that used to seek you will be there no more.
This 28 line poem is not multi-stanza. It has a simple rhythm with a couplet kind of rhyme. The first 25 lines is about hiding and seeking but the readers later found that the person in hiding had hidden to long and didn’t realize the game had long ended.
The hider came to realisation that he/she had stayed long in hiding according to line 28, "It seems a long time since they went away" then the last three lines of the poem brought the misconception to light.
1) Recreational children game:- Hide-and-Seek is a form of children play and the poem relay the activity including how a hider can properly hide during the game. Line 1 introduces the readers to the way the game normally begins and many lines in the poem shows perfect way of hiding "You’ve never heard them sound so hushed before/ Don’t breathe. Don’t move. Stay dumb. Hide in your blindness" (line 10-11)
2) Childhood reminiscence:- Hide and Seek by Vernon Scannell seems a form of recall to the poet or poem persona’s childhood experience.
3) Winning as a great motivating factor:- The poem and the action of the person in hiding revealed how strong the motive behind winning. The hiding had to do it right in order to win, he/she had to sacrifice light for darkness, sound for dumbness, movement for stillness, etc.
4) Misconception:- The person in hiding, misconstrued the darkness in the sack to the general darkness of the day and also misinterpreted the time spent in the sack to the general time of the day (The way Odysseus misinterpreted the time spent with Venus).
The beauty of the poem is not limited to its message, other things contributed. The simile, the personification, the alliteration, the repetition; all are part of the juice in the poem.
The poem opens with repetition "Call out. Call loud" then alliteration surfaced in the next line "sacks in the toolshed smell like seaside". "salty dark" is an imagery in line 3 telling of how annoying the darkness was. A couplet in line 4-5 "But be careful that your feet aren’t sticking out/ Wiser not risk another shout". Instances of personification are as follow: "the cold bites through your coat" "The dark damp smell of sand moves in your throat" "The darkening garden watches" "The bushes hold their breath".
The setting of the poem show the garden, the greenhouse, the toolshed, the sack. The mood is playful and the tone is instructive.
The poet, Vernon Scannell 1922-2007 was a British author with topics of war to his credit.
Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)