The Themes of Loss and Isolation in Looking for Dad and the Sick Equation by Brian as Well as Long Distance by Tony Harrison

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The Themes of Loss and Isolation in Looking for Dad and the Sick Equation by Brian as Well as Long Distance by Tony Harrison When exploring poems it is clear to see that there are many analytical and poetic devices used to emphasise meaning and theme throughout the verses. The 3 poems that employ examples of this are 'Looking for dad' and 'The sick equation' by Brian Patten and 'Long distance' by Tony Harrison. There are many different ways to express feelings through

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In the sick equation Brian Patten uses oxymoron's to explain his

situation further, 'raw cocoon of parental hate', the raw makes you

think of red fleshy uncovered wounds which is perhaps how he feels

about the family's relationship, cocoon however demonstrates how he is

caught up in the fighting between his parents and is enclosed in the

trap of love of which he cannot escape. 'I grew-or-did not grow' is a

line in 'The Sick Equation' describes as he felt. The consequences of

the horror he witnessed at home left him physically, a grown man, but

mentally he was still a small boy.

Brian Patten isolated himself from everyone as he thought that if he

were to venture into a relationship it would mirror that of his

parents and end up in divorce, which meant he was very lonely

Throughout the poem, Patten expresses his anger by using strong words

such as 'raw', 'hate' and 'pain'. He is angry at his parent's

influence on him as it has left him a helpless man with no one to


Starting on verse 19 Patten uses metaphors to explain how he feels

about relationships 'one among the many whose dreams of flight weighed

down the soul, and kept it down' 'because to the flightless the dream

of flights an anguish'

Patten makes many references to flight and flying in the poem because

when you think of flying, you imagine a lone person, high in
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