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English Literature

Jean Sprackland: Hard Water


Price We Pay for the Sun

  • Both poems are about the narrator's/poet's birthplace.
  • In both there is a tension between the positive and the negative. In Hard Water the negatives are actually positives, but in Price We Pay for the Sun there is danger beneath the idyllic surface.
  • Both poets emphasise the "real" (Price We Pay for the Sun) or "honest" (Hard Water).

Crossing the Loch

  • In both poems water is key to the poet's depiction of place.
  • In Sprackland's poem the water symbolises place; whereas in Jamie's poem water has a dominant physical presence rather than being so obviously symbolic.
  • In both poems negative features - nuclear submarines or the industrial setting - turn out to be positive. The poets focus on the beauty of the phosphorescence of the water or the honesty of hard work.

Back to Poetry: Place index

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