I will discuss 'Reports' tomorrow once I have finished working on it later today. That will leave only the two poems for the Welsh poet. Hope this is useful for those teachers who have chosen this Module C elective.
Working on UA Fanthorpe’s poems for this elective, I would argue that the range of poetic styles across the prescribed poems makes this a fabulous option for it gives students a great deal to say about Texts in Society and representation. For example, ‘Not My Best Side’ is an example of Ekphrasis poetry which is where a poet makes explicit reference to another art form such as Fanthorpe does to the painting by Paolo Uccello, ‘St. George and the Dragon’. Her style and use of different perspective and voices makes discussion about her subversion of traditional ‘dragon’, ‘maiden’ and ‘knight’ archetypes very accessible. Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" which is based on the poet’s impressions about an ancient piece of pottery, is amongst the most famous examples of Ekphrasis poetry. Fanthorpe’s example of this poetry style looks at contemporary social and gender issues in language described by Charles Causley, another renowned English poet as being ‘original, clear, distinctive and remarkably assured.’
In the same way that students are able to quickly grasp the ‘social’ voice of Wilfred Owen, it is easy to identify the social framework addressed in Fanthorpe’s poetry. She only began publishing poetry in middle age after a career in teaching. Once she was promoted to Head of Dept however, she felt ‘Power had an effect on me I didn’t like’, which prompted her to leave and become a medical receptionist. Society endorses ambition, status and security but Fanthorpe walked away from it and fortunately, ‘found the subject that I’d been looking for all my life’ which was a way to express her fascination with people in the real world and the ordinary language they use.