The theme of loss is prevalent in three of the poems in the collection; Brendon Gallacher, The Horse Whisperer and On a Portrait of a Deaf Man.  Loss is seen in a variety of ways from losing an imagined friend (and possibly the innocence of childhood) , to losing traditions and losing a loved one through death. The poets cleverly reveal the sadness of their loss and invite the readers to empathise with their sorrows. Her are some basic notes on each of the three poems:

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Can you explore them further by developing personal opinions and drawing wider links to other poems? You can also attempt these questions to help you revise:

  • What are the major similarities and differences between the poems?
  • Which character do you feel the most empathy for and why?
  • Which character seems to be the saddest about their loss?
  • Have you ever experienced a similar loss to that seen in one of the poems?
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