From an initial reading of the poem, ‘The Caravan’ by Clare Pollard appears to be a light-hearted love poem about a married couple in which the poet conveys the ideas of passion, freedom and carefreeness. This may be evident from the title itself as a caravan has connotations of travel and also of freedom. However, as the poem progresses, the tone and language of the poem change dramatically, implying that there could be more than one theme in the poem. In this essay, I will give a close reading of the poem by commenting on Pollard’s use of language, form, sound and tone; and I will explore the different themes that may be present.
Observing the form of ‘The Caravan’, the reader can see that the poem is all one stanza and the lines are of various lengths, but are not too different. The lines appear to be undulating, and the effect of this may be to represent the ups and downs of a relationship. Furthermore, there are few full stops in the poem and the sentences get progressively longer. For example, the first full stop appears after the first two lines; the next sentence stops after six lines, then eight, and the last sentence is twelve lines long. This implies the idea of breathlessness, suggesting that what the couple is doing is exciting and exhilarating. However, Pollard creates pauses through the use of commas and dashes at the end of the most lines, which may suggest that although they are breathless and excited, the couple wants to take time to pause and enjoy the