“Who’s there… ?” by J.R.Poulter  

1 Comment

Who’s there… ?


The wind howls. 

Tree knuckles rap. 

Long fingered twig hands

Tap. Tap. Tap…


Hours slide

Down the walls.

Moonlight pools

Where teardrops fall.


Sheets bind tight,

Having care

No one escapes



“Who’s outside?

Who’s there…?”

Standing beside you,

A shadowy fear.


Am I sleeping?

Did I wake?

Is this the form

That bad dreams take?


What’s that rustle…?

Pad, pad, pad,

“It’s okay, honey!”

It’s Mum and Dad!



This rhyming poem deals with irrationality of some childhood fears, using poetic devices, which include transferred epithet, onomatopoeia, internal rhyme, alliteration and consonance.  Other fears can be based on superstitions, or on some historical antecedents or cultural based taboos.

Hilaire Belloc’s cautionary tales use  fear tinged with humor to warn against certain behaviors.  Grimm’s Fairy Tales have been described as cautionary tales using  the horror of the unknown to warn children away from potential danger. 

Discussion: Do such ‘cautionary tales’ have that effect today on modern children? Are there modern examples of cautionary tales? Name some.

Activity: Rewrite a poem by Hilaire Belloc as a prose story OR retell a Grimm’s Fairy Tale as a narrative verse story. Use some of the poetic devices used in “Who’s there…?” in your retelling.

One thought on ““Who’s there… ?” by J.R.Poulter  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s