In what way does the poem "Anne Frank Huis" by Andrew Motion illustrate a teenager's yearning for life and freedom?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The poem "Anne Frank Huis" by Andrew Motion recalls a visit that Motion made to Ann Frank's house when he was in his early twenties. According to his introduction to the poem, he had read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl at home when he was growing up, and wrote the poem shortly after the visit to the house where Frank hid from the Nazis. Thus the poem does not directly express the thoughts of a teenager but rather Motion's reflections on his own reaction to visiting the house and the way his feelings about the visit lead him to speculate about Frank's life.

The first stanza describes the poet as a tourist making his way up to the attic where Frank lived, and then his speculation about the lives of the people living in the attic, describing them as "three years of whispering and loneliness." He sees in the pictures on the wall near her bed images of the things ordinary girls desire, but most of all a reflection that what she must most have wanted was to do precisely what he the poet does, which is leave.

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