"The loner" is a poem revolving around the experiences of one boy's isolation in a school playground. Written by Julie Holder, the poetic techniques within this poem such as alliteration, rhythm, similes and metaphors exemplify its slow and doleful tone and, when collaborated, add to the overall effect of the poem. It's explores the environment surrounding the character and his response to the seclusion. Considerable emphasis has been applied to the movement of the poem to capture the readers understanding of the characters true thoughts and feelings. A theme that is portrayed throughout the poem is belonging. In this case the boy in the picture does not suit to the environment he is in which causes him to be an outcast and not belong.
The purpose of the poem is to illustrate clearly to the reader the situation occurring in depth and how it effects the people involved which was the boy, the main subject of the poem, and the place, which is the school playground. Despite the fact that crowds of people surround him he continues to feel left out. This feeling of loneness and not being able to belong is expressed through the different mood settings. The solitary disposition of the loner is conveyed as cheerless and distressing giving his character a bleak tone as opposed to the atmosphere of the children in the playground, which is more full of life and excitement. The contrast between the two moods is to emphasis the sense of desolation felt by the character and reveals the gap separating the two sides.
In the first stanza, the poet describes the boy's actions. She uses words such as "smack" and "scuffs" that carry a harsh effect to depict the boy's frustration and attitude as result of the segregation.