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Comparing Before You Were Mine by Carol Ann Duffy with * by Simon Armitage.

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Introduction

Comparing Before You Were Mine by Carol Ann Duffy with * by Simon Armitage There are many similarities and also many differences between the poems, Before You Were Mine by Carol Ann Duffy and * by Simon Armitage. Both poems are about the relationship between a mother and her child. The gender of the child is not specified in either of the poems but we assume that the main character in Before You Were Mine is a little girl and in * it is a young man. Because the main character's 'assumed' gender is the same as the poets, the poems could have been written about the poets own childhood and relationship with their mothers. Neither of the poems can be fully understood at a first reading and need to be studied in depth to get their full meaning, especially in *. The title, Before You Were Mine suggests that the poem is about what happened before the (mother) belonged to the child. ...read more.

Middle

The child in Before You Were Mine knows she has changed her mother's glamorous life forever but never blames herself. On the other hand, she is very possessive over her mother, 'mine', as is she is her property. *is different because it about a young man, perhaps moving out of his mother's house, into a new house. His mother is helping him to measure it up, which is usually the role the father takes. The poem uses a mixture of metric and imperial measures such as acres, centimetres, single span and one-hundredth of an inch as moving into a new house could represent moving into a new time. The mother uses imperial measurements where as the son uses metric measurements. The tape is also very significant and used to show the 'unreeling years between them'. Simon Armitage mixes the past and present. Before You Were Mine talks about what the mum was like before she had her daughter. It mentions her name and explores time, using the past and present. ...read more.

Conclusion

Kite.' Anchors fall, but kites fly. This could represent the choice of carrying on living, 'fly' or stopping/dying, 'fall'. The language of both poems is simple, especially in Before You Were Mine as a child has written it, and a variety of sentence lengths are used, from ones which last almost the whole of the stanza to simple sentences like 'Marilyn' and 'Kite'. The language in Before You Were Mine is possessive and chatty, 'The decade ahead of my long, possessive yell was the best one, eh?' and we are made to use our voices in 'Cha cha cha!'. However, there is no mention of possession in *, and the language is more formal, describing what is happening in measurements as it is narrated by a young man. Both poems have a little bit of sadness as the mother's have given up their happiness to care for their child, but Before You Were Mine has a much happier mood as it is written by a child and gives lovely images of 'fizzy, movie tomorrows', where as in * there are just empty rooms and endless skies to picture. By Jenny Hall, 10T ...read more.

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