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Comparing Nettles and Praise song for my mother

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Nettles v Praise Song For My Mother Both ?Nettles? and ?Praise song for my mother? explore the theme of parent child relationships and the feeling of love and protectiveness that occur. Whilst Grace Nichols? poem looks at the relationship between mother and daughter, Vernon Scannell's poem looks at the relationship between father and son. Scannell?s son falls into a ?bed of nettles? and is hurt physicality hurt by the stings which cause blisters ?on his tender skin?. The poet however, is affected mentally as he realizes that he is unable to save his son from the dangers that the world represents. In ?praise song for my mother? however, we learn that the mother has managed to be protective; ?mantling? and proving warmth towards her daughter. Enjambment is also used to create a sense of the continuos care and protection her mother has provided for her, but ...read more.


?you? suggests intimacy while the ?were? creates a melancholic tone; the past tense implying her mother in no longer there and may be dead. ?Nettles? also seems more personal due to being written in the first person, ?my son?, ?I saw? etc. However, Nichols also uses cultural references to her mothers?s background, making the praise even more personal; such as ?crab?s leg? and ?plantain smell? suggesting spiritual as well as physical nourishment. Scannell?s relationship with his son seems to be strong: he cares for him greatly, but realizes that he would have to let him get hurt in order to learn what life can really be like ?my son would often feel sharp wounds again?. The use of the adjective ?sharp? here carries on the idea that life can hurt you and cause you pain. ...read more.


to water, as something we can?t live without; the moon, the sun and ?gill? needed in order to breathe and live, just as she needs her mother. It also evokes the mother?s life-giving qualities through the triple ?rise and warm and streaming?. In conclusion, the father-son relationship in Scannell?s poem is described as being full of love, with the father trying to protect his son from the threat of pain and hurt that the outside world represents. The extended metaphor of the nettles as a ?regiment of spite? shows just how fearful he is of his son?s innocence being taken away as he grows up. Overall ?Praise song for my mother? has an upbeat tone, portraying happy memories and implying a positive relationship similarly to ?Nettles? however, which has a more angry tone due to the father?s conscience of not being able to always protect his son. ...read more.

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