• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider how relationships are presented in Harmonium by Simon Armitage and Praise Song for My Mother by Grace Nichols

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Consider how relationships are presented in "Harmonium" by Simon Armitage and "Praise Song for My Mother" by Grace Nichols In both poems, a sense of nostalgia and reminiscence is conveyed; they are written in the past tense which leads to a state of reflection and acknowledgement. As a reader, one can immediately capture this notion, when reading "Praise Song for My Mother", as the title itself has very traditional African connotations - it marks a celebration or tribute of someone's life. Whereas Armitage titles his poem "Harmonium" which is what the poem is physically about but also is symbolic of the relationship between him and his father. Armitage introduces the poem with an anecdote; this evokes a feeling of reminiscence. It contains very physical descriptions - "Shadowy porch of Marsden Church" - this establishes the setting for the reader and perhaps portrays Armitage as being entranced by the church; he appreciates very minute details. However, when describing the "Farrand Chapelette", it was described using the idiom "gathering dust" which has a double meaning - it was physically accumulating dust but also it was coming of age. ...read more.

Middle

Fathoming derives from the Anglo Saxon era and means to embrace - the water embraces many sea creatures and therefore sustains life which is essentially a quality of her mother. But it can also mean to reason out problems - this relates to the idea of a store of knowledge. Armitage gives sunlight agency as it can "beatify saints and raise the dead". This catholic connotation brings about positivity to the church as images of saints are lifted above ordinary people. However, this is contrasted by the destructive power of the sunlight as it weathers the "aged" wooden case of the harmonium and the "fingernails of its key". Armitage personifies the keys to draw a parallel with his dads' "smoker's fingers". Further damage included "one of the notes lost its tongue" which means sound is lost. Armitage then paints an image of a traditional organist who wears "grey, woollen sock". This inspires an idea of how old the harmonium and its battle with time. Armitage describes the motion of pedalling and uses repetition to support the onomatopoeic effect/. Nichols also uses repetition as she starts the second stanza with "You were". ...read more.

Conclusion

As the stanza continues, Armitage makes reference to "father and son" and is talking about him and his father - this increases the feeling of nostalgia as it was him and his father who had sang as choir boys. It is in the fourth stanza where Armitage's emotions become apparent. He makes very delicate comparisons with his father and the harmonium - "dotted thumbs". After this, Armitage how him and his father would "cart it away" - in doing so, the harmonium is described as a valueless item. He personifies the harmonium by describing its "back" similar to how a person would be placed in a coffin. Armitage mentions how his dad belittles his own death. His dad describes his body as "freight" which is monosyllabic and brings heaviness to the comical aspect of his dad. Armitage cannot respond to his dad's cynical humour and has "lost his tongue". This represents the difference in character between the two. In contrast to the sad mood conveyed in "Harmonium", Nichols ends the poem with words of wisdom from her mother - "Go to the wide futures, she said". This reinforces the idea the mother is looking over her and is wise. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ridhwan Ahmed ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Comparisons section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Comparisons essays

  1. Post-1914 Poetry Comparison How do Plath in Morning Song and Clarke in Catrin suggest ...

    The clearness could perhaps be due to the fact the mother had been waiting for the notes, and therefore her ear was tuned to the noise as she was waiting to hear the cry that would indicate to her that the baby was alive.

  2. Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Portrait of a Lady comparitive piece

    In the beginning of the poem, the lady is establishing a romantic atmosphere between her and the man, which is evident through the setting of the room and the candles.

  1. Seamus Heaney : Comparisons

    This could also be used to show the links in time because today people don't get hung for adultery but in the time of the windeby girl you would have. Moving on to the seventh stanza it begins with the idea once again of hair being connected to beauty as

  2. Poetry Comparsion of 'Island Man' by Grace Nichols and 'Blessing' Imitaz Dharker

    The poems are similar in that they are both spoken in third person and present tense. They are both free verse and have no set rhythm. Each author has used punctuation to help to illustrate the poems. In 'Island Man', there is very little punctuation which helps to show that both places in the poem are linked, i.e.

  1. How is the idea of identity presented in Agard's 'Half Caste' and Dharker's 'This ...

    his anger of being insulted and so has to stop to catch his breath. For example when Agard writes "Explain yuself/ wha yu mean", which is a phrase that is repeated through out the poem, this is a point where his anger is peaked, which may the cause for the use of enjambment.

  2. Compare and contrast The Flea(TM) by John Donne and To His Coy Mistress(TM) by ...

    He goes from using flattering, romantic language to hard, offensive language in the further two stanzas such as 'Thy beauty shall no more be found.' In 'The Flea' Donne uses clever and cunning language and ideas. He uses alliteration and incorrect phrases like 'An hundred' which slows down the reading

  1. morning song and catrin comparison essay

    The midwife slaps the baby's foot soles, to start its breathing, the baby takes its place upon the elements; it has taken its place among the living creatures. The echoing voices are the "oohs and aahs", cries of joy from parents and others.

  2. Comparing Nettles and Praise song for my mother

    The word ?again? shows that this is a continual thing and that Scannell is powerless to stop it. Nichols? poem also has references to the future. The last line is the voice of the mother, who is telling her daughter, through and imperative/ command ?go? to go into her future

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work