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Four poets who explore the immense poignancy of the Parent/Child relationship are, Seamus Heaney: Digging, and Follower, Gillian Clarke: Catrin, and William Yeats: Song of the Old Mother.

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Introduction

The Parent/Child relationship is a bond of unquestionable love and unity. Discuss how far you consider this statement to be true in the light of 2 Heaney, 1 Gillian Clarke and 2 poems from Pre-1914 Poetry Bank. The hardest part of raising a child is like teaching them to ride a bicycle. A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom. The realisation that this support is no longer wanted by the child- hits hard. This connection and urge to keep holding on is tied between the parent and child with the "Red rope of love". Four poets who explore the immense poignancy of the Parent/Child relationship are, Seamus Heaney: 'Digging', and 'Follower', Gillian Clarke: 'Catrin', and William Yeats: 'Song of the Old Mother'. Seamus Heaney, in the poem 'Digging' unlike 'Catrin' and 'Song of the Old Mother', writes in the position of the child: reminiscing the time when he looked up to his father and grandfather. ...read more.

Middle

Perhaps Heaney aims to reveal that his father's love is unconditional and it cannot be broken by age. Likewise, Gillian Clarke uses an extended metaphor- for the umbilical cord insisting that the eternal bond will never be broken due to "The red rope of Love". This statement which Clarke makes mirrors what Heaney intends to put across in 'Follower'. Conversely, in the poem 'Song of the Old Mother' Yeats uses onomatopoeic verbs to reflect the loneliness of a mother- the narrator only hears the sounds of her chores, "scrub", "bake" and "sweep". The pessimistic poem shows a juxtaposition of her life and her children's life. Nevertheless, like the parent's in 'Digging', 'Follower' and 'Catrin' the narrator in this poem does not give up. She keeps working until she "gets feeble and cold" making it very clear to the reader that she is putting all of her effort to ensure that she is determined to give her children the best life. ...read more.

Conclusion

More to the point, the number of syllables decrease in each stanza: possibly to show the weakening of her effort to support her care-free children. This specific poem has a very bitter tone which is emphasised the most in the line, "their day goes over in idleness". The poem I can most relate to is 'Catrin' as a teenager I know that I insist that I gain more independence. This sudden change becomes very difficult for a parent; not to understand but to accept. The "Red rope of love" will always exist although it cannot be seen. It's like a boat tied to a harbour wall. The rope is hidden and looks as if it's free but it isn't. For me, "Song of the Old Mother" is a particularly effective poem because the poet instantly puts forward a bleak vision of motherhood-an experience which no mother should have to be put through. It's a wakeup call to all children who "dream in their bed of the matching of ribbons". ...read more.

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