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

In order to explore the theme of parent child separation I have selected two poems for further consideration. The first being "The Slave Mother" written by Frances E W Harper and the second "Walking Away" by C Day Lewis.

Extracts from this document...


English Coursework: Poetry In order to explore the theme of parent child separation I have selected two poems for further consideration. The first being "The Slave Mother" written by Frances E W Harper and the second "Walking Away" by C Day Lewis. Although these two poems follow the same theme, which is parent child separation, they are very different because one of the poems, "Walking Away," has a very gradual natural separation and "The Slave Mother" has a very brutal quick unnatural separation. "The Slave Mother"- Frances E W Harper (1825-1911) was a black woman who wrote the first novel to be published by an Afro-American woman. Harper was very young when her parents died and at this stage slavery in America had not been abolished. Frances Harper was brought up by relatives who were heavily involved in the Anti-slavery movement and women's rights. As she grew older she was renowned for her speeches for the women's rights campaign and the abolition of slavery. She used her own poems in her speeches to emphasise a point and this was usually the highlight of her speech. This is known as polemical writing. "The Slave Mother" tells us the story of a black mother and her son. In the times which the poem was written slavery was common among black people although Harper herself was born into a free household. ...read more.


The repetition of the paradox emphasises how much parent child separation is going against nature, as well as showing the trauma that this child and his mother are suffering. In the next verse there is a metaphor used to describe the mother's life. "a fountain gushing ever new Amids life desert wild. I think the use of the metaphor is used to describe how much the mother needs her boy just as we would need water to survive in the desert. The last few verses of the poem are very emotional. They are all about the mother's love for her son. There are many metaphors in these verses. For example "his lightest word has been a tone Of music round her heart, Their lives a streamlet bent in one Oh, Father! Must they part? In this verse I thought the metaphor "their lives a streamlet bent in one" was a very moving sentence. This depicts the mother and the son's raw emotions and that their thinking pattern is along the same line as the mothers. This would be another phrase, which emphasises how unnatural the separation between them has been. The very last verse of the poem is an extremely reflective verse. It also echoes the first verse and many of the same words and phrases are used. For example- "heard you that shriek? It rose so wildly in the air, it seem'd as if a burden'd heart was breaking in despair. ...read more.


The next verse we see the phrase "eddying away" and then the simile "like a winged seed loosened from its parents stem." Eddying away is another phrase used to describe the gradual separation between the Father and son. Another comment on how slow the separation the use of the simile "like a winged seed loosened from its parents stem." The verse also mentions how nature gives and takes. I liked this because it uses the word nature as opposed to "The Slave Mother" where everything is unnatural. In the next verse C Day Lewis " I have had worse partings, but none that so Gnaws my mind still." My interpretation of this is that he had lost people through death but this one although it wasn't through death it has been the hardest to cope with. Then in the last two lines of the stanza C. Day Lewis says, "selfhood begins with a walking away and the love is proved in the letting go." I thought these lines were very emotional for the poet because he is saying that his boy will begin his own life and the father shows his love even though it is difficult to let go. After reading the two poems and writing this essay the one I prefer is "Walking Away". I found it quite easy to understand and the phrasing used was very genuine and heart felt. The poet conveys very skilfully his great depth of emotions and feelings as a result of separation from his son. ...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 Love Poetry 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 Love Poetry essays

  1. Three Traditional Ballads - The Griesly Wife, Frankie and Johnny and The Ballad ...

    "My naked neck is split." This brings up a sexual image of Charlotte, but keeping in mind she is screaming, so this phrase is not used for pleasure. The paragraphs suddenly evolved and turned into sorrow monsters, many words symbolised her idealising in death. Style and personification held a cloud over the paragraphs and for a few paragraphs there was only those two techniques ruling.

  2. 'In Memory of my Mother'.

    She is a very important family member to him. She has passed away but he does not see her as dead but he believes that she is right by him all the time.

  1. Love is a very common theme in poetry. By closely examining the ways in ...

    The angle of the star could be measured through instruments - although nothing about the star - in itself - would be known - hence the difference in the poem between worth and height Shakespeare uses imagery, which illustrates his strong perspective on love.

  2. "To compare the attitudes towards love at the time both poems were written

    The two poems differ between their attitudes towards love. In the despairing lover the poet see love as be all or end all while in I wouldn't thank you for a valentine love is seen as something nice but need ed and that u can go on with life without having a girlfriend.

  1. A child called it

    and creating something that gives you purpose and meaning." Morrie lived by this quote, as he loved to spend time walking and conversing with friends. He also started the Greenhouse project, which gave the poor health benefits. He gained happiness from these types of things. The Greenhouse project is mainly a selfless-good deed that helps others with their health problems.

  2. Compare the ways in which the poets have written about love and loss bringing ...

    The words 'purple dyes' is a metaphor for marriage. It tells a reader idea about the poet's phase of life. Even the diction changes as the mood in the poem changes. An exaple of these are epithets:'gold' and 'silver' that add to the richness of the describtion.

  1. "The Flea" was written in the 17th century and "Valentine" in the 20th century. ...

    He is very persuasive in this poem and uses the flea many times as a symbol of their sexual union and uses many metaphors. He uses many sly phrases also which could easily win his argument and I feel it is making her feel guilty and starting to make her confused and think about the prospects of them having sex.

  2. Compare how "Nettles" and "Upon my Son" Show Love for their Child

    Furthermore the noun 'wound' suggests that the pain could be etched in his memory, as a wound is something you never forget unlike a scratch. Where as in "Upon my Son" the mother appears to have very unrealistic hopes as she seems to think that her son will not feel any pain in his life.

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