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"The Song of the Old Mother" is a poem set in the Victorian era.

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Introduction

"The Song of the Old Mother" is a poem set in the Victorian era. In those days working was expected more. From young ages children had to go out to work, so the mother expects help with housework from her daughters if she has any, and her sons to go out to work if she has any. The mother seems to want her child/children to have an easier life than she had. "And the young lie long and dream in their beds" implies that she is happy to let them be the "next generation" and have life easier, as is usually the case. The mother would have had a harder life than her daughter because her mother would have had an even stricter upbringing and it would have influenced the way she was brought up. ...read more.

Middle

In "My Father thought it Bloody Queer" it is not a parent child relationship portrayed, but a father son relationship. This is because the son is twenty nine, "At twenty nine, it comes as no surprise to hear..." The son might be twenty nine, but in his father's eyes he is still a little child, so he feels he can boss his son around. We assume the boy is younger than he is, because his age is only specified in the last stanza, and his father treats him younger than he really is. The son appears to be going through a rebellion, as his father does not seem happy that he has done this, so it is a rebellion against the way he was brought up, and his parents. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Before you were mine, your Ma stands at the close..." This is also shown by "The decade before my loud, possessive yell..." This line also symbolises the end of the mother's freedom. The mother seems to be flirty, frivolous, lively, and the centre of attention in the pictures her daughter is looking at. Her daughter compares her to Marilyn Munroe, so the woman must have been very glamorous. The girl wants a life like her mother's, she wants to have fun like she did, but she can't because it is out of her character. Her memories of her mother are fading "I see you, clear as scent, under the tree." The relationship is a controversial one, the mother is dead, but before she died her daughter seemed close to her, which is different to both the other poems. The other poems are conventional and have a sense of discipline, but this one doesn't seem to have any of these. ...read more.

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