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The three poems I have chosen to compare are 'A Parental Ode To My Son Aged Three years and Five Months', 'Catrin' and 'For Heidi With Blue Hair'.

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Introduction

'That Old Rope' The three poems I have chosen to compare are 'A Parental Ode To My Son Aged Three years and Five Months', 'Catrin' and 'For Heidi With Blue Hair'. 'A Parental Ode...' is a poem, which has been written about a son through his father's eyes. It is a poem emphasizing the beauty and virtues of his son, talking as if he is a creature of fantasy; though in reality the father's son is a mischievous child, getting into trouble, which is distracting the father from writing his poem. 'Catrin' is written in the same format as 'A Parental Ode...' but in this poem it is the mother viewing her child (which in this case is Catrin). This poem is a lot more serious and down to earth. It talks about their relationship and how they have grown together whereas 'A Parental Ode...' is about the troubles that the father's child gets up to and is more bubbly and amusing. 'For Heidi With Blue Hair' shares some characteristics as 'Catrin' in the sense that it is the same poem. This poem is written about a girl who has dyed her hair blue, basically as it says in the title. It tries to be amusing by using irony so it does have some similarity to 'A Parental Ode...' in a humorous sense but 'A Parental Ode's...' humour is more direct. 'A Parental Ode...' is a poem by a father idolizing his son. It is written in 'real-time' - that the father is describing his son as he is writing the poem. The father is writing about his son, a troublesome child that is naughty. His father, however, does not want to show this in the poem as he makes no reference of it but you find out that he is ghastly. The father likes to romanticize the image of his son by using fantasy creatures (elf, sprite, puck, imp), and by doing this it is showing that the poem isn't real, but rather a fabrication. ...read more.

Middle

Clarke has used these as metaphors to express the mixed emotions being felt, squares being very plain, boring, rigid, basic, clear and sharp. That other shape used was a circle demonstrating smoothness, warmth, happiness and simplicity. With the example I gave above there is also something else that G. Clarke has hidden from the audience that you have to figure out for yourself. When the mother says 'I wrote all over the walls with my words, coloured the clean squares', I think that she is not 'colouring' but rather swearing as she is giving birth, shouting certain swear words from all the pain and frustration. There is also some repetition in the poem; for example, 'I can remember you' is said twice. This is telling the reader that it is a strong memory, but not just for the mother, but also for every mother that has given birth, a universal message that an experience like that is never forgotten. G. Clarke has written a poem in how a mother feels towards her daughter and how a strong a memory of childbirth can be. Many metaphors have been used in what I feel isn't used to make it sound very poetic, but rather to hide certain factors. All these metaphors, 'hot, white room', 'red rope of love', 'tender circles of our struggle', and 'that old rope' are used to hide her feelings or that she might be embarrassed to say directly that she was in a hospital giving birth to a baby. Why might that be? Is her baby from an unwanted pregnancy, the result of rape? The metaphors used before can be linked with 'A Parental Ode...' with metaphors like 'cherub', 'elf', and 'domestic dove' which hides what the child is really like, a bit of a naughty child. This can be linked with the metaphors previously said with 'Catrin' as they can be metaphors hiding the real truth about the mother's feeling. ...read more.

Conclusion

I could back this up by saying that because there is no mention of the father, maybe something must have happened to her to be in a situation where the child cannot be fathered. This had lead the mother to not want the baby, however the pregnancy continued. As the child grew up, which is described in the last stanza, we see this conflict between the two, and after enough time to get to know her daughter, the mother has decided to lose her love for Catrin. I think she even makes her sound bad to the audience, using phrases like 'still I am fighting you off' and 'defiant glare'. It makes Catrin sound like she is a problem child, and with the mother describing this to us, it's as if she is trying to win a claim over the audience and push them onto her side. With 'Catrin' you have to fully understand and explore the poem to understand what is going on. I think this has been structured this way, using more difficult language and metaphors, to show the frustration and anxiety that the mother is feeling. The mother wanted us to feel the same frustration, so she makes the poem more difficult to understand which ash been cleverly done with the metaphors. I feel that by using such words about the birth and the child like ' a struggle and saying that she wanted 'to be two', I come to feel that Catrin was an accidental baby and the mother didn't want her but now she is stuck with her daughter. So to conclude, I would say that all three poems are about viewing a child, but it depends on who is viewing them; whether it is the father in 'A Parental Ode...' the mother in 'Catrin' or actually the poet in 'For Heidi With Blue Hair'. Different people are perceiving all these, but I wouldn't go on what they say, it's just their opinion, not what the child actually is like. ...read more.

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