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A discussion of the poet's attitude and feelings towards the birth of his son, in the poem 'The Almond Tree'

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A discussion of the poet’s attitude and feelings towards the birth of his son, in the poem ‘The Almond Tree’

In this essay I am going to be writing about ‘The Almond Tree’. Jon Stallworthy wrote this poem in 1967, it was written through the eyes of a happy man waiting for the birth of his child. He is very excited about being a father, but his happiness and excitement soon stops as he finds out that his son is a Mongol, that he has Down syndrome and will not be able to speak.

        In the 1960’s many things happened first of all the Almond Tree disease that was passed on to trees from birds and insects when the trees caught the disease it was passed on from tree to tree, and slowly all the trees died out. A little bit later the contraceptive pill was introduced, it was very worrying as it was said that any one who takes their future children might become diseased.

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Another event, which I think is important, is when the baby is born and how the excited father feels when his baby is born and about his son being a Mongol. In this stanza he describes his son as a ‘bright farthing’.  A farthing is a coin and he likens his son to this coin; brand new, untouched and precious.  This tells the reader that he feels as if he is the richest man alive and he is very, very happy. The poet uses imagery to describe it.

The third event that I also think is important, is when the father is told that his son is a Mongol. At this point he is in shock and he feels the pain he describes this as a bullet hitting him hard in the chest.

‘How easily the word went in as clean as a bullet’

The poet shows us this through simile to compare the pain and shock.

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kix_list_1-0 start">A                First word B                Second word that rhymes with the last wordA                Third word rhymes with the first wordB                fourth word lasts with the first word

For this rhyme structure. There are many rhyme structures and could come in A,B,B,C or A,B,C,A. an example for verse and rhyme structure is a quotation with four lines that  rhyme, I have left the last words that rhyme.

In                A

Bullet                 B

Skin                A

It                B

The third and final structure is when the verses start to get longer, which say that the man in the poem is shocked, sad and upset that his son is a Mongol. After a while when he realises how stupid and selfish he had been he returns to the child and the mother and changes his attitude, at this point the rhyme structure is A,B,B,C it carries on like this till the end of the poem. This poem can touch a person and is very realistic it make you feel the feelings of the man.

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