Explore Armitage`s presentation of his relationship with his parents in the poems: "Mother, any distance" and "My father thought" Simon Armitage`s two poems are from a collection called "Book of Matches

Authors Avatar

Explore Armitage`s presentation of his relationship with his parents in the poems: “Mother, any distance” and “My father thought”

        Simon Armitage`s two poems are from a collection called “Book of Matches”, this is based on a party game where you have to talk about your life, in the space of time it takes for the match to burn out (hence the name). You start with facts and then go on to feelings .The moments that Simon Armitage has chosen are defined moments with his parents, he has wrote about his relationship with each of his parents and has used poetic descriptions of times with each of his parents.

        In the poem: “Mother, any distance”, Simon Armitage starts by describing how important his mother was to him. The first word he uses is “Mother” and he is addressing her in second person narrative and as if he was talking directly to her. After, follows “any distance greater than a single span requires a second pair of hands”, it has 2 meanings and the phrase is a metaphor, one being measuring and needing help doing it but there is a second meaning in it that measuring is going through life and needing help going through life when you can’t do it yourself. “Requires a second pair of hands” is saying that he has needed his mother lots to help him. “You” is direct address and in the second person narrative like before, backing up the fact as if he were talking to her directly and personally and the poem is a tribute to his mother.

        “You come to help me measure windows, pelmets, doors”, this is a triadic structure and it is like going through stages of life, for example; windows could be being a baby, pelmets being nursery and primary school and doors could be secondary school/college. The last line of the stanza says “acres and “prairies” is describing the vastness and the distance he has gone through so far in the life so far. In the stanza “doors and floors” are rhyming couplets. “You at the zero end, me with the spool of tape”, the 2 phrases establish the positions of the mother and the son both are the physical and metaphorical positions. “Zero end” is describing the start, in the case the start of his life (giving birth to him) and she brought him into this world. “Me with the spool of tape” this is saying his life is the tape and as he does things in life it extends. “Recording”, this is him living his life and doing things”. Line six, the words mentioned are important and the phrases telling about things going on, the important words being “reporting” and the measuring lengths like centimetres and metres, the phrase “back to base” and the word “reporting” are describing him telling his mother what he has done and his experiences in his life.

Join now!

        From line seven, this is where the mood and meaning changes, at the end of line six going on to line seven it says “then leaving up the stairs” this is him leaving home and is an emotive verb and elevates the significance of this. After this is “the line still feeding out” this phrase is mentioning that they are still connected and then “unreeling years between us” is saying that years go by and they are now different and only just connected. “Anchor” is the mother and like an anchor is stable and in this case important for the ...

This is a preview of the whole essay