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Father and Child
Dominant Reading: Loss of innocence
- "believed death clean/and final"
- "this obscene/bundle of stuff"
- Enjambment = paints imagery of bloody death, contrasting to assumption of "clean"
- "leaned my head upon/my father's arm and wept"
- symbolic of lessons learnt
Postmodernist Reading: Loss of innocence
- Intro biblical reference
- "owl blind in early sun/for what i had begun"Adam and Eve, robbed of innocence, eyes open to knowledge of good and evil
- rhyming = emphasis on finality of consequence
Dominant Reading: Changing perspective on life and death/Growing up
- first stanza = "believing/as a child, I could walk on water"water = recurring motif = symbolic of life
- invincibility as a child
- last stanza = "rolled into one grinding race/of dreams, pain, memories"--> adulthood
- imagery symbolic of powerlessness in life
- juxtaposing child self's perspective
Postmodernist Reading: Changing perspective/Growing up
- "I could walk on water" = biblically allude to Jesus
- = emphasise childlike faith and innocence
- that is lost, as an adult she is thrown into life where
- "no hand will save me" --> loss of faith
Dominant Reading: Memory sustains life
- cyclical structure + shifts between past and present = movement of memory in life
- memory of friendship = accept death's reality
- recalls --> "there is still some water left over"symbolic of continuity of friendship > death
- "I think of death no more" - ability to accept death in present
- merging of water and light in last stanza = "light on the face of the waters"light = peace. peace found in life through memory.
Dominant Reading: Striving to grow and accept death
- imagery of pumpkin "climbing/from earth to the fastness of light"symbolic of her strive to grow personally and spiritually, and consequently accept death
- does accept death, as she "laughed at a hollow pumpkin"finds comfort as she comes to accept death
Mother Who Gave Me Life
Dominant Reading: Death is inferior
- last meeting with mother "closed/the ward door of heavey glass"
- death creates barrier
- however transparent image of of mother = "glass"
- memory of her mother will always still be visible
- death is transparent
Dominant Reading: Honouring mother
- "thirty thousand days" = alliteration emphasising greatness
- "fabric of marvels" symbolic of mother's life
- "folded down to a little space"tendency to view even death as a chore
- admires mother's consistency motherly role
Feminist Reading: Honours all mothers
- "women bearing women" = ongoing cycle of female ancestry
- stressing importance of female role, opposing traditional focus on males
- patriarchal society seen in "my father's house"
- nurturing role of women: "somehow, smooth to a smile so I should not see your tears"= alliteration emphasise tranquility of women
- appreciate women more
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