Stephen Spender

Topics: Poverty, Forgiveness, Fashion Pages: 2 (655 words) Published: May 8, 2013
Stephen Spender's "My Parents Kept Me from Children who were Rough" has as the focal point of the poem conveyed in the title itself. The verb 'keep' with reference to the context of the poem implies "preventing". However, an analysis will bring to light that the verb'keep' also has its own negative connotations as in the illegitimate "keep". Therefore it also indicates the deed of holding a person "illegally". The notion that the parents were obdurate on restraining the speaker from such company, implies that the speaker desired to befriend them. He portrays the children for the most part with the adjective"rough". That is, they come across as 'rough' both in appearance and attitude. The gist of the title verges on the fact that had these children not been 'rough', the parents would not have remained reluctant on their child befriending them. These street kids flung words just as they threw stones... their verbalizing was aggressive, impulsive and raw. Generally, the act of throwing stones is intended to provoke someone, to chase someone away or to articulate contempt. One deduces that their choice of words was therefore incorrigibly abusive .They were clothed in torn dresses. These, however were not dictated by fashion, but by abject poverty. They were not patches of fashion; it is their utter paucity that makes them adorn rags. Their scanty clothing rags conspicuously displayed their thighs. It may be noted that whilst the classy and the stylish paraded their thighs in order to make a fashion statement or for the sake of commercial show; these children revealed their thighs as they had no other alternative. Their wandering aimlessly in the street rendered them 'street kids'. They were physically agile and active. They traversed the whole place as they ran; they stripped by the country streams and climbed cliffs. They were not reticent about stripping as they were far from the realm of calculated sophistications. And more significantly, they had no inhibitions,...
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