Catrin

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Explore how Gillian Clarke and Charles Causley present the relationship between a parent and child in ‘Catrin’ and ‘What has happened to Lulu?’

Gillian Clarke was born in Cardiff in 1937 she often writes poems about nature and her observations of people. One of the poems she wrote was 'Catrin.' This poem in particular portrays the theme of a parent and child relationship and how they battle as the chills grows up. 'Catrin' starts off with the birth of the child and how it was a struggle. It later goes on to mention how the fight continues as she gets older and wants to be alone and free. The poem itself is addressed to the daughter Catrin, (because her name is in the title).

The poem begins with the poet saying that she remembers Catrin. The following shows this: 'I remember you, Child,' Here, the poet is speaking to the child by pondering about when Catrin was young. Also, the word 'you' suggests that Clarke is not only speaking to the child, but to us, as readers as well. This draws you to the poem as it puts you in the role of the child and makes you want to read on. Furthermore, Clarke does not mention the daughters name through-out the poem as she uses it for the title instead. By doing this, she has already addressed the person to whom the poem is about therefore she feels no need to mention her name again. Clarke sets the first stanza in the past tense to show how this is what has happened before Catrin was born and how even before then there was a battle between them. The poet starts off waiting in a labour ward. This is portrayed in the following: 'As I stood in a hot, white room,' The word 'hot' suggests a tense heavy atmosphere, which shows her stress and impatience. Here Clarke has used enjambment to suggest movement as she is waiting to give birth. The parent child relationship is portrayed here as Clarke is waiting for her daughter. This shows how the pair depends upon each other as Clarke wants her daughter to come out and stop the pain whereas without Clarke, Catrin wouldn't be alive.

In addition to this, Clarke goes on to describe how giving birth has changed her life drastically, by describing what she saw out the window. This is shown in stanza one lines three, four and five. 'At the window watching

 The people and cars taking,
 Turn at the traffic lights.' The word window represents freedom, which is what Clarke wants. Furthermore, the fact Clarke uses 'traffic lights' and 'cars', shows how the poet is taking a turn in her life as the cars turn either way. Which suggests how her life can either take a turn for the worse or for the better? Also the colours red, amber and green (colours of traffic lights) suggest how her life was on hold (red), then the waiting in labour (amber), and then go (green), the process she went through giving birth. Also Clarke has used alliteration and enjambment to emphasise how people take their turns to give birth and how it a journey of life that isn't forgotten.

The poet clearly remembers the daughter’s birth as she repeats the words 'I remember you.' By repeating this, it shows how she thinks it was important, the reason she used it is that she wants us to remember it too as it is a curtail part of her life. The parent and child relationship portrayed here is that the mum cares about the child dearly and thinks she is an important part of her life which she wants to remember.

Clarke's experience of the birth is very tense and difficult. This is portrayed when she says 'our first fierce confrontation.' The poet uses alliteration to show how it was tense, as the letter 'f' sounds like heavy breathing, like how you would when you are stressed. Also 'f' is a very forceful letter which represents her experience of being in labour and giving birth as she has to force the baby out. Furthermore, the word 'fierce' suggests how the poet and baby were in a battle for freedom. Also the word 'first' suggests that there is going to me more battles in the future, not...
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