Driving Lessons, ” by Neal Bowers and “the Lanyard, ” by Billy Collin

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Poetry is often able to relay messages in a significantly different ways than pros is able to. It is therefore used as an alternative means to get across a message. Two classic poems, “Driving Lessons,” by Neal Bowers and “The Lanyard,” by Billy Collin are able to do just so. However, even within poetry, different poems give way to different messages. The way in which the poem is engineered can relay the same idea from two very distinct points of view – such as the poems mentioned above. While both “Driving Lessons” and “The Lanyard” depict the common theme of a mother-child relationship – specifically regarding the aspect of dependency – the tones in which they are written are very different and thus communicate two different points.

“Driving Lessons,” written by Neal Bowers, relays the message through a young man’s driving lesson. Bowers highlights the son’s relationship with mother in this intimate setting – confined in a car. Flashbacks illuminate the true dynamic between the two and the rest of the family. Here, the young man is caught in between the crossfire between his parents of whom he illustrates as “my father impatient, my mother/ trying hard to smile” (Bowers 37-38). He can see through the façade his parents put on which disturbs him greatly. Once walked out on by his mother for a short period of time, he recognizes the vitality of her presence for him and his family. Even within that short period of time in which she was gone he understands how she has shaped him as a person, as he says, “the boy I would have been if/ my mother had kept on walking” (Bowers 29,30).

“The Lanyard,” by Billy Collins also depicts the mother-son relationship. The protagonists of the two poems resemble each other as, again, an older man flashes back to his past when he was a young boy. In this poem, the setting is not a somber one, but a pleasant experience at summer camp which can be inferred by the serene description of the setting, “I saw at a...
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