Imagery in the Poem

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Imagery in the poem
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| The poem begins in the labour ward of the hospital: it is 'hot, white' (line 2) and sterile, which seems at odds with the intimate event that is about to occur. Further on it is seen as 'a square / Environmental blank' (line 9) and a 'glass tank' (line 19). Why do you think Clarke places so much emphasis on the hospital building?| | Before the actual birth, Clarke looks out of the window at 'The people and cars' (line 4) going about their every day business; she, in contrast, is about to experience one of the most momentous events of her life. Why do you think she mentions 'the traffic lights' (line 5)?| | 'The tight / Red rope of love' (line 8) is the umbilical cord. It is red because of the blood that flowed between the mother and the child in the womb; but also because red is the colour of passion and love. Red contrasts with the stark, white hospital surroundings.| | Mother and child 'fought over' (line 9) the cord. The verb fought suggests the brutality and pain of childbirth. Perhaps Clarke is marvelling at how love is created through violence.| | 'I wrote / All over the walls with my / Words' (line 11). Are these words Clarke's shouts and screams of pain, or are they words of a poem she thinks of through her labour? She imagines the words colouring 'the clean squares' (line 13) of the hospital. Decide whether you think the coloured words would deface the hospital's clean walls, or give them new life and vibrancy.| | 'The wild tender circles' perhaps refer to the waves of contractions in the lead-up to the birth. Contractions get closer and closer together as moment of birth nears, as the circles of ripples on a pond are closest to the point where a stone is dropped in. The mother and child shouted (line 16). Was this in pain or joy? Or perhaps both?| | Both Clarke and Catrin were changed (line 20) by the birth: Clarke became a mother, someone upon whom a tiny baby depended; Catrin became a...
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