Touch with Fire

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In the poems ‘Welfare baby’, written by Cheryl Albury and ‘Barefoot Baby’, written by J.L.Mayson the poets arouse sympathy for the characters in them. The use of many techniques depicts the sympathetic theme throughout the poems. Both poems are about young children and the titles of each portray a sense of negativity to the readers.

In ‘Welfare baby’ albury starts off by describing the baby as ‘defenseless’, which shows how he is unable to help or defend himself. This may give the reader a sad feeling toward the character. In lines three and four, “ Mother’s only Sixteen Doesn’t want him” shows how the baby is unwanted and disowned by the one person that should love and care for him. The poet arouses sympathy for the infant by presenting him as an innocent being and the mother as an unfit parent. In Addition to her being an unfit parent is the fact that she is unaware of the father of the child. That is, “ besides she’s not sure, was it Harold or Jim?” the poet uses a rhetorical question so depict the sympathetic theme in this poem. The poets use of repetition of the line “Defenseless he lay there” which can be seen in lines two, ten, and fourteen show how he’s is trying to stress the fact that the baby was unable to help himself. Each time the reader sees this they may overcome a feeling of pity for the character. Coming to the end of the poem Albury states that “ She reached out to hold him but couldn’t” which can arouse compassion for the character due to the mother, who is referred to as she, hesitates to hold her son. The use of adjectives “unloved & nameless” describes to the reader what state the child was in, these sad terms are sure to lead him/her into a fellow feeling.

The Poem “Barefoot Boy” is just as sad as “Welfare Baby”. In the first Stanza of the poem Mayson talks about the boys’ where abouts. He describes him as a “little barefoot boy, a wandering through the street”. The reader may question this line due to the boy being so young and he’s...
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