Catrin by Gillian Clarke: An Analysis

Topics: Poetry, The Reader, Fetus Pages: 2 (475 words) Published: April 14, 2014
Catrin by Gillian Clarke is a poem about the conflict the can arise between a mother and daughter. The poem is written retrospectively which represents a memory and makes it seem more personal. The speaker is looking back on memories based on the conflict with her daughter and how her daughter is constantly trying to pull away from her. “I can remember you” clearly tells the reader that the speaker is thinking back to an earlier time in relationship and this builds up the foundation of what the poem is going to be about. The memory is noticeably very meaningful towards the speaker as she remembers the minor details such as “window watching” which uses alliteration to link the ideas, and also “people and cars taking turn at the traffic lights” which once again highlights the attitudes of the memory towards the mother. The “red rope of love” is used as a metaphor which signifies the umbilical cord which held the mother and baby together since contraception in which they both “fought over”. This shows the readers that they struggled to become separate. It could also suggest that the mother wants the baby to be born, whereas the baby resists it and wants to stay where it is. The first stanza is a tone of stress and conflict, whereas in the second stanza, the tone changes and becomes calm and relaxed, even though the daughter wants to pull away. The words and phrases are arranged in a way to represent the echo shallow breathing and shortness of speech due to contractions. The overall shape of the poem is built as a long column which could symbolise the umbilical cord in order to tie in with the context of the poem. Also, the break in the stanza could represent the cutting of the umbilical cord which sets the mother and daughter free from each other. The first stanza is talking about the past, whereas the second stanza is talking about the present moment which suggests that the struggle is still going on between them and that their love is still intense as ever....
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