Compare how feelings between children and parents are presented in “Praise Song for My Mother” Grace Nichols and “Harmonium” Simon Armitage

Topics: Poetry, Stanza, Parent Pages: 2 (954 words) Published: November 5, 2014
Compare how feelings between children and parents are presented in Praise Song for My Mother Grace Nichols and Harmonium Simon Armitage In both Praise Song for My Mother by Nichols and Harmonium by Armitage strong feelings between parents and children are explored. Nichols has written a personal love poem to her mother which expresses a deep respect and admiration for her. In Armitages poem however, the tone is very different as the poet reflects upon the lack of communication between him and his father and recalls a moment when an opportunity to speak about the serious subject of death was missed. Although both poems are modern, they have quite different structures. Nichols poem uses a simple three line stanza which she repeats until the end of the poem. Each stanza begins with You were, this adds a tone of gentle sadness to the poem as she is looking back now that her childhood is gone. This repetition also helps to make the poem feel more like a song. Nichols uses repetition again when she describes her mother as replenishing replenishing here she is emphasising just how much and how often her mother gave to her, not just food, but also things such as protection as in the flame trees spread. Armitage also uses repetition when he is describing how the instrument has become worn out through use, and leather-soled shoes, had pedalled and pedalled. The final stanza of Nichols poem is a single line and this makes the message at the end of the poem stand out. Go to your wider futures, you said it feels like it is the last thing her mother said to her as a child and the poem ends with her parting from her mother. The structure of Armitages poem is less regular. Although he uses stanzas, they are different lengths and the constant use of enjambment gives the poem a natural, conversational feel. The use of colloquial language such as bundles off to the skip adds to this very natural, everyday tone of the poem. In both poems we are presented with adults looking...
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