‘Full Moon and Little Frieda’
Children are wonderful. They do not follow the same rules as adults do and most of them do not even know that such rules exist, which allows them to experience the world and the bliss of living at an entirely different level that adults do not have access to. Ted Hughes, the author of this poem, realized this, because he had a daughter, whose memorable memory of the first spoken words was his inspiration for this poem. The poem makes many references to childhood and its irregular structure might remind us of a child’s inconsistent mind.
In the first line of the poem, Hughes talks about an image of a “small shrunk evening”, which might refer to either little Frieda herself or that the whole evening has been made smaller and simpler, very much like a child’s mind. Furthermore, the evening shrunk to a “dog bark and the clank of a bucket”, with “bark” and “clank” being onomatopoeic words, sounds without meaning. The author is belittling the evening, while his little daughter is listening, waiting for something special to happen, as suggested by the next line, “and you listening”. We cannot overlook the use of direct speech from the author. He uses “you” instead of “her”, which might mean that he wants to pull the readers in, to make them see the situation through Frieda’s eyes, so that we too, are patiently waiting and listening. The use of a second person singular emphasizes the importance of patience, as it is written/said directly from father to the daughter. The imaginary of “a spider web, tense from..” could imply the construction of her web of life or make us think of the fragility of children’s minds and how easily they can be influenced by the “dew’s touch”. The “dew’s touch” might suggest knowledge and experience, as the new web can be easily damaged by a touch of knowledge, as once we know the word for something, we do not need to touch it, which reflects the limits of language. Learning new words and speech is Frieda’s...
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