Vu Ngoc Giang
Poem for my sister
“Poem for my sister” is another opus of Liz Lochhead about the relationship between a big sister and her younger sister. Furthermore, it’s her feelings towards her sister’s process of growing up.
In stanza one, Liz tells us of an everyday occurrence – her sister trying on her shoes, she uses heeled shoes as a metaphor for life and how her sister is experimenting with it :
My little sister likes to try my shoes,
to strut in them,
admire her spindle-thin twelve-year-old legs
in this season's styles.
She says they fit her perfectly,
on their high heels, they're
hard to balance.
“Twelve years old” might be the suggestion of the puberty age where her sister is confusing between the boundary of being a child or an adult. However, the sister wants to wear grownup shoes and she definitely agrees that they fit her perfectly, which means that she is desperately trying to be an adult anyway. The word “wobble” means both that she physically can’t cope with wearing grownup shoes and that she is also wobbling between childhood and adulthood, showing that it’s not easy to balance and perhaps, she is wobbling because of the difficulties that start coming for her as she grows up. Another meaning could be as she grows up, even though she will become more mature in high heels but there will be a lot of challenges that makes her life more difficult and “hard to balance”.
Moving on form stanza one, Liz expresses her admiration to her sister for how good she is playing hopscotch.
I like to watch my little sister
admire the neat hops-and-skips of her,
their quick peck,
never-missing their mark, not
over-stepping the line.
She is competent at peever.
The poet admires her sister while watching her playing hopscotch and her smooth movement, she also portrays her bad feelings through the two sentences “never missing their mark” and “not over stepping the line”. “Never...
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