Imagery in the Poem

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Imagery in the poem | Example of image | | The poem begins in the labour ward of the hospital: it is 'hot, white ' (line 2) and sterile, which seems at odds with the intimate event that is about to occur. Further on it is seen as 'a square / Environmental blank ' (line 9) and a 'glass tank ' (line 19). Why do you think Clarke places so much emphasis on the hospital building? | | Before the actual birth, Clarke looks out of the window at 'The people and cars ' (line 4) going about their every day business; she, in contrast, is about to experience one of the most momentous events of her life. Why do you think she mentions 'the traffic lights ' (line 5)? | | 'The tight / Red rope of love ' (line 8) is the umbilical cord. It…show more content…
* with frustration and even some bitterness because of the unending conflict entailed in being Catrin 's mother? Well, the poem is certainly about conflict! It begins and ends in conflict. But it is a conflict inseparable from love; it 's an old rope 'Tightening about my life, / Trailing love and conflict '. There is perhaps some frustration in the poem 's tone - but not bitterness. The tenderness is seen as all the more intense because of the conflict. Ideas The most important idea in this poem is that of the bonds or ties between parent and child, which are seen as in constant two-way tension, binding together and at the same time pulling apart. The bond is imagined now as a rope, now as a struggle. Have a look at these quotes from the poem, with our suggestions about how to 'read ' them: Quotation | Commentary | ...the tight / Red rope of love which we both / Fought over. | The main image here is of a tug-of-war between mother and baby, which is at the same time a tug-of-love (in a tug-of-war you fight to pull your antagonist toward you). But the Red rope of love is also the umbilical cord, which binds mother and baby together but must be cut at birth - and is therefore an image both of dependancy, and of separation. | Neither won nor lost the struggle / In the glass tank clouded with feelings... | This recalls the tug-of-war image: now one side pulling and the other giving way, now the other way about. There may be real
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