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Poems “Nettles” and Praise song for my mother” Essay

Explore how the parent child relationship is presented in “nettles” and “praise song for my mother” and comment on the feeling expressed in both poems


Both “nettles” and “praise song for my mother” focus on parent child relationships. “nettles” is a poem that tells a story about a little boy who falls into some nettles, and “praise song for my mother” is a poem that displays love and praise for someone’s mother. However both poems show the feelings of both the parents and the children. The poem “nettles” is a very strait forward poem and its main focus lays on one incident, which tells the story of a young boy who falls into a bed of nettles and his dad protects him. However “praise song for my mother” is completely different it’s more general than strait forward and each verse lists another reason why she loves her mother. Also “praise song for my mother” includes lots of metaphor’s and word play where as “nettles” just tells the story how it is.

Both “Nettles” and “Praise song for my mother” include lots of imagery. “Nettles” incorporates a theme of war and military the nettles that hurt the poet’s son are referred to as “green spears” and “that regiment of spite” this is strange as although nettles can cause irritation and sharp pain, they are not forceful like weapons used in war. The father finds it unbearable that his son has been hurt. Therefore he has a need to protect him and to prevent it from occurring again. The war imagery also suggests that the poet had been in the war or experienced what war was like. And in “Praise song for my mother” there is a consistent use of metaphor’s many of which include nature “you were the moons eye to me” and “you were sunrise to me” are just two of many used. In “praise song for my mother” the structure is very well noticed, the first stanza starts off with two syllables on the first line “you were” then go on to use four syllables “sunrise to me”, then generally it goes to six or seven “deep and bold and fathoming”.

And the first three stanzas are very similar in ways of structure they all use the same number of syllables and look very similar in the way that they appear. However the final section marks a break in the chain as it changes the structure pattern, “praise song for my mother” is very ambiguous and depending on which way you interpret it this could mean the daughter is moving away from childhood into adulthood. However in “nettles” it is very simple it has an easy rhyme scheme of AbAb, “bed, shed” and “tears, spears”. And is also written in iambic pentameter witch is a collection of two syllables one stressed and on unstressed. The poem “nettles” has 16 lines which is very similar to sonnet form, a sonnet has 14 lines.

The language in “praise song for my mother” is very different from “nettles”. In “nettles” it is very simple and easy to understand although it probably has ambiguous meanings you can read it and understand it because it is simply telling a story. But in “praise song for my mother “is a lot different the context is a lot harder to understand and has several ambiguous meanings so you can interpret it different ways. It also is confusing as it includes made up words such as “mateling” witch make you think poems give the readers can be different for everyone , but for me I like the idea in “nettles” of the father wanting to protect his son as this shows love to his son.

I also like “praise song for my mother” because it has many hidden ambiguous meanings so you can interpret it many ways I also like “praise song for my mother” because it isn’t just simple and easy to understand it has hidden meanings and made up words so you have to take it apart and analysis it which requires a lot of thinking. I like the imagery in both “”praise song for my mother” and “nettles” as it gives you a clear image of what the poets are thinking when writing the poem. However I prefer “nettles” to “praise song for my mother” because it requires less thinking it is simple and understandable at first glance.

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