The following academic paper highlights the up-to-date issues and questions of Catrin Poem. This sample provides just some ideas on how this topic can be analyzed and discussed.
Relationships can be portrayed through biological links, friendships and bonds between subjects of connotations and meaning. The intention of both poets is mainly to portray the strengths and weaknesses behind all bonds and the effect they encompass on the reader. Poets have the power to create, transform and enlighten upon a subject that may seem appropriate, but a relation amid love and hate can neither create nor destroy; the power of emotion will never subside through poetry.
The exploration of Clarke and Heaney’s poems will later be discovered when travelling the rendered emotions of ‘Catrin’, ‘Baby-sitting”, ‘Follower’ and ‘Death of a Naturalist’. The mentioned poets use their personal experiences and perform the meaning of them using a conversion of techniques and influences. This is to enhance the importance to the reader of the purpose of the poem.
Amongst the stated poems, the theme of biological and non-biological relationships can be declared as a core factor for the strength and duration of a bond.
Clarke’s ‘Catrin’ is structured as an image of a tug-of-war between mother and baby, whilst resembling the struggle of the love for one another and what binds mother and baby together. “The tight/ Red rope of love which we both fought over” foreshadows this idea. The depth of explanatory vision can be seen as the umbilical cord which is later cut at birth creating an image of separation and division alongside the child becoming independent.
All mothers face times when separation would benefit their child, but the safety and dangers that may be confronted, form a barrier for this dependency. The struggle faced in this maternal relationship, hold powerful emotions and deep-felt feelings ‘From the heart’s pool’. The poem introduces a personal quality with the title ‘Catrin’ but is then not mentioned again throughout the poem. This can be represented as a very personal relationship that does not have the need to direct but contain an unmentioned bond.
However it could also resemble a relationship between any particular mother and child, giving the poem a sense of universality. The language used is simple and recognisable, which indicates the simple sincere emotions that are intended to be conveyed through the poem. The poem’s structure is two unbalanced stanzas, both performed in the past and present; an emphasis of how the relationship is still as intense from birth. A similar relationship based on a father: son bond is Heaney’s ‘Follower’ where Heaney both literally and metaphorically followed his father.
The basic six stanza poem represent a clear division between father and son; three stanzas each. Heaney states how he imitates his father, following in his father’s footsteps, enhancing the biological bond and respect Heaney has for his father. Also, throughout the poem, the correct agricultural language can be found, highlighting the need Heaney felt to praise his father with respect as well as knowledge of his profession, and the future Heaney longed to pursue.
The mother and child maternal bond can be perceived in Clarke’s poem, ”Baby-sitting”. Here, a non-biological bond of the strengths and adoration of a natural mother and child bond is shown to be instinctive between the characters but has occurred naturally and the anxiety Clarke feels towards another child she does not know. To be enchanted by your own baby’s breathe is a natural and maternal sentiment however, Clarke describes that “there will be no chemistry or familiarity between them”.
The finality of this poem can be seen as indefinite for it suggests both literally that no milk will come but also a metaphor of how the motherly ‘milk-familiar comforting’, the connection ‘will not come’ therefore she cannot totally provide for the child. The feeling of adoration between relations, friendships and subjects is described through many of the Clarke and Heaney poems studied. In Heaney’s poem ‘Follower’, utter adoration and admiration is portrayed through Heaney’s ability to use correct agricultural lexis of ploughing terms such as “wing” and “sock”.
Heaney describes how both literally and metaphorically he followed his father. Heaney states he recalls his admiration for his father and using contrast to note how the young Heaney “wanted to grow up and plough”. To compare, Heaney’s ‘Death of a Naturalist’ represents his attitudes to the natural world in his childhood and his interest and appreciation towards nature, enhancing a passion inside him yearning for a great future. He receives encouragement from his teacher supporting and educating him on the subject of nature which he so fondly adores.
Therefore in return he gives ‘Miss Walls’ respect and esteem whilst quoting her on the knowledge learnt. Heaney wrote this poem with confidence, explaining with knowledge the process of how he took the frogspawn, placed them in jam pots and observed nature taking its toll. By using vocabulary to describe the pleasant as well as objectionable things such as “festered”, “rotted”, “slobber”, and “slime kings” shows young Heaney felt comfortable seeing nature close up, but perhaps he didn’t fully understand the flaws in nature, as referring to reproduction focused on the “mammy and daddy frog”.
Heaney accounts for his adventurous, inspirational but flawed childhood; this is in contrast to Clarke’s more motherly approach to her somewhat misfortunate adulthood. Her ”Baby-sitting” account resembles how her maternal relationship with the child is much stronger than any other could be. Even though to some extent the mentioned child disgusts her, Clarke introduces qualities that depict an ideal infant as pretty and appealing, “roseate” and “bubbling” and “fair”.
However, she uses a statement foreshadowing quite a selfish outlook and to some degree insulting, when depicting the child of “a perfectly acceptable child”. Clarke’s poem has no obvious metre, using short lines and limited use of metaphors and stresses. ”Baby-sitting” can be seen to portray a specific event which anyone can relate to, but to explore a key difference between a motherly concern for another and a powerful, instinctive reaction to an unfamiliar happening.
A relationship can be strong and well-built on a connection or a familiar bond correlating between the two. A relationship may last only for a moment, days, months, years or even last a life-time. Nevertheless, to become separate is to become distant from one another and through these poems, it can be found as a tangible bond that must be cut “a tight red rope of love”, or just be by age or differences which divide the two. Throughout ‘Catrin’, the struggle of separation, “to be two” is seen flowing fluid through each line however; there is no cause for the separation.
Through birth and through time, the mother and child fight over the “tight red rope if love” and still, to prevent the distance between the two ever causing complete partition, she states she still fights, for the love is still as intense from birth. Within the poem, oddments of independence begin, but the “old rope” will surely keep them safe. However, a relationship may never truly fortify as neither one nor the other will love. Clarke’s ‘Baby-sitting’ explores an event that could belong to anyone.
It depicts a strong need for replacement or a substitute, which can cause grief and a failure to enchantment. The opening of the poem explicates simply of the situation, however describing the baby as “wrong”. The baby can surely not be blamed but for Clarke’s immediate assumptions, she fears what will shortly awake. She is scared to be hated by this child, to fear the “hot midnight rage”. The baby’s running nose will disgust her and the baby’s “perfume” of breath is purely a comparison against her own baby’s breath, whose does “enchant” her. The second stanza introduces the thought of abandonment.
However, this separation, this desertion or rejection of the baby is depicted as far worse than that of the “lover cold in lonely sheet”. The baby will expect “milk-familiar comforting” but she will not find it. The love and interest for something, the power of a passion inside of you should never really die, but when obstructions hit or a barrier stops you from your dream, to grow apart from it may seem the only way. Heaney depicts his childhood adoration of nature in ‘Death of a Naturalist’, with a longer first stanza informing the reader upon his adventures and interest and knowledge on the seasonal process of frogs.
Every spring” Heaney would fill “jampotfuls” of his devotion to nature, only to find an experience of growing up to end this fantasy. Heaney hits realisation of growing up to feel threatened by nature, to not have power over its beauty and the feeling of his passion dying, to have to compromise and never fulfil his dream. The shorter second stanza creates a semantic field of war with expressions of anger, “invasion”, “aggression”, “violence”, “rage”, “vengeance” and “mud grenades”.
Heaney feels rejected by something he once loved; he was invaded by something threatening and unfamiliar. He lost his passion in nature. Overall relationships can be discovered in all of the stated poems. The main theme mentioned is the maternal bond between parent and child. This is specifically highlighted in ‘Catrin’, in which the maternal bond remains strong and sturdy. However this bond is deemed to have been broken at birth, by the cutting of the umbilical cord, but this is only the physical bond, whereas the emotional bond will remain between the two forever.