1. Who is the narrator of this poem?
2. What is his/her point of view?
3. What is the poem about
4. There are clues in this poem about the parents.
What kind of people are they?
Give reasons for your answers.
5. It is not possible for the foetus/baby to write the poem. The poet has chosen a persona – he is writing as if he is the foetus/baby. Why do you think he has done this?
6. Choose four adjectives to describe the narrator’s attitude in the first half of the poem (until line 16). Give an example from the text to back each one up. Independent, forceful, dependent, hopeful, vibrant, frustrated, trusting, ambitious.
7. In the second half the tone changes. What is it like now?
8. Is the narrator meaning what he says when he writes about someone ‘whose good name/was graven on a brass plate’? How would you describe this tone? Complimentary, ironic, bitter, praising.
9. Look through the second half of the poem and write down any other examples of this type of tone.