Don Paterson – Waking with Russell – The Thread

I found these notes on my desktop – they were from a previous brainstorming we did in class.

How does Don Paterson convey the bond established between father and on in the poems “Waking With Russell” and “The Thread”?

Intro: Don Paterson/ Landing Light/ Effect of fatherhood on the writer/ the bond between father and son as central emotive device

Para 1: The metaphor of flight in The Thread
Lighting the path in Waking With Russell
The sense of purpose given to the poet’s life

Para 2: Fatherhood as a new drive for the poet
Mezzo del cammin
Sonnet form – a paeon of love for his son
His son as saviour to the father?

Para 3: Hope for the future
Pledged myself forever
True gift never leaves the give – the river

Para 4: Fear of death/ The thread as a metaphor
Jamie’s brutal arrival – fear of his dying
Change to power of the aircraft

Para 5: Innocence and Experience
Blakeian notion of the innocence of the child before adult corruption
Fatherhood has delivered a new childhood to the poet
A renewal of childish enthusiasm
An affirmation of the love that now bonds the family, and his new role as a father – part of something much greater, and more important, than himself

Conclusion: The techniques used amplify and intensify the emotion Paterson feels regarding his new position as a father – the bond with his son is shown as a defining aspect of his life, and separates his new and old lives.

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