Writer – Simon Armitage
Date – 1993
Gist – A boy moving out and his mother’s difficulty in letting go
Intention – Look at atmosphere of loss created by the poet
Section 1 – Where does this atmosphere of loss come from?
· ““Anchor. Kite.”
· Metaphor – Shows the idea that the mother grounds the boy. But when he leaves she will no longer be connected.
· The connection between mother and son almost breaking
· “you at the zero end, me with the spool of tape… unreeling years between us”
· Literally – she is helping to measure the rooms.
· Metaphorically – the connection between the two is stretching.
· The “years” show the increasing age of the son as he gets further away from his mother.
· “I reach towards a hatch which opens on an endless sky”
· Literally, the son is exploring the loft
· Metaphorically, he is emerging into something new and exciting
· Like the kite, he has lost the anchor and now soars up into the unknown
· “I space-walk” – suggests the vast emptiness
· “empty bedrooms” – As yet unfurnished – unhomely
· “acres of walls” – So empty they appear larger than they are – hyperbole to exaggerate the emptiness
“To fall or fly” – Metaphor – Must try to be independent, even if he risks failing
“Something has to give” – The relationship has reached a point where a break must occur
“You come to help me measure windows, pelmets, doors” – The mother is keen to make herself useful to him – the list shows the many things she helps with
“Requires a second pair of hands” – “requires” indicates something that is needed
· Mother is reluctant to let go of her son
· The son feels he must break the bond
· The writer uses various techniques to make the reader feel the sadness of this break in the relationship