- Written from an adult perspective
- Does not have a strict pattern to its rhythms
- 3 Stanzas which represent three stages of afternoon
- 1. Sets scene and shows relationship between speaker and brother
- 2. Presents disruption of plan
- 3. Concludes story, revealing separation of brothers
- Shows how the older boys are still children
- Saddled" suggests negative feelings speaker has for brother, restricting the freedom of the speaker.
- "Looking back" is used both literally to refer to older boy checking progress of younger brother to find bus fare, as well as metaphorically suggesting a look back through time.
- Feelings of characters are revealed through choice of words
- Younger brother worships older brother
- "chased Olympic Gold"
- Metaphor for competitive natures
- Aspiration to be older
- In line 9 the speaker sees age as an advantage
- Close friendship, intimacy which is craved by younger brother but will be denied because of "distance"between brothers.
- The childhood feeling of superiority is later regretted by the speaker
- Friendship in poem is important, and yet final image suggests loss that speaker feels at not being closer to brother.
- Compare to "Sister Maude" and "Harmonium"
Similar English Literature resources: