To My Nine Year Old Self

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  • To My Nine-Year-Old Self
    • title
      • the use of 'my' and 'self' suggest the poem is personal
      • the idea of writing to their younger self arouses as sense of nostalgia
    • Stanzas 1 - 2
      • 'you must forgive me' - pronoun 'you' creates distance between her and the reader
        • imperitive shows her need for forgiveness - impose order on younger self
      • verbs used to describe younger self are very active 'run' 'climb'
        • links to phrase don't run before you can walk - the older self speaks from experience. uses sayings
      • extended metaphor of a 'tight rope' showing he lack of fear
      • uses a very nostalgic tone - reflecting
      • She says she has 'spoiled' the body, there are 'scars' - negative connotations of self-harm and depression
      • caesura to make rhythm jolty - shows the way the older person moves - younger less commas, faster movement
      • end of stanza 2 - tone starts to shift
        • is more nostalgic engages with younger self saying 'we' and asking them questions
          • fast pace - shows she is getting caught up in the moment of childhood
    • Stanzas 3 - 4
      • 'dream we had'
        • in the past for her, 'had', sense of mourning
      • 'white paper to write it on' - extended metaphor, still has her innocence and has a chance for a fresh start
      • 'we made a start, but something else came up -'
        • failure to commit to dream, 'something' - doesn't specify, may be bad
          • dash shows quick at which life moves, caesura suggests her disjointed childhood
      • talks about 'summer of ambition' which juxtaposes the 'cesspit' - constrast of adult and childhood
        • her having 'a den by the cesspit' - shows escapism in childhood, den, from adulthood - cesspit
      • 'we could be friends' uses subjective - no control over childhood self
      • juxtaposition between normal childhood 'rosehips for tuppence' and 'hide down scared lanes'
        • suggests was a normal part of her childhood
      • 'girl-children' - derogatory, specifies children, *********
    • Stanza 5 - 6
      • large gap between 'girl-children...or lunge' - jump from childhood to adulthood, wants to move on from bad memories of prior topic
      • 'on a rope that swings from that tree' - specific use of 'that tree' - suicide
        • continues with 'long buried under housing' - semantic field of death
      • takes on a darker tones, separates herself 'I'd like to say' - 'I' shows doesn't younger self to be burdened with those memories
        • suggestion that she dissociates herself - don't want to remember
      • 'cloud your morning' - depression
      • 'ecstasy of concentration' - suggests innocence of childhood
        • 'peeling a ripe scab' suggests she doesn't care about pain - later will
      • takes in enjoyment in 'slowly' peeling of the scab
        • many experiences of life will knock her down - try and experience it all 'taste it' - extended metaphor
    • structure
      • frequent commas suggests pauses and moment of reflection for the author
        • makes more nostalgic
      • there is a punctuation shift between end-stopped lines and dashes and commas - shows the narrator getting lost in nostalgia and losing track of letter
      • changing line lengths represents different types of memories the narrator has - makes the poem more natural - more personal

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