Brothers by Andrew Foster

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"Brothers" by Andrew Forster
Born in 1964
Grew up in Rotherham
Known for writing about childhood by drawing on autobiographical material.
His style is to often refer to everyday objects and experiences.
Brothers was part of his first collection of poetry, entitled Fear of Thunder
The nine year old narrator and his ten year old friend are given the responsibility of looking after the
narrator's six year old brother for the afternoon. The poem looks at the relationship with siblings, as the
older boys abandon the six year old as they see him as an inconvenience. It is suggested that this occasion
is the start of their differences.
Brothers-The Recount
Saddled with you for the afternoon, me and Paul
ambled across the threadbare field to the bus-stop,
talking over Sheffield Wednesday's chances in the cup
while you skipped beside us in your ridiculous tank-top,
spouting six-year-old views on Rotherham United.
Suddenly you froze, said you hadn't any bus fare.
I sighed, said you should go and ask Mum
and while you windmilled home I looked at Paul.
His smile, like mine, said I was nine and he was ten
and we must stroll the town, doing what grown-ups do.
As a bus crested the hill we chased Olympic Gold.
Looking back I saw you spring towards the gate,
your hand holding out what must have been a coin.
I ran on, unable to close the distance I'd set in motion.
Does not have a strict pattern to its rhythm. (typical of modern poetry)
Three stanzas of free verse
Each stanza recounts a separate stage of the afternoon.
The first stanza sets the scene, showing the relationship between the speaker and his brother as
well as the speaker and his friend.
The second stanza presents the disruption to plans for the afternoon (because the younger brother
doesn't have his bus fare).
o Use of internal rhyme. `mine' and `nine' gives out the mood of smugness as the boys get rid
of their charge.
The final stanza concludes the story, revealing the separation of the brothers.
Poem is written in the past tense
Sherifa Issifu 11.5

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Brothers" by Andrew Forster
The opening metaphor sets the tone for the relationship between the two brothers: "Saddled"
o negative feelings the speaker has for his brother, as if he is an inconvenience
o It is the first word of the poem, meaning it is significant, as it outlines the overall tone.
In the first stanza the speaker and his friend "ambled", "talking" as they went, they believe
themselves to be `cool' and `grown up'
the younger brother "skipped" and was "spouting six-year-old views".…read more

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Brothers" by Andrew Forster
Write about the feelings for a family member in Brothers and Praise Song for My Mother and the ways in which
they are presented.
Points you could make:
In Praise Song for My Mother the tone is very celebratory and positive whereas in Brothers the childhood
rejection of a younger brother is explored in a regretful way.
Brothers uses a single event to explore the feelings of the two siblings, both at the time and when looking
back.…read more


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