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Babysitting by Gillian Clarke

Main Ideas
Tells of when she was babysitting and how as the baby is not her own she cannot
love her, and how she cannot replace her mother, as the baby will still feel abandoned
The powerful tie between a mother and child which cannot be…

Page 2

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A Difficult Birth, Easter 1998 by Gillian Clarke

Main Ideas
Tells three stories together
o The birth of twin lambs
o The Easter story
o The making of peace agreements in Ireland
The struggle of bringing life

Determination to succeed without intervention from others
Giving up hope, and then…

Page 3

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Cold Knap Lake - Gillian Clarke

Gillian Clarke faintly remembers a crowd pulling a drowned child from a lake in Barry, South
Wales. The poem emphasises her childish adoration for her mother as she rescues the
almost dead child, she is "a heroine". This love for her mother is…

Page 4

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· "...drawn by the dread of it" - alliteration, the of the `dr' sound along with the long vowels
create a morbid atmosphere.
· "The child breathed, bleating" - alliteration and assonance, the long vowels create a sense
of breathlessness while the comma symbolises the beating of the heart, its…

Page 5

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The Field Mouse

Main Ideas:
Set at harvest time in the early 90's; there's a war going on in the former-Yugoslavia. Throughout the
poem Clarke feels guilty because the UK didn't help with the war.

Stanza 1: Describes a peaceful summer's day, the poet's family are cutting hay on a…

Page 6

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· We are reminded that even a peaceful activity like hay making contains violence. Clarke
acknowledges her guilt as she looks at the mouse "we have crushed". Seems to
suggest that violence can be unintentional, or that we are all guilty for war.
· Parallels between hay making and war…

Page 7

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Storm on the Island by Seamus Heaney

Themes: Nature, Danger, Imagery, Politics
Main ideas:
Describes the effects of a fierce storm on the inhabitants of an island. They prepare
for the storm but once it starts they feel scared.
Deeper meaning: The poem describes how we feel when we are…

Page 8

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Direct address: "You know what I mean..." ­ Makes the poem seem scarier as
Heaney is talking directly to you.
Oxymoron: "Exploding comfortably" ­ Mixes the ideas of fear and safety.
Present tense: "But there are no trees..." ­ Creates a sense of drama and
reinforces the idea that…

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Death of a Naturalist

Main Ideas
Transition from child to adult- sexualisation of the world, loss of innocence and need
to grow up and face realities of life
The death of childhood dreams and interests
Attitudes towards nature- fear, love, interest
War between man and nature, and easiness of moving…

Page 10

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The frogs are described as war like and like the mills hand bomb.
Enjambment shows excitement and fear.
'The great slime kings' Child imagination, and a nightmare: Role reversal. - Similar to
'Follower' as now the frogs are bigger
Thus makes Heaney appear smaller as he is scared of frogs.…


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