Andrew Forster - modern poet, born 1964, wrote poems on childhood, autobiographical material, styled on everyday experiences and objects.
Poem - boy spending afternoon with younger brother and friend, explores relationship between siblings, written from adult perspective but considers feelings of older brother who thinks of younger brother as inconvenience.
No rhyme or strict pattern to rhythm, typical of contemporary poetry.
Three stanzas, recount three stages of afternoon.
1. Sets the scene, shows relationship between speaker and younger brother and speaker and friend.
2. Disruption to plans for afternoon.
3. Conclusion, reveals brothers' separation.
'Saddled' - opening metaphor sets tone for relationship between brothers, negative feelings, inconvenience, restricts freedom.
Verbs show character's feelings, contrasts between 'ambled' and 'skipped'. Younger brother's verbs full of energy, enthusiastic, reflects pride and excitement at being with older brother he clearly worships. Older brother lacks outward ethusiasm, wants to give adult-like impression.
Third stanza shows older boys still children, despite how they would like to be seen by world, 'chased Olympic Gold', competitive nature they cannot hide.
Speaker seems to show resentment to younger brother's 'ridiculous tanktop' and 'six-year-old views'.
Attitudes, Themes and Ideas
Aspiration to be older apparant, discussion of football between older boys as if wiser, dismissive of younger boy.
Age seen as advantage, naively superior feelings of older boys, shared smile hints close friendship, intimacy craved by younger brother but shunned because of distance between brothers.
Childhood feeling of superiority later regretted. 'Looking back' both literally on younger brother to check his progress, and metaphorically through time.
Friendship important but final image suggests the loss speaker feels at not being close to brother. Double meanings - 'I ran on, unable to close the distance I'd set in motion', younger boy miss bus, separated from brother he wants to be like and with. Older brother relieved not to be saddled anymore, but looking back in age and time, separation is cause for sadness.
Inevibility of boy's distant relationship, in poem physically separated, in life, metaphorically separated by time. As he ages, friendship with contemporaries supercedes relationship with younger sibling.
Relationship of siblings and inevitable separation, affection between boys especially younger boy's adoration. Sister Maude destructive relationship, hints at move towards adulthood brings distance between siblings.
Harmonium - nostalgic tone, moment from past to closely explore family relationship (son/father), Brothers is more regretul, insignificant events to illuminate relationship.