Gillian Clarke Poems

breif overview of all four poems including subject, theme, setting, characters, structure, language and possible exam question links

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Catrin

Subject: A mothers memory of a struggle to be seperate between her and her daughter. Birth and teenage.

Setting: Hospital room, delivery suite, house

Characters: Mother and Daughter (CATRIN)

Structure: Irregular line length. two stanzaz, 1st stanza is longer signifies longer struggle.

Language: Enjambement mimics the rhythm of natural speech and puts key word at the start of the line. harsh consonance reflects harsh environment, harsh language and harsh feelings.

THEMES - WAR, WOMANHOOD, SEPERATION, MEMORY, LOVE, A NEWBEGINNING.

EXAM QUESTION THEMES - parent/child relationships, war/conflict, memories, love, layers of meaning, suffering.

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Cold Knap Lake

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Cold Knap lake

Subject: A young girl gets pulled out of the lake and is ressucitated, when she is taken home she is trashed for nearly dying.

Setting: Wartime (WWII) Wales.

Characters: Narrator, young girl drowning, 'narrator's' parents

Structure: Irregular line length/stanza length, rhyming couplet at end.

Language: Imagery=religious, caesura emphasises "breathed". 2nd stanza all end stop lines. Enjambement minics the rhythm of natural speech.

THEMES: STRUGGLE, LIFE AND DEATH, MEMORY

EXAM QUESTION THEMES-Memories, nature, suffering.

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A Difficult Birth

Subject: the birth of a lamb on good friday

Setting: Ireland, Easter 1998

Characters: Narrator (I persona) sheep and lamb

Structure: Structure into stanzas, irregular line length.

Language: metaphor, enjambement, caesura, religious references.

THEMES: STRUGGLE, BIRTH, MEMORY, CONFLICT

EXAM QUESTION THEMES - War and cnoflict, different layers of meaning, memory, nature.

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The Field mouse

Subject: harvest time, animals killed- link to bosnian war.

Setting: farmers fields of crop, Bosnia

Characters: Child (I persona), animals, children in war

Structure: nine line stanzas, more organised, irregular line length. enjambement

Language: Similie, metahor, onomatopoeia, personification, juxtaposition.

THEMES: WAR, CONFLICT, MEMORY, DEATH

EXAM QUESTION THEMES: War and conflict, Nature, Suffering, Layers of meaning, memory, suffering.

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