English Lit - Catrin

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Catrin

Topic

  • The poem is about the loving but sometimes tense relationship between a mother and daughter. It deals with two separate confrontations between them - the actual birth, then one night about twelve or fourteen years later, when Catrin wants to go out roller skating after dark and her mother refuses.

Language

  • The title simply tells us the name of the child we meet in line 1. Her name is not mentioned again, perhaps to reflect the universality of the poem: it could be about any mother / child relationship. Yet also, since the poem is addressed to the child, you, it may be that the relationship is so close that names are unnecessary.
  • '...the tight / Red rope of love which we both / Fought over.' - The main image here is of a tug-of-war between mother and baby, which is at the same time a tug-of-love (in a tug-of-war you fight to pull your antagonist toward you). But the Red rope of love is also the umbilical cord, which binds mother and baby together but must be

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