poems

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  • The poem is about relationships and trust. It opens with the description of a 'trust exercise', often used in school drama lessons.
  •  Next, a child (almost certainly a teenager) is told off by their mother for having allowed their yellow jacket to get dirty; a row develops. The child is sent to their room, but sneaks out at the dead of night to a phone box: interestingly, the narrator of the poem is "waiting by the phone", but it doesn't ring. The child then returns home and meets a father figure who wants to make up.
  • Stanza 4 deals with the reconciliation - a 'father figure' is asking a child to try on the yellow coat again, by stepping backwards into it, like in the trust exercise of stanza 1. 
  • It's not clear who this father figure is: perhaps it's the narrator's father, still in memory; perhaps it is the narrator himself addressing his childhood self ("it's sixteen years or so before we'll meet"); perhaps he is talking now to a friend or lover to whom the yellow coat incident happened when they were a child; perhaps it is the narrator, now a father, addressing his own child.
  • The poem consists of 4 stanzas of varying lengths (4 lines, 7 lines, 6 lines, 6 lines). The lines are roughly equal in length, ranging from 9 to 13 syllables. The verse is therefore quite irregular (it doesn't fit a strict pattern), perhaps reflecting the idea in the poem that relationships can be awkward and don't follow a set pattern.
  • The poem is a dramatic monologue by Robin the Boy Wonder, the loyal sidekick to Batman in the comic strips, television programmes and films. Robin talks about how he has separated from Batman and is learning to lead his own, independent life. In the process he publicises some of Batman's secrets so that we see the 'superhero' in a new light. Robin ends up stronger and more mature. The poem is often humorous but has a serious message too.
  • The poem consists of a single stanza of 24 lines. The lines are pentameters (they have 10 syllables each).

The poet is talking to her mother, having seen a photo of her mother as a teenager.

  • She describes the photo of her mother standing laughing with two of her friends.
  • She knows that the thought of having a child one day doesn't occur to her mother when young, when she was wrapped up in a world of dances and teenage dreams.
  • Now remembering her own childhood, the poet thinks of how she used to play with her mother's red shoes and imagines when her

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