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A Comparison Of Homecoming And Before You Were Mine

1523 words - 6 pages

A Comparison of Homecoming and Before You Were Mine
The poem ‘Homecoming’ is about the poet (Simon Armitage’s) wife’s
childhood and about their relationship at present. The poem begins
with the poet talking about his wife at nursery. The poet shows us
that it is about a child by describing a character wearing ‘one canary
– yellow cotton jacket’ as it signifies childhood. The child gets her
jacket ‘scuffed’ and ‘blackened’ in the cloakroom and her mother makes
‘proper fist of it’. In the next paragraph the character ‘sneaks’ out
of the house and plans to run away but end up retracing her ‘walk
towards the garden gate’ and goes home. In the last paragraph it talks
about the poet’s relationship with his wife. Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Before
You Were Mine’ is about her feeling guilty that she was born as she
believes that she ruined her mother’s life. The poet describes her
mother as being a ‘high – heeled red shoes relics’.

Both poems ‘Homecoming’ and ‘Before You Were Mine’ themes explore
relationships. In ‘Homecoming’ Simon Armitage concentrates on
relationships by describing the events of his wife’s childhood showing
her conflict with her parents at different ages and stages of her
life. When Armitage’s wife was at nursery she conflicts with her
parents after scuffing and blackening her coat and her mother reacts
to this by making ‘proper fist of it and points the finger. Temper,
temper’. In ‘Before You Were Mine’ Carol Ann Duffy’s relationship with
her mother is off guilt. In the poem Carol Ann Duffy feels guilty that
she has destroyed her mother’s life by being born. The poet feels like
this as she describes her mother as being a lively young adult having
‘small bites on your neck’ symbolising romance as those bites are love
bites. Duffy also tends to repeat ‘before I was born’ as it implies
that her mother was different fundamentally. The two poems are similar
in the way that they are about relationships about mothers conversely
they explore relationships in different ways. In ‘Homecoming’ Simon
explores relationships with conflict however Duffy in ‘Before You Were
Mine’ explores relationships with guilt.

The poem ‘Homecoming’ is structured as each paragraph has
significance. The first paragraph is a universal reference to all
relationships. The second paragraph shows conflict between Armitage’s
wife and her mother while his wife was at nursery. The third paragraph
again shows conflict between Armitage’s wife and her mother at a older
age of about sixteen where Armitage’s wife is about to runaway from
home. In the last paragraph it shows the transition of Armitage’s
wife’s life changing. Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Before You Were Mine’ is
structures chronologically which means it is structured in order of
time. The first stanza shows Duffy’s...

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