Exploring Parent-Child Relationships in Poetry

Discovering Parent-Child Relationships in Poems

In 'Before you were mine' simply by Carol Ann Duffy, '*Mother…' by Sue

Armitage, 'On my 1st Sonne' simply by Ben Jonson and 'The Song from the Old

Mother' by WB Yeats the theme of parent-child relationships is definitely

explored. Yet , each poem makes a diverse comment concerning this

relationship as well as the tensions it might create. Parent-child

relationships may bring joy and security but also soreness and


The title in the poem 'Before you were mine' instantly tells the

reader the fact that relationship here may be unbalanced. The speaker of

the poem is usually somewhat etroite, the word 'mine' suggesting title.

The relationship among mother and daughter can be explored additional by

the speaker's mention of the her single mother's life prior to her beginning:

I'm a decade away from the spot you laugh on

along with your pals, Margaret McGeeney and Jean Duff. (ll. 1-2)

The poem is broken into four stanzas, the initial two handle events

prior to the speaker's birth. This surprising idea indicates a certain

inevitability; the way the mom lived was bound to end. However

these types of first two stanzas could also portray a closeness between the

two, as the child offers knowledge of her mother's previously life, being aware of

her friends names.

You have the sense in 'Before You were mine' that the mom holds

certain regrets:

The decade before my deafening, possessive shout was the best one, eh?

This range not only evokes the sobbing of a newborn baby child but also

advises what all their relationship can be. The word 'possessive'

creates the idea that the child has a hold on its mother, the reverse

of what you might expect. The descriptions of the mother while 'Marilyn'

in the 'ballroom together with the thousand eyes' before the children's birth

signify the mom had a exciting life and certain dreams

which were put away for your child.

Similarly, '*Mother…' suggests that parent-child relationships may be

restrictive, but here is it doesn't child who have struggles to select from

freedom and security, although in 'Before You Had been Mine' the mother

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