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Before You Were Mine and Mother, Any Distance Comparison

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Before You Were Mine//Mother, any distance

Before You Were Mine (BYWM) and Mother, any distance (MAD) both present the relationship between parent and child. Each explore the feeling of letting go as well as possessive relationships. However, in MAD the mother shows more possessiveness over her son as he begins his adulthood where as in BYWM addresses the daughters possessiveness over her mothers fun and freedom from childhood to adulthood.

MAD is wrote in a present format and uses a lot of extended metaphors such as “Anchor. Kite.” This suggests that the mother is the anchor, which means she is more of a sturdy figure in his life but also holds her son back from taking risks or drifting too far away from her. This means that the son is portrayed as the kite, which has connotations of freedom however always being held back by its owner, the owner being his mother. MAD addresses the possessiveness subtly and as a time problem rather than a personality disorder. BYWM uses a lot of possessive vocabulary such as “You Were Mine” and “I’m” which senses that the child wants to be included in the mothers past in any shape or form. “I'm not here yet.” Gives us a sense of the child feeling left out and as though she ruined her mothers blissful fun and beauty. Although the two poems suggest possessiveness they differ in style. MAD suggests a loving possessiveness where as BYWM suggests a lonely possessiveness.

The two poems both avoid the stereotypical rhyme scheme and instead opt for a frequent use of enjambment. This gives us a vibe from both poems as being a unfamiliar situation for both writers. MAD suggests the feeling of it being the mothers first time parted from her son which is an unfamiliar experience for her to go through as it opposes the norm. It is also an unfamiliar feeling for the son who is writing it as he too begins to taste freedom. BYWM gives unfamiliarity because she is basing the memories of her mothers childhood from pictures and the odd stories retold to her now and then. She could never give the sense of familiarity due to the fact that she has no experience and a lot of the suggested memories are from her imagination on what her mothers life was like.

BYWM uses the term “ma” when talking about her mothers mother which is a contextual reference. When looking deeper into the writers, Carol Ann Duffy, childhood you



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