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Mother any distance. By Aneesah, Haleema, Sidra & Ronnie . Attitudes and ideas What is it about?. The poem is about a strong bond shown between the mother and child, even though they aren\'t together, this is shown in the quotation; “Mother, any distance greater than a single span

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mother any distance

Mother any distance

By Aneesah, Haleema, Sidra & Ronnie

attitudes and ideas what is it about
Attitudes and ideasWhat is it about?
  • The poem is about a strong bond shown between the mother and child, even though they aren\'t together, this is shown in the quotation;

“Mother, any distance greater than a single span

requires a second pair of hands”

This shows that Armitage will always need her in his life no matter how far away he is and he will always love her.

  • Another quotation which shows their strong bond is;

“you come to help me”

this shows that the character realises no matter where he is in the world, his mother will always be by his side, whether in real life or just in his mind. This also tells us about the narrator’s mother, it suggests how she is caring, loving and helpful, this suggests that Armitage had a loving childhood.

how are themes featured in the poem how do they help you understand that character
How are themes featured in the poem?How do they help you understand that character?
  • A parent and child relationship is shown, this is shown in the quotation; “mother”, the fact that the first line starts with mother shows how important his mother is in hiss life. Also it shows how dedicated he is to his mother and how much he thinks about his mother. This shows a strong bond that they have. It also on the other hand shows that he is not that close to his “mother” because he doesn’t refer to her as “mum”, which is more common, however it could also suggest that he calls her “mother” out of respect or it could just have been the way he was been bought up.
  • Another quotation that shows the parent and child relationship is; “requires another pair of hands”, this shows that they always help each other out and are always there for each other. It could also show how Armitage can ’t do much without his mother and that he always seems to need her. Another thing it shows is that they come as a two and are never alone.
alternate interpretation
Alternate interpretation
  • “years between us”, this shows that it is hard for the pair to be apart now because of all the years they spent together. On the other hand, this could also show that the narrator feels a need to move on and explore the world because of the big age gap which means there is a big social difference between them.
  • Armitage uses measurement metaphors in the poem to show the loving relationship he has with his mother. This is shown by “back to base” It shows that he will always go back to his mum.
  • “ Up the stairs” shows that Armitage is going up on to bigger and better things in his life.
  • “Feeding out” this gives the reader the image of the connection between him and his mother, like the umbilical cord.
close text analysis
Close text analysis
  • “Anchor. Kite.” Both of these words show the connection between him and his mother, as they both have a line connected to them and one grounds the other to keep it safe.
  • “Anchor.” illustrates that his mother is trying to hold him down, keep him at home. That she is heavy and determined.
  • “Kite.” reveals that he’s left home, he can either ‘fly’ on to bigger things, or he can be pulled back down to home. It’s the risk he has to take.
  • Armitage uses caesura, “of an inch…. I reach”. This gives the reader time to think, shows that its not an easy decision that Armitage is having to take.
  • Enjambment – gives the poem a conversational tone which makes it easier for the reader to understand Armitage’s emotions.
  • Rhyme all the way through gives the poem a loving tone, illustrates how fond he is of his mother.
more structure
More Structure
  • It’s a monologue: 1st person – which makes us understand his view.
  • It’s in sonnet form which shows how much he loves his mum as a sonnet is more of a love poem. This shows that she’s the most important woman in his life, rather than talking about his lover he writes about his mother.
what poems does it compare with
What poems does it compare with?
  • ‘Before you were mine’
  • ‘Song of the Old Mother’
  • ‘Homecoming’
  • ‘My father thought it’
  • ‘Kid’
  • These poems cover the parent and child theme.
thanks to
Thanks to …

Philip Alan Updates GCSE Student Text Guide