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Esther Morgan ‘This morning’. Presentation by Lauren Lind English Literature October 2011. Esther Morgan. Published three collections: ‘Beyond Calling Distance’, ‘the Silence living in Houses’ and most recently ‘Grace’.

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esther morgan this morning

Esther Morgan‘This morning’

Presentation by Lauren Lind

English Literature October 2011

esther morgan
Esther Morgan
  • Published three collections: ‘Beyond Calling Distance’, ‘the Silence living in Houses’ and most recently ‘Grace’.
  • The poem I have chosen is called ‘This Morning’ and is taken from the collection ‘Grace’.
  • The poem won Morgan the Bridport Prize in 2010.
this morning
This Morning

I watched the sun moving round the kitchen,an early spring sun that strengthened and weakened,…coming and going like an old mind.

I watched like one bedridden for a long timeon their first journey back into the worldwho finds it enough to be going on with:

the way the sunlight brought each possession in turnto its attention and made of it a small still life:

the iron frying pan gleaming on its hook like an ancient find,the powdery green cheek of a bruised clementine.

Though more beautiful still was how the light moved on,letting go each chair and coffee cup without regret

the way my grandmother, in her final year, received me:neither surprised by my presence, nor distressed by my leaving,content, though, while I was there.

themes
Themes
  • The importance of life
  • Memories
  • Letting go and moving forward
  • Life and Death
  • Religion and Christianity
structure
Structure
  • Free verse throughout
  • Repetition: ‘I watched ‘
  • Closure ‘nor distressed by my leaving,content, though, while I was there.’
  • Metaphor and imagery: sun used a metaphor to represent the elderly lady and God
  • Simile ‘like an ancient find’
  • Personification ‘cheek of a bruised clementine.’
  • Common use of assonance: ‘chair and coffee cup ‘
my interpretation
My interpretation

I watched the sun moving round the kitchen,an early spring sun that strengthened and weakened,…coming and going like an old mind.

  • The sun is a metaphor used to illustrate the narrator’s grandmother, who slowly moves ‘round the kitchen’. At certain points the grandmother has memories which visually captures the light within her and the way she ‘shines’ represents this. The narrator suggests that as the grandmother is old she is beginning to loose her memory and her life is no longer the way it used to be. She is not a summer sun but instead an ‘early spring sun’ who only occasionally shines brightly. The narrator who is the character’s granddaughter is watching her grandmother full the room with light and life .

The grandmother has a lifetime of adventures, memories, relationships and ‘life’which are so overpowering that it makes her visibly shine like a lamp in a dark room.

Some days she remembers more of her life and this is when her light becomes ‘strengthened’ and other days her light is weakened - perhaps as she grows older.

She is old and the author confirms this by describing the sun in a simile ‘coming and going like an old mind’. However there is a tragedy which represents the fact that her life seems to be of the past, she is no longer living her life, but instead she’s clinging onto the person she once was.

my interpretation1
My interpretation

I watched like one bedridden for a long timeon their first journey back into the worldwho finds it enough to be going on with:

The narrator decides to take the position of the grandmother in order to understand her and who she has become. The narrator becomes ‘bedridden’ as the grandmother might have been and puts herself in a position of renewal. She is starting a new adventure, a ‘journey’ out side of the death bed. She is no longer sick and can find her way into the world. She ‘watched’ as if she was in the position of her grandmother and she watched as if it was ‘enough to be going on with…’

The last sentence within this section makes the audience ponder about whether or not this life is enough. The author is portraying the elderly women in a beautiful way and is making the most out what most would see as a real tragedy. The moment you become too old to live. Is it enough to only occasionally ‘shine’ . Is it enough to only occasionally live?

my interpretation2
My interpretation

the way the sunlight brought each possession in turnto its attention and made of it a small still life:

the iron frying pan gleaming on its hook like an ancient find,the powdery green cheek of a bruised clementine.

The sun is still used as a representation of the elderly women. She brings life to this room and to the ‘possessions’ within the room too.The fact that she takes the time to light each object up ‘in turn’ represents the idea that each and every life is important. We might be very ‘small’ just like the objects ,used as a parallel metaphor for our lives, but our life is still worth living for. We have a purpose, just like the ‘gleaming frying pan’ and the ‘bruised clemetine’.

Perhaps the grandmother is taking the position of God at this point as she passes over the objects and gives them light. In the bible God is described as the light of the world (John 9:5) and he breathed into men to and gave them life. (Gen 2:7)

This interpretation is reinforced when the author personifies the clementine and gives them ‘green’ cheeks. The narrator is still watching as her grandmother gives life to these objects by giving more of her self as she grows older.

If the elderly lady does take the position of God then we understand that she is also represented as Jesus who sacrificed himself. In the same way, the lady who is the ‘sun’ gives her light and life to these objects whilst knowing that she doesn’t have very long to live As she gives her life she also loses it.

my interpretation3
My interpretation

Though more beautiful still was how the light moved on,letting go each chair and coffee cup without regret

the way my grandmother, in her final year, received me:neither surprised by my presence, nor distressed by my leaving,content, though, while I was there.

I believe the poem wants us to feel a sense of closure within these last lines. The lady is able to move forward in her life, perhaps to take her final stage and embrace death as she begins ‘letting go’. She has lived her life to the fullest ‘without regret’ and just as she has passed on her life to these objects, she passes on her legacy to her granddaughter. She teaches the world to be happy or at least ‘content’ with the life we have here because she knows that at some point her time will come.

When Jesus died, he was taken to eternity in heaven. The grandmother represents the idea that when she dies she can finally start living again.

She can once again begin shining like a summer sun and not an ‘early spring sun’. The grandmother does not get distressed when her granddaughter leaves but she appreciates the life around her and understands the fact that all she needs to be is content because her real life will begin when she dies.

midnight cries
Midnight Cries

Searching the night for one shooting light,

They’re wishing their time away.

Wondering the street so eager to meet

They’re wishing their time away.

In the moonlit skies she sees his face and

In the midnight cries she hears his grace.

The world is simply nothing more than a waiting place.

Nothing more to her than a distant trace.

At only nine she knows her time,

Shaping her heaven on earth.

She’s asking the world to dream a little bigger and

She promises something too, something more,

Something… worth living for!

She’s yelling ‘ brothers you don’t have time to fight’

Where are you going tonight?

Because there just ain’t no shooting light.

Lauren Lind