Compare the methods both writers use to explore memories of childhood in poems ‘Out of the Bag’ and ‘The Back Seat of my Mother’s Car’.
Compare the methods both writers use to explore memories of childhood in ‘Out of the Bag’ and ‘The Back Seat of My Mother’s Car’
Both poems ‘Back Seat Of My Mother’s Car’ and ‘Out Of The Bag’ explore the differences between past and present in the narrator’s lives, whilst Heaney shows the transition from childhood to adulthood, with the poem eventually ending with ideas of ageing and death, Copus on the other hand shows the narrator reflecting on her past childhood, being taken away from her father. The differences in the past and present is perhaps more obvious in the poem ‘out of the bag’ due to gradual transition of the narrator being in awe of the doctor representing birth and life, and then as the poem progresses, deeper darker connotations of death are involved, contrasting to ‘Back Seat Of the My Mother’s Car’ whereby the raw emotions of the narrator is more distinct in the first stanza than the second.
Both poets use the structure of their poems to signify the changes in the narrator’s lives. Heaney uses sections in his poems giving a story-like feeling to the reader, the sections of the poem allows the reader to explore the different stages of the narrator’s life showing the progression of life from the very beginning (birth) to the end (death), similarly Copus also makes use of the structure by using the ‘mirror effect’ in her poem whereby the stanzas are exactly the same but all the lines are reversed with the ‘cool slick glass’ ‘between’ the father and child acting as a reflecting device in the middle of the poem. It is clear to the reader that the first section of ‘out of the bag’ is demonstrating the narrator as a child as shown through the lack of vocabulary when he speaks of the doctor in which his ‘fur-lined leather collar’ was ‘spaniel coloured’ describing the collar as spaniel coloured suggests the narrator did not have the capability nor the knowledge to name the colour specifically and instead uses references to objects they already know which is perhaps typical behaviour associated with children, additionally the childlike tone of the poem is consistent throughout the first section when the narrator uses internal rhyme of ‘those nosy, rosy, big soft hands’ giving an imitation of nursery rhyme like songs linking to his childhood experiences, the poet uses assonance of the letter ‘o’ suggesting the awe that perhaps the child feels from watching the doctor deliver other babies. The first section of the poem helps to emphasise the beginning of the life cycle whereby as humans we all start off with a childhood, everyone has a past and by the time the reader reaches the end of the poem signifying the present it shows how eventually life ends. In the ‘Back seat of my Mother’s car’ it is also apparent that the narrator is perhaps reflecting on her childhood and trying to make sense of her past...