In the poems ‘Catrin’ and ‘Upon my son’ we learn a great deal about parenthood but the both poems being set in different times ‘Catrin’ is set in the 20th Century and ‘Upon my son’ is set in the 17th Century. Due to this the thoughts and feelings of parenthood are different.
In ‘Catrin’ the mother is the narrator she explains to us her first memories of ‘Catrin’ the pain of giving birth. She starts off with ‘I remember you child.’ This is portrayed as an angry tone and this angry tone sticks throughout the poem. This is the first confrontation of many. This tells us that parenthood is a good but stressful.
She explains to us that parenthood is discomfort, ‘As I stood in a hot, white room.’ The word ‘Hot’ suggests her discomfort and the word, ‘White’ emphasises the room, as being boring, as the word, ‘White’ is a superlative. This suggests that parenthood is uncomfortable.
The poem tells us that when you decide to become a parent you give up your own choices. ‘Watching the people and cars taking turn at the traffics lights.’ This is a metaphor, now she realises its to late her future is chosen for her. She perhaps regrets her decision, form this I think that she is a young mother.
The mother shows resentment and anger towards her daughter in the poem. She repeats, in a sarcastic, angry tone ‘I remember you child.’ This emphasises the anger Catrin’s mother feels.
The poet portrays parenthood as being a battle. ‘Our first fierce confrontation.’ Tells us how she feels when she first sees the child. She uses alliteration and metaphors ‘First fierce’ to stress how much of a struggle it is. She talks about the ‘Confrontation’ as its one of many.
The poet talks about parenthood sometimes being uncomfortable. She talks about the mother feeling suffocated and uncomfortable by the bond ‘The tight red rope of love.’ This is a metaphor for the umbilical cord.
Moreover we learn that parenthood is full of mixed feelings when the narrator talks about the ‘Glass tank’ that is ‘Clouded with feelings’ She talks about the ‘Glass tank’ as the tank Catrin was in as a baby.
Furthermore we learn that nothing ever changes in parenthood. ‘Still I am fighting.’ Suggests that she is still battling with Catrin even though she has grown up.
In addition we learn that parenthood has the feeling of deep love. ‘Heart’s pool that old rope.’ She talks about the ‘Old rope’ as the umbilical cord, explaining her brining back the love and the bond that she first felt at the birth.
In the poem ‘Upon my son Samuel…’ like ‘Catrin’ the mother is the narrator but unlike ‘Catrin’ this poem is a prey. The mother is preying to god for her son’s safe return from England.
The poem starts with the mother talking to god this tells me that she is religious. ‘Thou mighty God of sea and land.’ The word ‘Mighty’ is a superlative it emphasises how great she thinks God is.
In addition to this I learn that she worships God and trusts him with her son. ‘I here resign into thy hand.’ This means she is giving her son to God.
The poet talks about her son as a son of ‘Prayers, of vows, of tears.’ This suggests he was brought up in a religious way; this is also a cluster of three.
Furthermore, the mother is saying that her son is a gift from God because she says ‘Thou heard’st me then, and gav’st him me.’ This metaphor is showing how much she values her son. Yet again in the poem ‘Catrin’ the mother does not feel that her daughter is precious and the mother does not know what to feel for her.
Furthermore, the mother says ‘Hear me again I gave him thee.’ Which is an imperative verb, which is saying that the mother wants her son back from God. In the poem ‘Catrin’ the mother does not say anything.
The mother says ‘He’s mine, but more, O lord’ this seems like the mother is saying that her son is more than a son To God than a son to her. In the poem ‘Catrin’ the mother says nothing caring about her child and nothing about that she is the lord’s.
In addition, the mother is talking to God when she says ‘No friend I have like thee to trust’ she is saying that she only trusts God with her son and nobody else. Where as in the poem ‘Catrin’ it sounds as if she is not the mother of ‘Catrin.’
The mother comes across protective of her son, she uses the word ‘Protect’ which is a imperative verb because she wants God to protect her son when he goes away to the war she wants God to bring him back safe. In the poem ‘Catrin’ the mother does not say anything about protecting her daughter.
The mother wishes ‘That [she] again may see his face’ she is saying that she wants God to bring back her son so she can see his face again. This shows me that she misses him and cares for him. Where as in the poem ‘Catrin’ the mother wishes she were free from the responsibility of parenthood.
In conclusion, in the poem ‘Catrin’ parenthood is difficult and full of mixed feelings. In the poem ‘Catrin’ I’ve learnt that parents do not value their child as much as the parents from the 17th century. In the poem ‘Upon my son Samuel…’ we can see that parenthood is not as difficult and confusing, the parents value their children more than the people in the 20th century. So, we can see that in different times parenthood was completely different.