For my poem write-up I will be writing about the two poems: ” My Grandmother” and ” At castle botterel”. Each poem is written about a particular part of the poet’s life, which they feel is important and that they can look back on. ” My Grandmother” was written by Elizabeth Jennings and the poet is describing her grandmother. The only thing that the grandmother lives for is the shop. It seems that the poem is divided into four parts.
The first verse describes the grandmother working in the shop; the second verse describes the very incident that causes the poets guilt, the third verse shows the grandmother whilst she is in retirement and the fourth verse describes after the grandmother has died how the poet reflects herself and her grandmother. The first verse sets the whole scene of the poem and reflects the character and the life of the grandmother. The words ‘it kept her’ suggest that the shop kept the woman and that this was her only reason for living.
The Grandmothers concern is only with the surface appearance of things, she only saw what was on the surface and didn’t look deeper into things. It may be that she wasn’t concerned with deep human feelings; maybe she felt there was no need for love. Her loneliness is also suggested in the fact that she only sees her own reflection off of the polish on her antiques. She lives among the antiques and not with people. The antiques that the grandmother lives with are of great importance to her. She personally feels that they are ‘needed’ however she doesn’t ever ‘use’ them.
I would say that they are just her substitute for human company, even a replacement for love. She takes pride in her possessions, and the poet doesn’t get the same attention that the antiques get from the grandmother. This is why therefore that I think the poet doesn’t really have a liking for the antique shop. Although the grandmother sees her own reflection in the antiques she sees no reflection off of the granddaughter (poet), who is someone who is expected to be a reflection of the grandmother.
However when the grandmother asked the granddaughter out this may have shown that she may have liked the granddaughter and thought that you were ‘trustworthy’ enough to go out with her, maybe the grandmother feels that the daughter is ‘polished’ enough to go out with her, It also reflects the fact that the granddaughter is presentable and the grandmother isn’t embarrassed about taking her anywhere, however the granddaughter is old enough to make her own mind up now, and decides not to go, she knows that all she is to the grandmother is just an ‘accessory’.
The grandmother is rebuffed when the granddaughter rejects the offer. However after this the grandmother is alone, looking into the reflections of the polish and she can see images of the past, shadows. All she can sit alone with are distant memories of things that can’t be polished. All the grandmother did was live life on the surface of everything she didn’t go deeper into anything, but now she ahs aged she finds that it is now becoming increasingly harder to cover these things up, and she knows her life is drawing to an end.
She possibly can’t run her shop anymore. Now she’s alone everything comes back to her, all of the things she tried to ignore for so long. Now that the grandmother is gone the poet feels not a loss of a loved one, but she feels guilt. She describes how there is ‘new dust falling through the air’ which is a hint that now the grandmother is gone there is no polish just dust. The poet looks back through the grandmother’s life from when she (the poet) was a child. She writes about what the grandmother was like and gave us images of what she did and her character.
The grandmother in the end left no memories of herself, only empty antiques. She lived through her life with no real meaning and she lived through her objects she kept, these gave her, her only purpose of life. The next poem is called ” At Castle Botterel” and is written by Thomas Hardy. The poem is written about a highly reflective moment in his life. I think that the man writing the poet is old however the girl involved in the poem, we don’t know much about. Hardy recalls a romantic encounter with a woman which he ” filled but a minute”, in time however the encounter has lived on in his memory.
It seems that Hardy’s memories are battling, ” Time’s unflinching rigour”, which has destroyed the physical being of his relationship but it, cannot destroy the memories he still holds. I don’t think that Hardy can recall exactly what happened on the day of the romantic encounter; all he can recall is that it was good at the time. Maybe the moment on the hill was so intense and meaningful; he thinks it is the most meaningful memory that could ever have occurred on that very hill, the hill could be thousands if not millions of years old, that shows how much his memory means to him and how much of an important memory it is to him.
This poem is written very much around the theme of love; however it is now a lost love. Hardy uses a kind of imagery to portray the thought throughout the poem, and I think that the narrative style of the poem also helps the reader think again of it as a love story, albeit about someone he will probably never see again. He depicts this love as lasting forever and never ending. There seems to be an extremely powerful force of nature, as he now thinks that this memory of his is now an important feature of the hill itself.
It’s almost like he’s making this a permanent part of the hill to last forever. He remembers himself on the hill, however the ghosts of other people may be pregnated, this is something of such intensity that the ghosts may forever be there. Hardy feels very much for this memory/thought that he still treasures and he shows this throughout the play by use if his language. The images that Hardy reveals throughout the poem show how intense and vibrant that this memory is to the hill. He uses his language very cleverly to describe exactly what happened on the hill.