Unseen Poetry (GCSE Model Essays)
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Table of Contents
In both ‘Poem for My Sister’ and ‘To a Daughter Leaving Home’ the speakers describe feelings about watching someone they love grow up. What are the similarities and/or differences between the ways the poets present those feelings? 6
In ‘To a Daughter Leaving Home’, how does the poet present the speaker’s feelings about her daughter? (from 2014 specimen paper)
AQA English Literature
Paper 2 – Section C: Unseen Poetry
At the beginning of this poem, the poet uses the verb ‘loping’ in the phrase, ‘loping along/beside you’ to show that the speaker was bounding ‘along’ or running with long, bounding strides beside her ‘daughter’ as she cycled for the first time. This description of the speaker’s movement suggests that she was happy and excited for her daughter’s first experience of riding a bike, and proud that she had reached a sort of milestone in her young life.
Soon after, when the speaker recounts how her intended audience, her ‘daughter’, ‘wobbled away/on two round wheels’, we get the image of the daughter’s initial, unsteady movements, ones that must have been a concern for the speaker. Like any caring parent, she would have worried for her daughter’s safety, and been afraid that she might fall and injure herself. Yet, she holds back, and allows her daughter to pursue the activity that is making her happy.