Mother Any Distance, by Simon Armitage: Mother any distance greater than a single span, requires a second pair of hands.
You come to help me measure windows pellet stores the acres of the walls, the prairie of the floors.
You at the zero and me with the spool of tape recording length reporting meters centimeters back to base, then leaving the stairs that line still feeding out.
Reading years between us anchor kite I space walk through the empty bedrooms climb the ladder to the loft to a breaking point where something has to give two floors below your fingertips still pinch the last 100 of an inch.
I reach towards a hatch that opens on an endless sky to fall or fly.
Essentially what the speaker describing their mother helping them measure a new place to live.
But as well as this week was reflecting on their relationship with their mother and the connection that still lasts between them.
There’s a semantic field a collection of the same words used throughout the poem.
This is a semantic field of measurement from 100th of an inch. Two centimeters meters and acres and prairies as well prior is not being a measurement of length, increasing size seminar teachers boards in Yorkshire, in 1963.
He is the professor of poetry at Oxford and he also lectures in creative writing at Sheffield University. He has also made radio programs radio three and four, as well as writing plays and novels.
Mother Any Distance, in particular, was published in an anthology called books of matches, where the poems are short enough to be read the time it takes a much to burn down.
The mother is quite a formal address, and simultaneously, it shows who is writing this poem to so that the video straightaway in no confusion To that end.
So this is a poem about a mother and child relationship. And any distance with a single sound requires a second pair of hands, they look like smooth and soft silence.
In addition to that, the pair of hands is selectively suggesting a safe supportive presence isolated is where you take one part of something, in this case, the hands to represent the whole, in this case, the mother.
So the mother, in this case, is a safe, supportive presence.
I think you can tell that from the smooth and soft stimulants and the fact that she is there to help him as well as you understand that in the next slide,.
Personal pregnant under the direct address shows there is a connection between the mother and the child.
You come to help me measure windows, Pelham, its doors, the acres of the walls.
The prairies of the floors, so that these metaphors in the last line of the stones are shown the increasing space.
The vastness of this new home and this in this new opportunity for the child. With you at the zero ends,.
It’s quite clear that the mother is the one that’s left behind and the child is the one who is extending their relationship, pushing the boundaries moving away from the mother.
We’re recording length reporting meters, centimeters back to base were based completely A place of safety, also a place of control.
And leaving up the stairs, the line still feeding out and revealing years between us so that the enjoyment causes a slight pause.
This echoes the implied separation that will reflect in their relationship.
The fact that he’s moving out, find those two metaphors, the end of this stanza, particularly interesting.
The idea of anchor and the idea of kite, and they’re worthy of some more thought in terms of your own interpretations.
So an anchor possibly could be stabilizing, or it could be restrictive, and a kite could be freeing.
But also there’s still that that grounding sense of having the string being controlled by somebody on the ground.
The simple sentences, minor sentences, rather, and I think they emphasize the importance of these metaphors to the poem.
The mother is an anchor and the child as a kite. And finally, in the last stands that you’ve got the idea of spacewalking.
So even in a spacewalk, the person who is doing the spacewalk is still attached by a cord to the ship or to some other place of safety.
But you could also talk about the connotations of a spacewalk being a weightless sense of freedom. always talk about the idea of a mothership and a base and you can link it back to that previous stanza.
You’ve got the empty bedrooms, which I think could indicate the potential for the child’s own family, and that sort of cyclical nature of life, death and family.
I think that’s quite interesting to climb the ladder to the loft.
Again, another gentleman testing the boundaries of their relationship testing the boundaries of the blinds.
It’s a breaking point where something has to give two floors below your fingertips, still, pinch the last 100th of an inch so the mother seems reluctant to let go of the child.
I will reach towards a hatch that opens on an endless sky to fall or fly.
I think repeated to sounds at the end of the words airy light. It’s almost as if you’re running out of air when you’re saying these words pinch inch.
And I think the repetition of those is creating a really lovely sound effect when you read the poem, you’ve got the idea of hatch is quite interesting, because this could be a continuation of the space metaphor, exiting a hatching was to do the spacewalk.
But it also links to the bird imagery of falling them for flying, and new beginnings as well as an egg hatching.
So I think it’s a really lovely poem about a family relationship and the connection between the mother and her child.
The form and structure reflect this interestingly, too, so you’ve got the idea of a sonnet.
But with an additional line, which would symbolize the breaking away of the child.
So solid would ordinarily be left home containing 14 lines and this one got those extra forwards to fall or fly, creating a 15th line.
It’s got a loose rhyme scheme, which reduces throughout the poem. And perhaps this could reflect uncertainty for the future and their relationship as it begins this new phase.