On this page I use red type for emphasis. Brown type is used where italics would appear in print in this screen font, italic looks like this, and is unkind on most readers. Headings have their own hierarchical logic, too:
Mothers are perhaps one of the most universal subjects of poetry, but one that is not very often read about; one can ready poems about war, or love, about family and trauma, but poems specifically about mothers such as Mother, Any Distance, seem to be a bit of a rare breed of writing.
This is not to say that there are none, but that, for whatever reason, the subject matter does not come out in literature very often. Motherly love is an interesting topic to ruminate on for a poem, and something that does come out in literature — perhaps more contemporary than in other eras — is the extent to which mothers will go to please and to soothe their young.
Mother, Any Distance Summary In Mother, Any Distance, the narrator asks his mother to come and help him measure his new house; it is suspected that he might be moving house soon, and so needs his mother to help him measure for wallpaper, carpeting, and so on.
Structurally, it is written freehand, in fifteen lines of unequal lines and rhyme scheme. One can argue that it is probably a sonnet, just with an additional line; an act that makes us focus specifically on the extra line.
It is a simple thing, but it feels very comforting and homey; it feels as though it is something to be sung to children. It is also, if the reader chooses to go along with the idea that it is the mother that is helping him set up his house, sweet and almost timeless to imagine that, even when he is old enough to own his own property, to move away from home, he still looks for his mother to help him with the important things; with the things that he should, at this point, know.
It proves that there are some things that people do not grow out of, and the need for mother to set things to rights is one of them. Though, at its core, it is a happy poem, there is no denying that the situation is not a strictly happy one; it is a rite of passage, yes, and something that might be done, but the narrator does not sound overjoyed to be moving out; does not sound as though he wants to think about it much more than he has to.
His attempt to get his mother to help him reads like an attempt to hold her closer to him for the final time, before he lives a different life to her, and thus there is a finality to the first stanza that gives the poem an edge.
It might just be that he wants to feel free, and yet he knows that he will be rolling back to his mother at any other attempt.
However, that being said, note the presence of the tape-measure. The tape-measure, held between a mother and a son, has a very distinctive imagery; it reminds one of the umbilical cord spiralling out from a mother to her unborn child, connecting the two together, and bridging the distance that then naturally grows with birth and with age.
It could arguably be considered that mothers and their babies have a far deeper connection than one realizes, given that children live inside of their mothers for nine months, are connected by a thin cord that holds them all together; and therefore, bearing this in mind, note how the tape-measure holds them together even now; there is nothing that can thoroughly destroy or break that connection between them, leading Armitage to compare it to the measuring of the house.
The main message of this stanza is that, age aside, the two of them are connected; the mother is the centre of his universe, the centre of his creation, and when he spirals outwards from her, he is still connected to her via a bond that cannot be severed; that when he is given the opportunity to check back with his mother, he still does so, coming back every time to see that what he is doing is acceptable.
There is such sweetness to this particular poem that is almost beggars belief.Simon Armitage wrote the poem ‘Mother, any distance greater than a single span’, it suggests a strong theme of detachment throughout. Although a short poem, it holds a lot of meaning that can be interpreted in several different ways.
From reading ‘On My First Sonne’ by Ben Johnson and ‘Mother Any Distance’ by Simon Armitage I can see that both of these poems are based on a parent/ child relationship.
There are two main types of relationships one is where two things interact an example of this could be a car on a road.
May 05, · An Analysis of Mother, any distance by Simon Armitage Posted on May 5, by Emma Lee This poem by Simon Armitage in the “Love and Relationships” section of the GCSE English Literature anthology from AQA is one that has often been included on GCSE exams and one reason I’ve left it until one of the last poems I look at.
Mother Any Distance by Simon Armitage Essay - Mother Any Distance by Simon Armitage This poem is written by Simon Armitage in which he talks about the relationship between him and his mother and the great affect she had on his life.
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In 'Mother, Any Distance' by Simon Armitage, the mother helps her son to decorate his house as he is potentially moving home.