“BED” • What is the poem about?

The poem is about an elderly woman who is being cared for by her daughter. She is confined to her bed as her health has declined and she is frustrated with her situation. There is a sense that she does appreciate the help that she is given but as time has passed she has become frustrated as she feels like a baby and that she is almost waiting to die. • What type of narrator/language is used? The narrator is a first person narrator who speaks in Scots. Kay has created the persona of an elderly woman who is almost confiding in the reader/audience about how she feels. The poem has similarities with “Lucozade but the narrator in “!ed is the unwell elderly mother" not the daughter. What is the RELAT !"#$ % bet&een the 'hara'ters in the poem? There are mi#ed emotions between the mother and daughter in “!ed . $e get the feeling that the mother does appreciate the help she gets from her daughter but she may also have some feelings of anger and resentment towards her daughter % “&' dinny believe her . (nderstandably" tensions may have arisen as they spend so much time together and the mother feels she is in “prison in her home. • $o& is the poem #TR()T(RED? The poem is organised into ten stanzas which are e)ual in length. The consistency of the four* line stanzas could reflect the repetitiveness and boredom of the mother's life+ & steady pace which is created by the similar stanzas may suggest the sense of time passing at a regular" unchanging speed ,ust as her life is never changing. The first four stanzas e#plain that the daughter looks after the narrator and highlight the situation the narrator is in as her health has declined. She e#plains why she is unhappy with her life at this point. %(")T(AT !"/#E"TE")E #TR()T(RE * Kay uses short simple ideas which run over two lines at the start of the poem as the narrator clearly e#plains the situation. -n the second half of the poem Kay uses en,ambment and a lack of full*stops to create a sense of frustration and less control in the delivery to suggest the narrator's outpouring of emotions. The final two stanzas highlight the idea that the mother .narrator/ feels trapped and references to death create a sombre end to the poem. The audience is forced to think carefully about the narrator's feelings by the use of a )uestion and two .possibly/ negative statements about her daughter. • W!RD )$! )E $ords such as burden, blastit and crabbit suggest that the elderly narrator is e#tremely unhappy with the situation. She feels guilty that her daughter has to care for her but blastit and crabbit suggest a real sense of frustration and anger. 0eferences to baby food are suggested by the use of the words champed, mashed and pureed showing that the mother has deteriorated so much that she can't eat normal food. • *A+ER, #imile - “Am here like some skinny chicken” – The narrator compares herself to an old, unwell bird. *etaphors % “Am her wean noo, wey ma great tent o’ nappy – The mother compares herself to a baby (wean) and creates an image with a ery large nappy which seems to be ery embarrassing for her.

!this drab wee prison” – The comparison of her room to a prison suggests she feels trapped, can’t escape and perhaps almost feels as if she has been punished. • #!("D TE)$" .(E# % &lliteration % Several e#amples have been included and often suggest a sense of anger % almost as if she is spitting out the words slightly aggressively * big blastit bed, loose lips, #())E##/(L E"D "+ - The narrator asks a )uestion and then seems to deny any negative feelings towards her daughter at the end of the poem. The reader may feel that she does have some unpleasant feelings towards her daughter despite all the help she receives. !"o that Am saying A’ want her guilty # "o that Am saying am no grateful.” – The denial seems to suggest that she must ha e considered these feelings showing the mi$ed emotions she has – on one hand appreciating the help she recei es %&T on the other hand she seems fed up with how she is treated now that she is ill. • T$E*E# / 0E, DEA# % -t is likely that most readers can relate to the poem as many of us will have had to loo1 after elderly family members before. 1espite the elements of sadness and frustration the reality is that most of us will be in a similar situation to the narrator when we are older. $e can view it as a sad poem due to the references to “biding my time and the decline of the narrator's health suggesting almost inevitable death for the narrator. The poem makes us think about the difficulties we face in life trying to make the closing stages of life more bearable for a person who is unwell. )!*%AR #!"# T! !T$ER 0A, %!E*# +ap ,ear - -t is likely you would 234T0&ST “!ed with “5ap 6ear . $hile they both describe relationships between parents and children “5ap 6ear is much more positive with feelings of pride" admiration and reminiscence about a positive relationship. “!ed focuses on the closing phases of a person's life while “5ap 6ear highlights the opportunities for a young person in life. Lu'o2ade - There are very clear links with “Lucozade with elements of sadness and worry for the people involved in the te#t. -n “Lucozade the mother who is unwell is mostly affectionate and positive. The emotion of sadness is different from the frustration and anger e#pressed in “!ed . The common idea of the importance of food/treats when you are unwell is highlighted in both poems. 7ach te#t also suggests that death is about to afflict both relationships % Some readers may feel that the mother in “Lucozade has died but the end seems positive despite this. Di3or'e 4 There are some similarities in terms of emotions in the relationships in this poem although as the narrator is the child/daughter it is presented differently. Like the mother in “!ed " the child in “1ivorce feels some sense of frustration and anger at her situation. &lthough the daughter helps her mother in “!ed there is a sense that the mother does not fully appreciate being treated like a child and this can be compared to “1ivorce . 1espite this" “!ed is much more subtle in its hints at frustration and anger leaving some elements open to interpretation where “1ivorce is very clear at how unhappy the young narrator is.