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News Break by Max Fatchen

Now why so loving, darling,

And why the sudden kiss?
Youd help me with some little jobs?
For goodness sake, whats this?

Your face is clean for once, dear.

Your clothes without a crease.
You saved your luncheon money?
Will wonders never cease?

No dropping of your school books,

No shrieking, childish treble.
Today you are a lamb, love,
Where yesterday a rebel.

But surely youre some stranger,

No rage or hullabaloo.
Come closer, let me look, dear,
Can this be REALLY you?

Now were you struck by lightning

Or were you stunned at sport?
Ah ... now I see the reason.
Youve brought your school report!
The persona is greeted with a kiss and hug from her son who offers to help her
with some work. She is puzzled with his change in his behaviour.

He looks clean and his clothes are not creased. It is surprising that he did not
spend his luncheon money, an unusual occurence.

When he reaches home the boy does not drop his school books or shriek out
like a rebel. Instead, he acts meek and gentle like a lamb.

The persona feels she is talking to a stranger and not her usual noisy child. She
wants to take a closer look at him to satisfy her curiosity that it is really him.

She wonders if he has been struck by lightning or hit during a game. Then, she
notices his school report in his hand and understands the reason for his
sudden change in behaviour.

The title of the poem is News Break which means something unusual has happened. The poem
is about a mothers reaction to her sons change in behaviour. He greets his mother with a kiss
and hug, an unusual action on his part. The persona notices her sons face is clean and his
clothes are not creased or untidy. And amazingly, he has not even spent his luncheon money.
There is no dropping of his school books, shrieking and being rebellious. He is a meek, quiet
lamb. The persona still cannot accept this apparent change in her son and wonders if a stranger
is standing in front of her. She wants to look at him closer to confirm whether he is really her
son. She wonders if he had hurt his head during a game and is stunned and not acting his usual
self. When she sees the school report in his hand, she understands the whole situation.

We must be aware of changes in the way people

think and act.

Be on ones toes and alert to changes in our


Young people may need our support at all time.

Circumstance may force us to make changes.

When young people hide their reasons for

behaving differently, adults should attempt to
understand them.

We must be prepared to make changes in the

face of imperative needs.
Being alert
Awareness of about
changes in changes in
behaviour in our
people. surroundings.


Necessity is reasons
the mother without
of invention. prejudice..
The home with the mother asking questions and wondering about the
She feels puzzled and cannot understand the childs change of behaviour
until she sees the reason.

The poem is in the fisrt person point of view.
The mother is talking to the son.

Loving and questioning as the persona cannot understand the sons

Humorous yet serious as the persona wonders about the hows and whys.

your face is clean symbolises the child looking sweet and lovable.
your clothes without a crease symbolise the child standing upright and

no rage or hullabaloo gives the image of a noisy crying child.
for goodness sake, whats this?
You saved your luncheon money?
Will wonders never cease?

.. youre some stranger ... Can this be REALLY you? the persona is
doubtful she is looking at her son who is like a stranger to her not his
usual self.

today you are a lamb the child is like a lamb, docile and meek.

now why so loving, darling

.. clothes without a crease
.. surely youre some stranger

Now were you struck by lightning is an exaggeration of the mothers
feeling with regards to the reason for the change in his behaviour.