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Want to practice your comparative and evaluation skills between 'Climbing My Grandfather' and other poems in the Love and Relationships cluster?


Thought bubble


Well, you've come to the right place, because this activity will help you learn to compare and evaluate ideas, attitudes and themes - all at the same time. It's just a bit of multitasking and you can do it!


It'll take some good deduction skills, as well as an understanding of the themes and ideas you want to discuss. You need to think about how the poet presents ideas differently/similarly in both poems. 


1. Make your point!


 In 'Climbing My Grandfather', Waterhouse presents the relationship between the speaker and his grandfather through the extended metaphor of the speaker climbing his grandfather like a mountain. The quote "traverse along his belt to an earth-stained hand" emphasises a close connection with nature, through the symbolic mountain climbing, but also through the adjective "earth-stained", which suggests that the grandfather also had a close relationship with nature. 


2. Link to another poem!


Similarly, in 'Sonnet 29', the extended metaphor which alludes to natural is used to symbolise the close relationship between the speaker and her lover. Barrett Browning writes "my thoughts do twine and bud about thee", symbolically linking her thoughts with the twining and budding of vines. Natural imagery is used to portray the sexual relationship between the speaker and her lover as natural and instinctive.


3. Compare!


Both poems present a close connection between emotions and nature. Nature is used to enhance and add depth to the relationships. However, where 'Sonnet 29' uses nature to symbolise the speaker's thoughts, 'Climbing My Grandfather' uses nature to represent the developing closeness between speaker and grandfather. 


4. Evaluate


So, where 'Sonnet 29' presents nature through the speaker's thoughts and feelings, 'Climbing My Grandfather' uses nature to represent the emotional bond between the grandfather and speaker. 


A tip: it'll help to jot down any new/helpful advice you get given in this activity!


You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples.  These quotations are for reference only.


10 questions
The quotations/text used in this exercise are from the copyrighted works of Andrew Waterhouse, 'Climbing My Grandfather', Owen Sheers, 'Winter Swans', Carol Ann Duffy, 'Before You Were Mine', C Day Lewis, 'Walking Away', Maura Dooley, 'Letter From Yorkshire', Daljit Nagra, 'Singh Song!'