Want to practice your comparative and evaluation skills between 'Before You Were Mine' and other poems?
Well, you've come to the right place because this activity will help you learn to compare and evaluate ideas/attitudes/themes 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 'Before You Were Mine' Duffy uses the metaphor of 'Marilyn' to imply that her mother had beauty and glamour like Marilyn Monroe. Deeper still, the symbolic reference to Marilyn Monroe suggests that the mother has aspirations of becoming a celebrity or, perhaps, that many people watch her, just as Marilyn is watched on the big screen.
2. Link to another poem!
Similarly, in 'Walking Away', Cecil Day-Lewis uses a metaphor of the 'winged seed loosened' from a 'parent stem' to portray the speaker's sadness over his child becoming independent and moving away from him.
When Duffy uses the metaphor of comparing her mother to Marilyn Monroe, a glamorous movie star, to convey her feelings of admiration towards her, Day-Lewis uses a metaphor from nature.
So, while Duffy seems to look up to this past image of her mum, as some kind of untouchable, larger than life celebrity, Day-Lewis portrays his son as something smaller, more vulnerable: a seed. Perhaps this is because Duffy is speaking as the child, whereas Day-Lewis is the parent.
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.