What is interesting to note, however, is that A Frosty Night has names above each stanza, as if it was not a poem but an extract from a play with lines for each character, whereas Clarke seems to be addressing no one in particular, almost as if she is talking to herself rather than to Catkin. Clarke talks mostly about how despite the passing of time, Catkin still causes the same emotions in her as when she was first born, and only really links it to her independence in the second half of last stanza.
Clarke constantly uses the metaphor of “A red rope of love” throughout the poem to symbolism the umbilical cord of Catkin when she was born. This is important, as later in the poem she states “From the heart’s pool that old pope”, as well as saying it was “Trailing love and conflict”, showing that not only is red rope of love a symbol for an umbilical cord, it is a symbol for her bond with her daughter. The use of the word “old” suggest to me that the bond between her and Catkin has been long suffering and battered.
The image of an old rope gives the impression of fraying and the rope tearing apart in places, and shows the reader that the rope won’t last under much more duress. In ‘A Frosty Night’, however, the mother seems to have quite a close bond with her daughter Alice. While she is suspicious of what her gutter has been doing, she trusts her daughter enough to give her a chance to explain herself, suggesting that they talk rather than outright ask what she had been up to, until it was clear that Alice was not going to answer.
As well as this, the endearing terms of “sweet” and “dear show she cares, even if it is in an overprotective manner. Both poems paint the child as the stronger character Of the two, as in ‘Catkin’ Catkin has a “defiant stare” and in ‘A Frosty Night’ Alice shouts “Let me go”. To me, this suggests that the mothers have almost let their will bend to their child, as they have accepted he fact they are becoming their own person. As well as this, both poems describe the confusing or contradictory nature of a parents love, showing their reluctance to let their child go.
However, while there are a lot similarities, the language between the two poems is very different. ‘Catkin’ uses a long standing metaphor, and includes techniques such as an oxymoron (“Wild tender circles”), and assonance when describing Catkin, with the use of the words “strong’ and “long”, as well as “Brown hair” and “Defiant glare”, showing that Clarke is confused about many things when it comes to ere emotions, but she is confident about who her daughter is.
Overall, the language gives a clinical feel, and that Slacker’s wild words and feelings are marking this disinfected area. ‘A Frosty Night’ uses a rhyming pattern of ABA, whereas ‘Catkin’ doesn’t have a rhyming scheme, which adds to the theme of confusion and disorientation in Slacker’s mind. ‘A Frosty Night’ also uses a lot of words related to frost and Winter, before showing that love makes it seem like Spring. This shows that Alice finding love is starting something new, going from one season to the next.
The stanzas being labeled each to a person, like script, show that its a conversation, not a monologue like ‘Catkin’, and that there is a discussion between two equal taking place, as Alice is no longer a child to her mother. In conclusion, both poems have similar themes and topics such as the independence of a child, the emotions between mother and child and the inevitable loss of childhood. However, the poems also have differences, such as the techniques used, the structure, and the atmosphere of each poem. Overall, the two poems have similar messages, but are individual in their own way and are both interesting and enlightening to read.