(Note that analyses can vary widely, hence these annotations must only be used in conjunction with your own analyses).

Annotations of Effects by Alan Jenkins


The Rest of Them!!!-5

Summary of the poem:

Title: Double meaning — the effects a person has on another person? But can also mean the little things handed to the narrator after the mother’s death.

Tone: 1st POV, narrative like a fairytale almost. Flashbacks of the past, nostalgic, also hints of regret. Colloquial in some parts.

Summary: The narrator recounts his memories growing up as a child through observing his mother’s dying stage, with focus entered around her hand. He feels guilty towards his ignorant/impatient actions and his lack of understanding about his mother’s emotions and her hardships. All he has to remember by is a little box of her meagre possessions.

Structure: (Syntax!) One long paragraph — may illustrate being stuck in time, or uninterrupted thought. Details fuel the flow of memories. Irregular rhyme scheme (couplets or triplets dispersed), the more regular rhyme scheme at the end gives a sense of acceptance and finality.

Themes: Guilt, family, ageing, disappointment, past vs present,

Devices used: repetition of ‘television’, contrast between modern time/the past, parallelism (looping actions in the ward),

Links to other poems: Genetics, Material, Inheritance (family), You Shiva My Mum (Mother), On her blindness, A Minor Role (ageing), From the Journal (disappointment)


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