In the Nursery and New Baby

9 September 2016

In the Nursery is about a mother comparing her 7 month old son to a plant or flower which shows her love and affection for him. In contrast, New Baby is about the poet adopting a child’s voice and expressing its anger and annoyance for their baby brother. This essay will compare the two poems’ use of language, poetic devices, perspective of speaker and structure.

It will also include which poem I prefer and why. The use of language in the two poems is very different. New Baby uses simple, childish and exaggerated language. This is shown when Kay uses the sentence ‘not that I like him or anything’. An older person would find a more sophisticated way to say this, Kay uses these childish sentences throughout the poem . Using this language is effective as it makes it clear that it is the voice of a child but not a young one as Kay’s clever use of the word ‘devised’ tells us.

In the Nursery and New Baby Essay Example

On the other hand, In the Nursery uses more sophisticated and positive language. Stevenson’s language in this poem is plant and flower based. This is made clear when she says that her sons’ eyes are ‘corollas’ and stating that his yawning is a flower blossoming. Both poems have used many poetic devices. In the Nursery has an extended metaphor which helps to compare the baby to a flower or plant. ‘Sleep drops off him like soil’ is the simile that Stevenson uses. It tells us that the baby is floppy and delicate.

It is effective as it gives a clear image of this. Alternatively New Baby uses no similes or metaphors. It has lots of alliteration; ‘baby brother’ is one of the alliterations Kay uses. She also uses anthropomorphism in many of her stanzas. ‘The Rottweiler next door phoned up to complain’ is an example of this. It is effective as it helps to make it clear that it is a child speaking because children usually have a vivid imagination. In the Nursery, the perspective of speaker is first person and this is the mother of the baby boy.

This is shown by the use of ‘I’ in the first sentence. It is made clear that the speaker is the boy’s mother as it is very affectionate and loving; ‘his cheeks against mine/in the first soft day in the garden’ show this. Alternatively, New Baby is also first person which is shown by the use of ‘I’ and the speaker is a child, which is made clear by simple use of language and a vivid imagination, ‘that the rats and mice wore headphones’ is an example of these.

In New Baby, there are only 3 lines in a stanza; this is effective because it emphasizes the repetition. Each stanza is only one sentence, this reinforces that it is a child. Enjambment is used in the fourth stanza this is clever because the first three stanzas are light hearted in its tone, Kay uses enjambment when the poem gets sinister and more complicated, ’I think of sitting the cat on top of him’ shows that this poem isn’t just funny because the child wants to hurt his brother and is angry with his presence.

In the Nursery has one stanza; this makes it easy to read. In the Nursery is only about one moment in time and has 6 clear ideas. To summarise, these two poems are very different in their language, poetic devices, perspective of speaker and structure, however they have one similarity: they are both about babies! The poem I prefer is In the Nursery for the reason that it is much happier, positive and more pleasant than New Baby. New Baby has a sad and sinister meaning to it, even though it’s funny.

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