Rush remembers his Grandmother standing at the kitchen sink trying to hold back an asthma attack.
Rush recalls the scene vividly ◦ ‘I’ shows that the poem will be personal ◦ ‘her’ the subject of the poem has made a lasting impression
Syntax of metaphor is unusual to place emphasis on ‘frailty’ Onomatopoeia – ‘wheezing’ implies breathing difficulties ◦ ‘grey’ connotations of old age and hair colour ◦ ‘frailty’ connotations of old age, weakness and a delicate thing
Metaphor – shows that she is struggling to not have an asthma attack/spends a great deal of time at the kitchen sink ◦ ‘clutching’ – connotation of desperation and a struggle ◦ ‘kitchen sink’ – juxtaposes the seriousness of the event with a mundane object
Simile – breathing rises and falls like the waves and sounds rough/ Alliteration – mirrors the sound of the sea
Alliteration caries on image – her breathing sound like the noise the sea makes is rough and harsh ◦ ‘sucking’ breathing carefully ◦ ‘shingle’ technical term linked with the sea. Sound of soft sibilant “sh” with harsh guttural “g” sound creates the sound shingle being washed back by the sea and asthma attack
Shows the strength of his Grandmother and how present she was in Rush’s early years
Alliteration – emphasises her close link with the sea working, living beside etc. and relates to breathing in waves of asthma Metaphor – she lived by and worked with the sea in partnership Syntax – inversion places emphasis on “was she” ◦ “was she” – speaking directly to the reader, reminiscing and confirming that she is no longer alive
Metaphor – shows she is a strong character who would not give in to her condition ◦ “fought” shows it was a constant struggle ◦ “asthma” confirms that this is why she has breathing problems
◦ “ standing there” – a strong and constant figure ◦ “while I grew up” – she was always there for Rush, teaching him and helping
“tides” is ambiguous – represents the passing of time or that her breathing difficulties came and went
Describes the grandmother’s role as a fishwife, gutting and preparing the fish.
Alliteration – shows the quickness and deftness of her gutting the fish Metaphor – the knife seems to be part of her showing that she was skilled and had worked on it for years
Metaphor – the knife was so sharp it made quick work of the gutting ◦ “gullie” – Scots word for large knife, his Grandmother is passing on the Scots language and her knowledge to Rush ◦ “terrible” – ambiguous as it means that it was terrible for the fish (it was gutting them) and that it seemed out of place in the grandmother’s hand
Metaphor – shows that she was comfortable with the sea and like she was a part of it List of fish shows how much of her time was spent at work – syntax stresses the amount of fish there seemed to be
Rush recalls his fear of the crabs that his grandmother used to cook in a pot to the extent that he had nightmares
Rush’s grandmother helping to calm his fears – reassuring even though the crabs would be dead
Alliteration – stresses how frightened rush was ◦ “crawling” shows Rush’s fear and how the crabs move to create a tense atmosphere
Metaphor – shows that Rush had nightmares about the crabs but his grandmother helped to stop them Shows that Rush was young/ childish when this happened
Rush goes into further details of his nightmares as he imagines the crabs tearing him to pieces. Rush states that his grandmother was able to stop these nightmares
Alliteration – highlights how scary found the eyes of the crabs Metaphor – underlines that Rush thought the crabs as evil creatures and the way their eyes move seems unnatural ◦ “stalks” – the eyestalk of the crabs seem thin and delicate
“gobbets” = a piece of meat Rush describing the content of the nightmares ◦ “gobbets” guttural ‘g’ sound emphasises the unpleasantness of the dream
Repetition stresses the boy’s fear and powerlessness over the situation and the fact that he struggled for breathe when awaking from the dream His grandmother was able to stop the nightmares ◦ “terrors” show how scared Rush was and another word for nightmare or metaphor where the crabs are the “terrors” that are being taken away by his grandmother
Rush’s grandmother teaches him about the fish she is gutting and her generosity is shown.
Emphasises the old age of Rush’s grandmother and her knowledge of the fish She is teaching rush about traditions and the ways of the sea ◦ “St Peter’s” – patron saint of fishermen
Rush’s grandmother was affectionate and caring
The grandmother is in pain every night because of her asthma and cries
Metaphor – demonstrates the oneness Rush’s grandmother had with the sea as brine is another term for salt/sea water “washed me” – implies that as Rush hugs his grandmother the tears fall onto him
Alliteration – ‘sh’ soft sibilant sound that mirrors the sound of the sea creating a peaceful scene
Personal reflection to show how much knowledge was passed from one generation to another.