Pick two examples of enjambment in ‘Climbing My Grandfather’ and explore their impact on the reader.

1 year ago


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Aida Doyle

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Sheree O Profile Picture

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The extended metaphor of climbing a mountain and the challenges that would be encountered with such a journey is captured through the use of enjambment throughout the poem. In line 5, as the speaker reaches the grandfather's shirt: "I change / direction", signals the free-flowing movement of the climber juxtaposed with the unpredictability of climbing a mountain. This could reflect the nature of the relationship between the speaker and the grandfather; the grandfather's stability and solidness and the grandson's admiration and awe merged and united through the metaphorical journey up the mountain, mirroring the complexities but simple aspects of life experienced through paramount relationships.

Further on, the reader begins to get more of a sense of the character of the grandfather and the impact his nature has on the grandson. There is activity, forward motion, unpredictability experienced by the reader as the enjambment creates this sense of drive and momentum: "then pull / myself up"; which creates tension because of the uncertainty of the journey.

An intimate image of loving memories and a deep connection between the speaker and the grandfather is captured though the use of enjambment because of the reality of relationships - they are unpredictable; but with a foundation of solidity and mutual respect, they can be challenging, exciting and fulfilling, just like climbing a mountain.

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