Poetry
Question

What does the very first line of ‘Climbing My Grandfather’, ‘I decided to do it for free’, explain about the poet and the grandfather?

1 year ago

·

3 Replies

·

1005 views

A

Abe Breitenberg


3 Replies

Zainab M Profile Picture
Zainab M Best Answer!

Verified Sherpa Tutor

There is a good bond between the grandfather and the poet; the poet is considering his grandfather, who is used as an extended metaphor in the poem, a mountain that he aims to climb. There is an element of childish playfulness in the manner the poet describes his decision to climb as well as presenting a notion of adventure and suspense which is created by the word 'free'. We could also infer an element of danger that the poet as a child might have felt however, there could also be a metaphorical message in the way the old and youth interact as the young most often look up to the elders.

My passion is teaching and empowering through education!

Interested in booking a 1-1 lesson with me?

Click here to view my profile and send me a message.
S
Syeda Fatima Ali Best Answer!

The opening line of the poem paints the image of a mountain climb in relation to the title, which emphasizes on the use of extended metaphor by the speaker. This sets the way for the narrator to metaphorically explore the memory of their grandfather through the imagery of a mountain climb. The poems starts on the decisive note of making the climb "free, without a rope or net". This signifies the speaker's view of the climb as one that would require taking risks and utmost determination and bravery instead of climbing in the safety of nets and guide ropes. The speaker implicitly suggests that to keep the memory of his grandfather and of their relationship alive, the journey must be made freely, to allow them to explore the memory deeply and vividly, which the remaining climb's delicately calibrated imagery is testament to. This highlights the grandfather's grand stature in the speaker's eyes as a child, establishing a surreal sense of scale. The poem illustrates the way children perceive the world and the adults when it casts the grandfather as a mountain to climb for the speaker, portraying that both literally and figuratively, the way children look up to their elders. From the very start the poem establishes a child-like sense of imagination, paired with the an immense spirit of responsibility to fill in their grandfather's shoes, fulfilling the core subject of a child-grandfather relationship of the poem.

Becky Profile Picture
Becky Best Answer!

Verified Sherpa Tutor

Be careful! The opening line is 'do it free, without a rope or a net' which refers to the rock-climbing motif used throughout. This reflects how the speaker was previously cautious around his grandfather before, but the climb described in the poem is riskier, perhaps because through the mentions of aging death is signified. Is the poet's relationship with his grandfather dangerous or tense?

5 years teaching ages 4 - 21 in a classroom! Let's get those grades!~

Interested in booking a 1-1 lesson with me?

Click here to view my profile and send me a message.

Got the answer? Help Abe out.