Poem for my sister
Liz Lochhead expresses her feelings about her ‘little sister’ in the poem “Poem for my sister” which was written for her as a birthday present, when her sister was turning 12. In the poem, Lochhead uses shoes and feet metaphorically to describe her life and experiences.
The first line of the poem “ my little sister likes to try my shoes” suggests that Lochhead’s sister wants to put herself in Lochhead position as an adult. This shows that the poet’s sister will like to put herself in situations which are for adults, but is in Lochhead’s opinion clearly too young for this to happen, “they say they fit her perfectly, but wobbles”. The meaning of this line is that the sister is becoming too old to be a child seen clearly in the fact that she is striving to become an adult and is not succeeding, but is still striving to become an adult. The word “wobbles” means that she cannot physically with wearing adult’s shoes and is stumbling between childhood and adulthood which is not easy to balance as the poem evolves as she begins to speak of her sister playing kid games.
Within the first stanza of the poem, Lochhead uses alliteration. This is used to emphasise the immaturity of her sister with her relentless efforts to become an adult. An example of this would be “ high heels” describing the fact that her sister is not only walking on unstable grounds, but is also walking at a height which is superior to what she is used to being at. Lochhead also makes use of punctuation such as commas and dashes to speed up the rhythm of the poem, “ to admire her spindle-thin twelve-year-old legs”.
Stanza 1 as a whole shows much of the relationship between Lochhead and her sister. They are close in relationship between each other, but is not too close in age. This can be seen as the sister wears “ grown-up” shoes that the little sister wants to try on. An opinion that the little sister looks up to Lochhead can be drawn...