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Transcript of Grandpa's Soup
with its diced carrots the perfect size
and its diced potatoes the perfect size
and its wee soft bits –
what are their names?
and its big bit of hough,
which rhymes with loch, floating
like a rich island in the middle of the soup sea.
I say, Grandpa, Grandpa your soup is the best soup in the whole world.
And Grandpa says, Och,
which rhymes with hough and loch,
Och, Don’t be daft,
because he’s shy about his soup, my Grandpa.
He knows I will grow up and pine for it.
I will fall ill and desperately need it.
I will long for it my whole life after he is gone.
Every soup will become sad and wrong after he is gone.
He knows when I’m older I will avoid soup altogether.
Oh Grandpa, Grandpa, why is your soup so glorious?I say tucking into my fourth bowl in a day.
Barley! That’s the name of the wee soft bits. Barley. The text is a poem on author Jackie Kay's memories of her Grandpas life. She is writing to recall and remember her Grandpa through the memory of his soup. The poem is informal as the author is almost having a conversation with them self, or reliving the memories. For instance, at the end of the poem the writer answers the rhetorical question from the 1st stanza, showing how casual and formless the poem is. The purpose of poem is for the author to recall and remember their Grandpa's life and to share it with others. This may be for the intention of wanting to influence people to appreciate people and the things they do more while they're there. The poem is aimed at everyone so that they can see the author's experience and then learn from it. They will realise the harsh reality that no one lasts forever but the memories do. This is shown by the soup being a metaphor of the Grandpa's life as the Grandpa has gone but his memory and soup is with her still. Non-fiction poetry on the authors memories, so it is a reflective poem around the occasion of having soup. The author tries to explain the words by saying 'which rhymes with hough and loch' which shows they presume that the audience do not know these words already. This suggests the dialect is personal to the Grandpa and the author so symbolises their friendship. However, by explaining these words she is indicating that she wants people to be aware of the accent and therefore know what her Grandpa is like. This suggests Jackie is not only explaining what her Grandpa was like to the audience but wants them to feel connected with him. Furthermore in the second stanza focusing on age, Kay opts to use a different structure. This stanza uses a lot more grammar and punctuation than the first and is larger with thirteen lines. She repeats parts of the first stanza with similar lines such as on Line 11 and 12 "Och, which rhymes with hough and loch" replicating Line 6 and 7 from the first stanza which is "hough, which rhymes with loch", these are significant as they make parts of the poem become stuck in the reader's mind. Also, Kay uses repetitive sentences such as 'diced carrots the perfect size' and 'diced potatoes the perfect size' to show exact the soup has to be made, suggesting that no one else can make the soup quite right. This compliments how good the soup was but also, as the soup is a metaphor for the Grandpas life, the author is indirectly saying no one can replace the Grandpa to her. The writer also uses a metaphor for the bits of hough. 'Floating like a rich island in the middle of the soup sea' is bringing the soup alive. It represents just how magical and special the author thinks of the soup.