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The gift - By Chris Banks

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by

nivedita shukla

on 31 October 2014

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Transcript of The gift - By Chris Banks

Plot
The poem revolves around a
car accident
, and showcases the son of the mother (who is the
voice of the poem
) taking care of her. The poet decides to focus primarily on the
positive consequences
of this accident and emphasizes how her bond with her son has been
strengthened
in this process.

She calls it (the accident) the 'gift' in an
emotional way
, with the theory that
everything happens for a reason
and she is
grateful
for the event that occurred as she is thankful for its positive influences.
Structure
The Gift
Chris Banks
An introduction to the poem
Purpose
Movement
Themes, etc
The first stanza, according to the diction, has a very heavy and solemn mood. It focuses on the physical consequences of the accident with the employment of vivid imagery. The second stanza, however, presents all the negative aspects highlighted in the first stanza in a new light, emphasizing its positive outcome. Finally, the third stanza shows the speaker's final verdict, presenting them as an emotive and sensible character, being both strong and optimistic in the face of disaster.
First Stanza
lines 1-11
After the accident, the hospital,
they brought me aching home
mouth pumped up like a tyre
black stitches tracking the wound
over my lip, the red slit signalling
the broken place. And my son
my tall, cool son of sixteen
kissed the top of my head
and over the curve of my shoulder
laid his arm, like the broad wing
of a mother bird guarding its young
.
The Gift - By Chris Banks
A complete deconstruction
After the accident, the hospital,
they brought me aching home
mouth pumped up like a tyre
black stitches tracking the wound
over my lip, the red slit signalling
the broken place. And my son
my tall, cool son of sixteen
kissed the top of my head
and over the curve of my shoulder
laid his arm, like the broad wing
of a mother bird guarding its young.

Anyone who has known tenderness
thrown like a lifeline into the heart of pain
anyone who has known pain bleed into tenderness
knows how the power of the two combine.
And if I am a fool to give thanks
for pain as well as tenderness
and even if, as some would say
there are no accidents -

Still. I am grateful for the gift.


Voice:
A mother
Point of view:
First person
Tone and register:
Showcases a positive outlook and attitude towards the accident --> contributes largely to the
message
of the poem
Setting:
The mother (the voice of the poem)'s house

Free Verse
No set structure
No rhyme scheme
Three Stanzas
First stanza: 11 lines
Second stanza: 8 lines
Third stanza: 1 line
The fact that this type of a poem has no set set of rules (i.e. no rhyme scheme or checklists whatsoever) allows the poet to be more creative and unrestricted in the process of writing.
Second Stanza:
Anyone who has known tenderness
thrown like lifeline into the heart of pain
anyone who has known pain bleed into tenderness
knows how the power of the two combine.
And if I am a fool to give thanks
for pain as well as tenderness
and even if, as some would say
there are no accidents -

Still. I am grateful for the gift.


sent for recovery
calm; collected
Simile; comparing tenderness
to lifeline
protecting, "mothering"
reminded of accident/trauma
She stresses the word 'tenderness' to emphasize that the effect of his tenderness is the reason she is at acceptance with this accident
Symbolises that the 'tenderness' is her lifesavior (lifeboat)
acknowledges
strangeness of situation
The hyphen indicates that the accident is linked to the 'gift'
fate; meant to be
This stanza is written in present tense, as the poet is talking about her thoughts and feelings in regards to 'the gift'
The last concluding line is ambiguous.
The purpose of this poem revolves around the concept of looking at the
brighter side
of things. It has a very
optimistic and motivational theme
throughout-- Banks speaks about the
positive influence
that a traumatic car crash has on her life.
Our personal response:
At the same time...
The way in which love is portrayed in this poem seems to be much too demanding. Love should not need to be proven in a life-threatening situation to be appreciated, and neither should a child ever have to bear that burden. A direct quote from the poem has the mother comparing her son to a "mother bird guarding its young". The fact that she does not feel guilty for that burden placed on her child seems to emphasize the fact that her idealistic perspective of love is extremely misconstrued.

Furthermore, the idea that anybody could be grateful in the light of such a traumatic event is disrespectful to all parties. Although Banks illustrates the positive outcomes that resulted from her accident, to be "grateful for the gift" is not a very healthy outlook.
The inspirational message that the poet is trying to convey in this poem is one of great meaning and depth. It explores and encourages the reader to be optimistic in situations where it is typically hard to see the positive side of things.

We personally believe that this a very viable message that is realistically applicable to almost all situations, as it is beneficial for both the person and the people around them to try and absorb the positive consequences of what may have been a sad or even traumatic event, rather than indulge themselves in the negativity of the situation.
Full transcript