1 This poem explores the impulse for a
parent to protect a child, using whatever
means necessary. The emotive
language used to present the child and
the violence of the father's response
suggests a powerful instinct has been
2 Nettles is about the protection offered to a young child by a father
3 Nettles is written from the
perspective of the father.
Brief observations are used to
communicate the tenderness
and love of the parental
relationship with a child.
4 The child is presented using emotive language, reflective
of the compassion and sympathy the speaker feels for
his injured son:"White blisters beaded on his tender skin".
The alliteration using the "b" sound suggests the swelling,
painful injuries and the child's skin is "tender",a strong
contrast to the description of the nettles.
5 The father takes revenge in his strong desire
to protect his son and punish those who
5.1 He explains the process of dealing with
the nettles in a very careful, calculating
5.2 "I took my hook and honed
the blade" then he "slashed in