Eden Rock by Charles Causley

In the poem, Eden Rock, by Charles Causley the speaker, who is a poet himself, is shown imagining about his childhood memories, and talking about the moments he enjoyed when he was on a picnic with his family. Through the poem, the poet has not only gives a detailed account of his father/mother but also makes us familiar with the moral of the poem which reads as: ‘leaving your parents is hard.’

The poem has a very realistic account of every scene and activity being performed by the poet’s mother, father, and the dog. The poet makes the poem so realistic with his smart and sensible use of poetic devices that it looks as if everything is happening right in front of us.

Eden Rock by Charles Causley

 

Eden Rock Analysis

They are waiting for me somewhere beyond Eden

(…)

Still two years old and trembling at his feet.

As we know the speaker (the poet) here is talking about and sharing his childhood memories that he experienced while having a picnic somewhere around Eden Rock. Though the poet does refer to Eden Rock and tells us that his parents (they) are waiting for him somewhere beyond Eden Rock, still he doesn’t give any information about the whereabouts of Eden Rock. He simply refers it here though literally it means ‘Garden of Eden’, a heavenly place.

In the next lines, recalling his childhood memories, the poet says that his father is twenty-five, and was wearing ‘the same suit…Of Genuine Irish Tweed. The mention of ‘same suit’ makes us believe that his family was not in good economic condition.

The poet, in fact, gives a very precise description of his father and the two years old trembling terrier Jack (a dog). All this collectively gives pace to the poem and makes it run faster with its theme and the moral the poet wants to convey to us.

My mother, twenty-three, in a sprigged dress

(…)

Her hair, the colour of wheat, takes on the light.

Where in the first stanza, we are given a very precise description of his father’s suit, similarly in the second stanza, we are provided with very precise details about his mother’s fabric.

However, the descriptions of the fabric or dress of both mother and father make us realize that the family of the poet was not having good economic conditions, but yet they pride of what they have.

Here, the poet says that his mother is twenty-threes old, and is wearing a sprigged dress, which is drawn at the waist, while the ribbon in her straw hat….Has spread the stiff white cloth over the grass.

Let me tell you here that the poet has given picturesque descriptions of every minute details and activity his mother does, such as how she spreads the stiff white cloth over the grass, and the light in his mother’s hair is an angelic image.

She pours tea from a Thermos, the milk straight

(…)

The same three plates, the tin cups painted blue.

Where the first stanza talks about the fabric of the poet’s father, terrier Jack, and it’s trembling at the poet’s father feet, the second stanza talks about his mother’s fabric and how she prepares for the picnic, the third stanza details about the specific, ordinary activities his mother does, like pouring tea from a Thermos, milk straight from an old H.P. a sauce-bottle, and a screw of paper for a cork; the tin cups painted blue, and slowly setting out the same three plates.

This minute details of the preparations being made by the poet’s mother not only show her tranquil nature but also depicts how affectionate and peaceful the family is.

Here again, the description of the scene looks so real that it makes us immediately realize that they are having a picnic and the child is watching his mother pouring the milk.

The sky whitens as if lit by three suns.

(…)

Crossing is not as hard as you might think.’

The third stanza gives us a feel of heaven, while the word ‘three sun’ shining brightly and blindly indicates towards the holy trinity. This holy trinity is Father, Mother, and the poet; however, there is no mention of the ‘terrier Jack’ of which we heard in the third line of the first stanza. Besides, the mention of ‘holy trinity’ also shows that the family is united, and there is a very strong bond among them.

The poet tells his mother shades her eyes and looks his way over the drifted stream. Then his father spins a stone along the water, and they (mother/father) also encourage him from the other bank so that he can cross the stream without any fear.

The poet says he does hear them calling and directing him, ‘See where the stream-path is!, and even suggesting to him that “Crossing is not as hard as you might think.”

As we reach towards the end of this stanza, we come to know that the poet’s parents are either trying to convey his child to come with them, or teaching him that life is not a bed of roses.

I had not thought that it would be like this.

This concluding line of the poem is on its own, it lays emphasis on his message. It also makes us acquainted with the moral of the poem which reads as leaving your parents is hard. The last line not only separates us from his memory but also brings us back to reality.

But this separation of the line from the rest of the poem also shows us the division of the poet from his family.

This line also indicates towards poet’s repentance over something that he should not have done, or he might be talking about an accident he may have met while crossing the stream-path or it could also be related to some loss that the poet might have faced during the picnic.

Whatever may be, the poem is about rejoicing, re-joining, and the reunion of “three suns” that is; father, mother, and the poet.

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  • Avatar ydddjjyydt says:

    how do i get better at analysing poetry or remembering key quotes

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      I find remembering key quotes is just a case of repetition. Sometimes flashcards can help. As for analysing poetry, start by reading it a few times, then go through and highlight any poetic devices used. Then think about the form used and start to consider why certain techniques are used.

  • Avatar bob says:

    hi

  • Avatar hamza Chowdhury says:

    where did the dog come from?

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      It’s mentioned in the first stanza, “his Terrier Jack” Terrier is a breed of dog.

  • Avatar Ethan Campbell says:

    You can’t go wrong with great analysis and snarky comebacks to haters! Brilliant Website and interesting perspective concerning the poem

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      Snarky? I was going for nuanced and gentle pacifying, guess I need to work on that. Thank you for reading. Tell your friends!

  • Avatar BAKA says:

    U GUYS are stupid bakas that don’t know English and I’m the best at fortnite and u guys have no idea about eden rock it is cearly about a rock called eden

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      I’m you are using “U” instead of “You” for the sake of irony? You nailed it. I have no doubt your fortnite skills are fantastic. I personally still use a noob skin!

  • Avatar Cf says:

    My mate called Lewis said ur all sad

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      Does Lewis still live at home?

  • Avatar Jamie says:

    is it a metaphor for suiocide

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      You could read it that way. As his parents beckoning him to the afterlife. You certainly could make that argument.

  • Avatar Jamie says:

    i like the garden of eden there all nakid

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      In that case you’d love my nan’s tea parties.

  • Avatar benjamin tappin says:

    what is the summary of the 4th stanza for eden rock

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      It is covered in the analysis just not chronologically.

  • Avatar gunther2 says:

    what is connoted by this?

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      I think the suggestion here is that the speakers parents are in the afterlife. At least that would be my interpretation.

  • Avatar bob says:

    you all suck chicken

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      Not me, i’m a vegan.

    • Avatar gunther says:

      mie tooo! glad ive found soomone lyke moi

      • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

        Did you create an email address to just to post this? Genius.

  • Avatar james says:

    you are all nerds

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      And we are proud of the fact.

  • Avatar hayley says:

    what genre can be used to add the complexity of text in this poem?

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      I always think genre is a tricky question to pose of a poem. Personally I would class this as an elegy or an ode. I don’t really think the genre informs the complexity in anyway, but draw from that what you will!

  • Avatar alice says:

    do you know what the metre/rhythm of this poem is?

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      Parts of the poem are in Iambic Pentameter but it appears that often when the father is mentioned the metre is uneven and doesn’t follow a set pattern. Hope this helps?

  • Avatar Anne says:

    Any language features in it please?

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      Causley uses a lot of soft consonants throughout giving the poem a gentle feel. There is an example of sibilance in the first stanza. There is also a lot of enjambment lines used.

  • Avatar xalrons says:

    Why do you think the narrator describes his parents in such vivid detail? What is the effect of this?

    • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

      Personally I think it is because the poem acts almost like an elegy. At least that’s how I read it. The reason for the vivid detail is that it’s almost a tribute to the narrator’s parents, note how they are described as fairly young, in their prime one might say. I think the effect of this is that poem has a very personal feel to it.

      • omg! was #thinking the exact same! i’m very proud of our connotations! thought provoking comments like this one make my gcse english class a happy place! we were crying with happy tears after reading this beautiful analysis! the rhyme scheme really does emphasise the angelic like setting! you too are also in your analysis prime! very vigilant!

        • Lee-James Bovey Lee-James Bovey says:

          I’m glad you enjoyed the analysis.

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