Both of the relationships between the mother and her child are very close, without the mention of a father, perhaps bringing them even closer. We know this because each mother made and continued to make sacrifices and spend time helping and loving their child. The structure of the poems is different. The stanzas in Before You Were Mine are uneven with 5,6,7 and 7 lines. There are 25 lines in total, perhaps suggesting that 25 is a decade before the age the mother had the child. There are also many words on their own in sentences, giving the impression that the poem is unplanned, as love is. *is divided into 3 stanzas.
The 1st 2 have 4 lines and the 3rd has 7, giving a more even and planned effect. Literally, the stanzas represent the downstairs of the house, going up the stairs and the upstairs of the house, when the man eventually looks out onto the ‘endless’ sky, but, metaphorically they could represent the past present and future. The 3rd stanza, representing the future with futuristic words like ‘space walk’ and ‘endless sky’ is much longer than the other two past and present stanzas, implying that there is a lot more time to come. At the end of each of the 3 stanzas we are faced with the option ‘fall or fly? ‘, although it is worded differently.
In verse 1, walls and floors are mentioned. You can fall down walls and fly across floors, and verse 2 ends with ‘Anchor. Kite. ‘ Anchors fall, but kites fly. This could represent the choice of carrying on living, ‘fly’ or stopping/dying, ‘fall’. The language of both poems is simple, especially in Before You Were Mine as a child has written it, and a variety of sentence lengths are used, from ones which last almost the whole of the stanza to simple sentences like ‘Marilyn’ and ‘Kite’.
The language in Before You Were Mine is possessive and chatty, ‘The decade ahead of my long, possessive yell was the best one, and we are made to use our voices in ‘Cha cha cha! ‘. However, there is no mention of possession in *, and the language is more formal, describing what is happening in measurements as it is narrated by a young man. Both poems have a little bit of sadness as the mother’s have given up their happiness to care for their child, but Before You Were Mine has a much happier mood as it is written by a child and gives lovely images of ‘fizzy, movie tomorrows’, where as in * there are just empty rooms and endless skies to picture.