The Lanyard Billy Collins Analysis

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The unique bond that exists between a mother and her child is practically unbreakable. A mother’s love is unselfish, unconditional, and knows no boundaries. Without the love and support of a mother, a child is like a ship lost at sea. The only way one can possibly repay their mother for all they have done is by giving her the same relentless love and affection that she have always given. In “The Lanyard”, Billy Collins implements juxtaposition, humorous comparisons, and metaphors to refrain the poet's message of love from lapsing into a cliché about parental love and convey the theme of a mother’s love.
Billy Collin’s juxtaposition of the lanyard, a seemingly pointless gift, to the gift of life given by his mother portrays the complexity of …show more content…

Collins compares something as meaningful as “a breathing body, and a beating heart” to the lanyard he gives his mother in return. Furthermore, he recollects how she taught him “to walk and swim” and he reciprocates by handing her a lanyard. This drastic comparison proves that children will never be able to repay their mother for all they have done for them. At the same time, Collins conveys the point that even just the thought of doing something small is enough to make the mother happy. A small gift, like a lanyard, gives the mother the emotional satisfaction and support that she has always given to her children no matter how minor it is. Collins’ main point is that a mother's love is so great that it does not matter what her child gives her, she will still be more than grateful for her child’s recognition of her as a good …show more content…

Collins makes the lanyard and presents it as “a gift to [his mother]” because at the time he thought that would be enough to repay her for all of her devotion. All of the crafts and gifts a child gives his mother is a way to give thanks and prove how much they love and admire her. Now much more mature, he realizes that it is impossible to ever repay his mother for all of the love she has given him. On a deeper level, there is a connection between the colors of the lanyard and the colors of the gifts the mother gives Collins when he is born. The lanyard is made with “red and white” strands, and his mother gives him “a beating heart, strong legs, and bones and teeth”. Undoubtedly, the red and the white strands correlate to the parts of the human body that a mother gives to her child. The color red symbolizes the blood and beating heart, and the color white represents the bones and the teeth. In the end, the lanyard turns out to be much more than just a plastic gift, and holds a greater meaning that relates back to a mother’s unconditional love.
A mother’s love shapes all individuals. There is a profound and long-lasting impact from being cared for so deeply, and the loving care is necessary in the creation of a child. One cannot possibly underestimate the power of a mother’s love, and the significance of her emotional

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