Assisi Poem Critical Essay On Macbeth

Looking at the 2014 exam paper, there appears to have been a tightening up of the 8 mk question. In the exemplars the final question was quite vague i.e. compare with another poem of similar ideas etc.

2014 highlighted a specific area - and more important - an emphasis on poetic techniques. So if 2015 question is of a similar ilk then the question will focus on a specific theme with the expected response focus on Edwin Morgan's poetic technique.

It is worth being aware that the six poems divide into two groups of three.

a) “Good Friday”; “In the Snack-bar” and “Trio.”Essentially these are character poems.

b) “Hyena”; “Slate” and “Winter.”Essentially these are descriptive poems.

So if “Winter” is the selected poem then I advise you compare it with either “Hyena” or “Slate.”
Rather than plot out a particular answer format I will look at the similarities of these three poems.

The Descriptive Poems:-
a) Two are centred in Scotland and one in Africa:-Unlike the character poems, the descriptive poems do not originate from one volume of poetry. Nor do they all focus on Scotland: “Winter” and “Slate” do but “Hyena” focuses on Africa. However they all have one feature in common: landscape. They also deal with differing aspects of the landscape. “Hyena” describes a country that is very hot and dry. “Winter” describes a winter Glasgow scene where boys are skating on a nearby pond. “Slate” however, which describes how the country of Scotland came into being, describes weather conditions that vary from volcanic to blizzard. So, although they describe different continents and conditions, landscape and weather is common to all three.

b) Involve a Narrator:-Although each poem has a narrator they are of differing types. In the poem “Winter”, the narrator is the poet himself and he is narrating from within his room where he is observing the scene. The poem “Slate” has what is believed to be alien(s) watching and describing the birth of what is to become Scotland. “Hyena” has a predator as its narrator. Therefore although all three poems have a narrator, the narrators are of different kinds. In addition, unlike the narrators in “Winter” and “Slate”, the hyena is an acknowledged potential danger to the reader. The hyena sees the reader as its potential prey.

There is also a difference in how each narrator sees the landscape. The hyena is not concerned with the landscape per se. The landscape is used by the hyena as a means to protect himself and prepare for potential kills. The hyena is not concerned in the beauty of its environment. It admires it only when it assists him in preparing for a kill, such as the bush outside the burnt out kraal.

The alien(s), observing the birth of Scotland, are very involved with what they see. This is supported by the quality of detail that they describe. In addition, when Staffa is created, they are amused by what they see. They admire what they are seeing, they talk about a “great glen.” They stay watching this birth through “thousands of rains, blizzards, sea poundings.” Clearly these beings have affection for what it is they are watching being born. Indeed there is the pride that any parent would have for their first born. So how these beings see the landscape, around them being developed, is very different to how the hyena sees the landscape around him.

In “Winter” the narrator is the poet himself. His landscape is very different from the landscape in the other two poems. In“Slate” the landscape is very primitive and is indeed in the state of being created. In “Hyena” the landscape is in Africa and some primitive area therein. In “Winter” we are seeing a modern city, Glasgow in the 1960’s/’70’s. Unlike the other two poems, in this poem there are children at play. There is a developed landscape with trees, ponds, motorways and vehicles. In “Slate” man has yet to arrive in Scotland and in “Hyena” man may be present but if so he may well be primitive. In addition two of the poems, “Slate” and “Winter”, have one thing in common: each has a narrator that is recording for others to read what it is they are looking at.

C) Birth and Death:-
Whereas in the poem “Hyena” the animal is only concerned with killing and death, in “Slate” and “Winter” the focus is on the natural life cycle.
“Slate” is about the birth of a nation. Indeed in reading the poem it is as though we are actually at the birth of this country. We see its very limbs begin to take shape. However “Winter” is about the end of that cycle. “Decay”, “dies”, “ghost”, all suggest the cycle moving towards a close. However, with the introduction of children and the return of vegetation and bird life we see the beginning of a new generation.
Regeneration and renewal is one the themes of these two poems.

In addition to thematic content you will also need to focus on poetic techniques. Best to comment on such techniques as Repetition, Imagery, Tense, Punctuation and inverted syntax: all of which Edwin Morgan employs.

Сьюзан, не поднимая глаз, поджала ноги и продолжала следить за монитором. Хейл хмыкнул. Сьюзан уже привыкла к агрессивному поведению Хейла. Его любимым развлечением было подключаться к ее компьютеру, якобы для того, чтобы проверить совместимость оборудования.


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