MacCaig and Edwin Morgan - Sample Essay

Violence And Crime In Society Is An Important Issue And Many Poets Deal With It In Their Own Poems. Choose Two Scottish Poems Which Explore This Issue And Examine The Techniques The Poets Use To Do So Violence and crime is a big issue nowadays which can happen to anyone, anywhere. Two Scottish poets clearly show us this are Norman MacCaig and Edwin Morgan. Some of the many poems they have written are “Glasgow 5th March 1971” and “Hotel room 12th floor. ” Morgan’s poem is based In Glasgow, which you can tell from looking at the title, and MacCaig’s poem is based in almost the other side of the world in New York.

However, they share similar ideas about violence and crime. MacCaig chooses a title which sounds factual and realistic. The first two words of the title is, “Hotel room,” which creates questions such as, is the speaker on holiday? The title sounds more like the text following it will be about a real life incident. Straight away the author explains what he “watched” from his hotel room. He compares a helicopter to a “damaged insect. ” The use of the gives us a clearer view of the helicopter. He then starts describing more things from his surroundings.

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He talks about the “Empire State Building” and the, “Pan’ Am skyscraper” which are both real life skyscrapers and again this makes the poem realistic. For the first time, there’s a sense of violence and pain when he compares the empire state building to a “Jumbo sized dentist’s drill,” making it seem like a nontouristic place although it is one of the most visited skyscrapers in New York. Most people don’t like dentists and their drills as they are known to cause pain so it makes the reader think that MacCaig has a negative view of that city.

It seems like he doesn’t see it through the eyes of most people, top tourist attraction and a great place, but he sees it as a bad and negative place. The city sounds even more sinister when he describes dark. He tells us that the “midnight has come in from foreign places. ” The use of personification of the darkness makes it sound even more dangerous than it really is because by giving it human features it can physically harm us. It is also a metaphor because he tells us the dark car from a “foreign” place, so that means that the dark is also foreign or even alien to the citizens of New York.

Darkness is personified for the second time when the speaker says that it’s “uncivilised. ” This makes the reader think that the darkness wild as well as dangerous, making the city more open to violence. There is powerful imagery when the author conveys to us that the light is fighting against the darkness. He explains to us that the “darkness is shot at by a million lit windows” making darkness seem evil as it’s also from a foreign place. Even though the “darkness is shot at,” it’s “not so easily defeated” making the darkness seem intensely powerful because even the local citizens can’t stop it.

It seems like there is a gigantic and horrible battle by using the words “defeated” and “shot. ” In most battles and wars, one side is defeated, and in this case it’s the light which is on the local citizens’ side! Next he describes the sounds he hears as “warhoops. ” This makes the darkness seem dangerous to the people there, as people from the Wild West used to do warhoops as a sign of commencing battle therefore the darkness will seem wild to the reader. MacCaig then goes onto real non specific violence when he writes about the citizens there.

He mentions that the “cars and ambulances” are “racing”, making it seem obvious that there are lots, of emergencies by using the word, “racing. ” There is effective alliteration when the speaker states that there are, “broken bones. ” It is effective because you can almost hear the sound of the bones crunching and breaking, which is created by the strong “b” sound. We get a sense of terror and extreme pain from the people there when we find out that he could hear “harsh screaming.

” Although screaming isn’t anything surprising to us, the word “harsh” shows us that there is a really good reason for the scream. He eventually indicates to us that there was death when he refers to the “blood glazed sidewalks. ” By having the word “glazed,” it makes the blood put there purposely and as a decoration like when cakes are “glazed. ” In the last paragraph of the poem, MacCaig remarks on the violence of the city that “the frontier is never somewhere else,” making it seem as the most unwanted place to ever go, because all the violence is there.



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