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Brooklyn Cop. Norman MacCaig. Free verse – no rhyme. No regular sentence/stanza length. The stanzas get shorter as the poem goes on. Leading to a climax. Stanza 1. Simile of gorilla – brutal, animal, large. Creates stereotypical image of an American policeman.

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brooklyn cop

Brooklyn Cop

Norman MacCaig

slide2

Free verse – no rhyme.

No regular sentence/stanza length.

The stanzas get shorter as the poem goes on. Leading to a climax.

stanza 1
Stanza 1.
  • Simile of gorilla – brutal, animal, large. Creates stereotypical image of an American policeman.
  • Metaphor of hieroglyphics – could be his eyes. His face is hard to read. He is looking for trouble.
  • “thin tissue over violence” – metaphor showing thin line between calm and chaos.
  • Cliché – “See you”, “Hiya, honey”. Contrast because he they are not clichéd to him.
  • Repetition – “hoped it”. “truly” emphasises just how much.
  • Contrast between the violence of his work and his domestic life.
stanza 2
Stanza 2.
  • Structure – all one long sentence. It is a question but does not use question marks.
  • Repetition of “should” and “what”.
  • “clubbings” and “gunshots” show brutality just under surface. Using plural suggests chaos and that it doesn’t matter who gets caught up in the violence.
  • Alliteration of “tissue tear”.
  • Word choice of plunge – sudden action as he crosses the line.
  • “Whamburger” – again suggests violence. The two local places between” them suggests fighting against each other – may be links with gangs/mafia?
stanza 3
Stanza 3.
  • Structure – question. Poet is asking who would be willing to take on this job.
  • “gorilla with a nightstick” – has a club instead of a gun. Suggests his violence and his taking part in the “clubbings”.
stanza 4
Stanza 4.
  • Structure – question.
  • Strange sentence structure – as if it has been shortened.
  • “have to be” – the people have no choice. Caught up in the violence.
  • “victims” – again suggests innocence.