04/01/07. LO: To explore how McMillan uses imagery and structure to communicate emotions related to the loss of his mother. Appealing to the Senses. Touch . Sound . Visual. Less revealing – makes reader curious over significance of the date.
LO: To explore how McMillan uses imagery and structure to communicate emotions related to the loss of his mother.
This date is ‘seared on the poet’s mind’ but not the reader’s. Death of mother is revealed towards end of poem.
Also, it becomes another ‘line in the poem’ that ‘retracts’ and ‘reflects’ the poem.
Metaphor for dark night
The telephoneshatters the night’s dark glass. A
I’m suddenly awake in the new year air B
And in the moment it takes a life to pass A
From waking to sleeping I feel you there. B
Lack of capital letter shows no cause to celebrate – his father died at similar time of year in 2001
We’re all vulnerable to death
Juxtapose – he wakes, she ‘sleeps’
Enjambment = slower pace
My brother’s voice that sounds like mine C
Gives me the news I already knew. D
Outside a milk float clinks and shines C
And a litplane drones in the night’s dark blue, D
Like he told himself about his mother
Suggests early morning
Repeated references to light reflect positivity in light of mother’s death
Juxtaposed with negative image of ‘drones’
And I feel the tears slap my torn face; E
The light clicks on. I rub my eyes. F
I’m trapped inside that empty space E
You float in when your mother dies. F
He now fills the place of his parents. Generations dying, sense that he’s next in line.
Caesura increases the tension.
It happens to us all. ‘float’ suggests gentle, natural transition to fill the space of our parents; to be the next to die.
However, it doesn’t end as it carries on. Passage of time continues, with becoming granddad
Rhyming couplet fits traditional form
Feeling that the story ends just here, G
The stream dried up, the smashed glass clear. G
Oxymoron – forces reader to consider meaning.
‘stream’ signifies continuity/ passage of time. ‘drying up’ links to his feeling of something ‘ending’. Or possibly his tears ending.
Links to line 1. Dark glass of night ‘smashed’ by the telephone. ‘Clear’ signals he realises it doesn’t ‘just end there’. Leaving more positive ending to poem.
How does the poet use structure and imagery to convey his feelings about the news of his mother’s death?
… another poem which uses brief, yet striking images and sounds.
… another poem which relates to relationships with parents