‘Visiting Hour’ By Norman McCaig
Learning Intentions • To revise key techniques in ‘Visiting Hour’ • To understand the depth of analysis required for Higher poetry • To annotate key sections/techniques in ‘Visiting Hour’
Annotations When analysing a poem, you should be in the habit of making annotations, which will help you write about the impact the poem has had on you. This means you need to analyse techniques and evaluation how successful the poet has been in putting forward their ideas.
Annotations When creating annotations, you need to: • Identify the technique being used • Analyse it in great detail and consider what image/idea/theme etc. the poet is trying to convey • Evaluate how effective the technique is in achieving the writer’s aims.
Highlights a smell familiar to us all. Can relate to smell which represents idiosyncratic atmosphere of hospital. Metaphor – the smell is so overpowering that is becomes a comb, touching every strands of senses. “bobbing” shows speaker’s feelings of not being “there”. Creates impression of boats on waves and suggests feelings of helplessness; he is being carried along. The hospital smell combs my nostrils as they go bobbing along green and yellow corridors Synedoche – since not just his nostrils are moving along, as the image would suggest. This emphasises the overpowering nature of “the hospital smell”, since it has blocked out his other senses. Smell is overpowering and shows the vivid memory of the hospital. Speaker perhaps unwilling to give into reality of situation. Use of colours which we associate with hospitals (+smell) reinforces reality of situation.
How this will help. . . By working on the poem in this way, you: • Will be able to identify more difficult techniques. • Will be better prepared for the Textual Analysis NAB as you need to analysis an UNSEEN piece of text. • Will have a better understanding of the level of analysis required of Higher.