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Remind yourself of the passage in Tony harrison's poem V. from 'the days last, images recede to first a glow' onwards to the end of the poem. Discuss it's effectiveness as the conclusion to the poem.

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Introduction

Remind yourself of the passage in v. from 'the days last, images recede to first a glow...' to the end of the poem and discuss it's effectiveness as the conclusion to the poem. * Look closely at the effects of language, imagery and verse form in the passage. * Comment on ways in which the passage relates to the methods and concerns of other poems by Harrison. By Hannah Carpenter As a conclusion to the poem v by Tony Harrison, the passage from 'the days images recede to first a glow...' onwards, is effective as it relates and concludes on many of the concerns brought forth within the poem, using language, imagery and verse form to achieve this. Tony Harrison's poem v. is an elegy consisting of rhyming quatrains, a form closely linked to Thomas Gray's 'Elegy written in a quiet Country Churchyard' and like Gray, Harrison ends his poem with an epitaph. Despite the poems similarities in form and concerns, Harrison differs from Gray's thinking, that 'the language of the day is never the language of poetry', instead opting for today's tongue. Within the poem we are presented with two voices and perspectives; that of the scholar and the inarticulate 'skinhead', therefore using, in cases, a far more colloquial form of language. ...read more.

Middle

'I doubt if 30 years of bleak Leeds weather and 30 falls of the apple and of may will erode the UNITED now binding us together'. Despite their differences in life and especially his difficult relationship with his father, which is a theme found in his other works such as 'A Good Read', these disagreements in death may be reconciled. 'Hawthorn tree, no matter if the boys boot their ball all day, cling to their blossoms and won't shake free.' This imagery signifies the hope of unification in Harrison, not only for himself and his family but of the nation and all that all the 'verses' of society might be overcome. This refers back to similar imagery one used in the poem, ('the hawthorn that's one post and petals fall') with the petals falling from the Hawthorn and representing the societies divided nature and in re-using this form, Harrison gives a note of hope that one-day 'UNITED' might not just be a football cry but the state of the country. In the last 7 stanzas of the poem Harrison describes his own grave, covered in the same graffiti, 'Bring some solution with you that can clean whatever new crude words have been sprayed on.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Upon reading the poem, this line found in the 5th from last stanza, creates suspicion in my mind, that maybe Harrison had some inkling this was the type of reaction his poem would initiate and is defending his poetic form from within the poem. He knows that the idea of 'art' is so stuck in it's ways that the only way to change it is to shock and with v he achieved this perfectly. 'Those MP's are right to believe that the poem is shocking, but not because of it's language. It shocks because it describes unflinchingly what is meant by a divided society, because it takes the abstractions we have learned to live with- unemployment, racial tension, inequality, deprivation - and gives them a kind of physical existence on the page.' This is quoted from an article printed in the Independent and shows that some people did understand Harrison's aim of v and defended it. Richard Eyre, who directed the channel 4 film of v said 'I'd see that v. was a set text in every school in the country, but of course if we lived in that sort of country, the poem wouldn't have needed to be written.' Though not all people appreciated v when it was first brought into public view, but it's significance as a piece of 'art' has been acknowledged and the revolutionary v by Tony Harrison has been realised. ...read more.

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