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AS and A Level: Simon Armitage
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Comparative Poem Essay - "About his Person" and "Cataract Operation" Simon Armitage was born on the 25th of May 1963, in the town Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. Armitage studied at Manchester University
"About his Person" is about the possessions found on a dead man. It shows that from anyone's possessions, a lot can be learnt about that particular persons life or personality. In the poem, some of these possessions include; "a library card", "a giveaway photograph", "a shopping list", and "a final demand". From these and other possessions, much can be learnt about how the man died, why he died, and what kind of a person he was. Although, as Armitage likes to do, this poem leaves you with no actual answer of how the man died, instead, it leaves you with a horde of unanswered questions.
- Word count: 1185
Explore Armitage`s presentation of his relationship with his parents in the poems: "Mother, any distance" and "My father thought" Simon Armitage`s two poems are from a collection called "Book of Matches
"You come to help me measure windows, pelmets, doors", this is a triadic structure and it is like going through stages of life, for example; windows could be being a baby, pelmets being nursery and primary school and doors could be secondary school/college. The last line of the stanza says "acres and "prairies" is describing the vastness and the distance he has gone through so far in the life so far. In the stanza "doors and floors" are rhyming couplets.
- Word count: 1955
the speakers thoughts on "milk white breasts and... virginity" in lines 12 and 13. The questions themselves are not typical of a general studies exam and are seemingly random, much like thought processes often are, though reference to "the decameron" could be linked to the adolescent and hormonal thoughts of lines 12 and 13. Armitage's reputation for representing and understanding youth culture is highlighted by his reference to the general studies exam as "..a doddle, a cinch for anyone with an ounce of common sense" in lines 6 and 7. This concept of general studies remains true today while the speaker's insight on the use of "...a calculator with a memory feature" to cheat shows the writer's comprehension of such things.
- Word count: 1268
The poem has a very informal manner. It is not directed at any individual person and the use of ellipsis, where there seems to be a word or more than one word missing from the sentence is used effectively to keep to the ten syllable per line structure. The words "bacon eaten" which are used in the poem seem to be cut short and it feels that it should actually have written, "the bacon was eaten". It's register is very standard and it is wrote how you would expect Simon Armitage to say it.
- Word count: 1246
The final section is split so that it ends in a couplet like a Shakespearean sonnet. Some may argue that this poem is not a sonnet because it does not follow a conventional sonnet form, such as a Shakespearean sonnet or a Petrarchan sonnet. 'Those bastards in their mansions' has some weird features to its structure. Ten of the first eleven lines end in an unstressed syllable, and there are some rhymes such as "ditches/britches", "porches and torches", and there is the part-rhyme in "shackles/ankles". At the end of the poem, there is short lines and true rhyme on one syllable, "sun" and gun".
- Word count: 1142
The subject matter is a happier and more enjoyable compared to About His Person. About His Person lists all the items that a dead man had upon him when he was discovered. It reads like a police officer's report. The following quotations "an analogue watch, self-winding, stopped", "but beheaded in his fist", and "a ring of white unweathered skin" all show a sign of a wrecked and finished life. Poem could be similarly compared to the two other poems. The reason being is as it shows signs of affectionate love and signs of tragedy and deceitfulness. Poem is about a husband and a father who has a serious problem with his frame of mind.
- Word count: 1169
The purpose of my transformation was to turn the Simon Armitage poem 'Untitled' into a diary leading up to the classroom event.
'Man she jus dunt kno wen to giv up and I kno how to look after my dinner money'. These colloquialisms are a feature of his younger idiolect and are very stereotypical of how younger children and teenagers speak at that age. He does it to be cool and shows that he is quite a lazy person. Elision is used with words such as 'gotta', 'gimme' and 'gunna'. This helps widen Simons' idiolect and emphasise the point that he is very lazy with his speech and prefers to use colloquial slang language rather than Standard English. This helps heighten his status in conversation with people of similar age.
- Word count: 1151
He had a postcard stamped but it wasn't sent to the person he was sending it to. The word "slashed" was used and this showed violence. It also showed that he was writing something quickly when the poem states "A pocket sized diary slashed with a pencil" From March 24th to 1st of April, something happened during that period of time and we don't know what it is. This makes us wonder in suspicion, what it was about. In his hand there is a piece of paper with his own handwriting on it: "A final demand, in his own hand" and this suggests that it could be his bill order which is unpaid.
- Word count: 1266
Life, its problems, the good and the bad of human experience, are major concerns of Simon Armitage's poetry.
There are three verses describing things he did. Mostly everything is good things about him for example "And for his mum he hired a private nurse" apart from the last sentence which describes him doing bad things for example "And twice he lifted 10 quid from her purse" (Mother). This made the reader only remember the bad things because it was the last thing the reader remembers about him from the whole paragraph. The last verse is about how people rated him as a bad person who he was only occasionally like everyone else in the world.
- Word count: 1069
We ask ourselves, is the photograph "stashed in his wallet" the equivalent of a keepsake in a locket, or were they two separate items. The photographs makes us think that he may have had loved ones. After all it is human nature to love someone. Armitage uses a simile in line twelve. Up until line twelve the diction is factual and plain. In line 12, he compares the note of explanation to a spray carnation. Carnations being funeral flowers, are associated with death or a funeral and reminds us that that somehow the man died.
- Word count: 1193
Any card." Another very good example of Armitage's imagery is shown in the first two lines of the poem. He is saying that the sun is like a persons head as they pull a turtleneck jumper over it; an unusual simile. This could also paint the picture of the sun rising, creating the new dawn, symbolising his new sight. The imagery is of him moving from darkness into light, almost as if he is being re-born. The turtleneck could also represent a struggle between his fear of staying in the dark and his fear of having to have an operation to renew his sight.
- Word count: 1910