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Fleur Adcock Poetry - Weathering Analysis. Write a detailed appreciation of Weathering, showing how it is characteristic of Adcocks poetic methods and concerns

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Introduction

English Exam Essay Paper 52 - Fleur Adcock Poetry 1(b) Write a detailed appreciation of 'Weathering', showing how it is characteristic of Adcock's poetic methods and concerns Plan 1/ Introduction (We have all felt it, etc.) 5/2nd Stanza (transition in tone, place discussion) 2/ 1st Stanza (provocative opening lines) 6/ 3rd Stanza (imagery) 3/ 1st Stanza 2 (beauty standards, caesura) 7/ 4th Stanza (figurative language, message) 4/2nd Stanza (Anti-romantic, personal life ref) 8/ Personal Response (quote, reader resp., inspirational) We have all felt insecure about our appearance. No matter how much one denies it, it is inevitable that in a world where appearance seems to mean everything, everyone at some point or another has experienced insecurity and diffidence towards their body image. In arguably her most famous piece of poetry, Fleur Adcock addresses her own personal experience with the standards of beauty in 'Weathering'. Here, she employs her distinctive poetic methods of provocative openings, strong critical tone, naturalistic imagery, enticing figurative and strictly conventional structures in order to intertwine her most recurring thematic concerns of nature, anti-romanticism and place. ...read more.

Middle

To show her defiance of these standards, Adcock writes "Well: /that was a metropolitan vanity,/wanting to look young for ever, to pass.", using the caesuraic ":" and line differentiation to vividly distinguish her acceptance of aging, from the metropolitan vanity which permeates the mentality of western cultures, especially in women. Adcock extends her strong criticism to the next stanza, with "I was never a Pre Raphaelite beauty/nor anything but pretty enough to satisfy/men who need to seen with passable women." Her tone is strikingly bitter, which like many of her anti-romantic poems derives from her abusive and negative relationships with men. Despite her 'reputation as an anti-romantic' as noted by critic Richard King, Weathering then takes a great transition in tone with "But now I am in love with a place/which doesn't care how I look, or if I'm happy". In contrast to her notably negative treatment of place as the 'expatriate poet' in her poetry like in 'Unexpected Visit, Adcock expresses with a juxtaposing tone of happiness that she has found fulfilment in a place, most likely to be the Lake District of England which was where the poem was written. ...read more.

Conclusion

In her critical review of the poem, poetry critic Katy Paul-Chowdhury notes that Adcock "embraces the signs of age in her face and body with deep compassion and wisdom, and yes, indifference - that it inspires us to do likewise." Readers will inevitably agree with such a review, where it seems that 'Weathering' is Adcock's most referenced and famous poem because it is her most inspirational. Supporting the idea that the poem intends to inspire, is how she employs a strictly conventional stanzaic form, and 'accessible, declarative diction comes from a conscious wish to avoid taking advantage of the reader' as noted by the Oxford Companion, which makes the message more available to a wider range of audiences and therefore more powerful. It must also be appreciated that although she uses her characteristic methods of provocative openings, strong critical tone, naturalistic imagery, enticing figurative and strictly conventional structures in order to intertwine her most recurring thematic concerns of nature, anti-romanticism and place; 'Weathering' is anything but characteristic of her in being a piece of great inspiration. ...read more.

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