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Gcse English Poetry: Auden compared with Calrke

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GCSE ENGLISH POETRY The two poems that I will be analysing are 'Stop all the Clocks' by W.H. Auden and 'The Vet' by Gillian Clarke. My discussion will be based on the theme of the poems and look at how the poets used form and language to help his readers understand and make meaning out of the poem. STOP ALL THE CLOCKS THEME The theme of this poem is about grief. The poet takes his readers through a simple but complex journey that explains the different stages of grief that a person feels when a loved one dies. The poem reveals the emotional upheaval that death can cause. The grief felt is carefully illustrated by the poet in the form and language he uses throughout the poem which has a strict rhyming scheme of AABB throughout the 4 stanzas. FORM AND LANGUAGE The form and language that was used by the poet to describe the feeling and mood of the bereaved was spread throughout. The first stanza simply showed the first stage of grief and that the bereaved is coming to terms with the death of a loved one. For example, he said 'stop all the clocks' which signified that he wanted to focus on what had just happened and does not want to forget his love as people do over a period of time. ...read more.


He also talks about the times of day and days of the week that emphasises how much he had lost now he is dead. The last stanza is all about the anger and destructive character that the narrator adopts as his tone changes and he says "the stars are not wanted now: put out every one; Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun." It signifies that he has lost his faith in romance. The last stanza emphasises finality because in the last line he said 'nothing can ever come to any good' meaning he has lost faith in life and love and he has nothing to work for as it does not come to any good. THE VET The theme of The Vet is basically the unpleasant experience associated with conceiving. It is circulated around child that witnessed the birth of a baby calf. The poet tries to paint a picture in the mind of the readers of the painful procedure involved in delivering. The poet uses an Alliteration in the last stanza on the forth line "gleaming, silver, sweet under the tongue." FORM AND LANGUAGE The first stanza is the shortest stanza in the entire poem but it simply defines what the poem is all about. ...read more.


The poet uses lines such as "no knife, no severing" to show that there were no surgeries performed during the delivery. The lines started getting shorter to emphasise this relief. The narrator in line three of the stanza refers to the Vet as a Butcher by saying "no inter-uterine butchery" because he uses scalpel just as the butcher uses sharp blades to cut open animals when performing on them. The poet compares the Vet to a butcher in the verse because just as the butcher, the Vet uses a scalpel to cut open the cow and bring out the calf and the child basically cannot differentiate between a Vet and a Butcher The last verse is all about the birth of the calf. At this stage the Vet finally brings out the calf from its mother's womb. The poet describes the cow as a 'brimming mother' in the last line of the stanza comparing the female cow to a human mother. This is because when the calf is born the mother cow shows the calf a lot of love and emotion just as the human mother when they give birth to a child. This makes this particular birth more to a human birth and the calf appear more to a child. Emmanuel Bosah - GCSE Poetry Tutor - Damien Page 1 ...read more.

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