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Glasgow 5th March, 1971', by Edwin Morgan, is a modern poem about a shocking crime committed upon `a young man and his girl'

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Introduction

'Glasgow 5th March, 1971', by Edwin Morgan, is a modern poem about a shocking crime committed upon `a young man and his girl' by `two youths' and witnessed by two expressionless drivers who pass by without noticing. The first way in which this poem effectively conveys the incident is the form it takes: very unemotional, clear and `formal' - almost like a police report. This feeling is emphasized in the title, which is simply a place and date. The title does two things: in the first place it implies some kind of record, not a poem; secondly, it is almost like the first line of the poem and sets the scene so we can vividly imagine the actions that follow. Nowhere in the text does Morgan use poetic or emotive language but even though no emotion is implied in the way that it is written, it evokes strong emotions when read. ...read more.

Middle

I imagined these young people perhaps planning a wedding or choosing rings as they wandered through Sauchiehall Street, unsuspecting of the danger that awaited them outside the jeweller's shop. Here, Edwin Morgan makes excellent use of imagery and exceptional word choice. Our attention is caught by the words: `With a ragged diamond of shattered plate glass' This is a good phrase to begin with because we immediately think of something sharp, sparkling and dangerously beautiful; when the words diamond and shop window are put together like this we imagine the shards of glass as small sparkling diamonds and even though the writer has said nothing of what sort of shop it is we subconsciously imagine a jeweller's shop. This is a very strong beginning and ties in with the next two lines to give a very explicit view of what's happening. ...read more.

Conclusion

The word `spurts' also gives a much greater effect than any other word he could have used because it is so specific in its meaning. Here are its relevant definitions according to the `Encarta World English Dictionary': `jet of liquid or gas: a sudden stream of liquid or gas, forced out under pressure; make something gush out: to cause a liquid or gas to gush out in a pressurized stream or jet' The word `spurts' is perfect to describe the periodic gushing of pressurized blood as it pumped out by the heart. It makes the incident much more graphic. When Morgan writes `starfished' we see the couple falling into the shattering window with the automatic reaction that will not save them this time because they are falling backwards and onto the remnants of the broken window. The action of falling is totally involuntary so we immediately wonder what has happened; our questions are answered in the following lines. This section is about the two `youths' who have attacked them. ...read more.

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