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How does the poetry by Simon Armitage make the ordinary seem extraordinary?

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Introduction

How does the poetry by Simon Armitage make the ordinary seem extraordinary? Simon Armitage's poetry is basically all about regular objects and people which have been twisted to make the objects and people seem peculiar and strange. His poetry makes many people think about the poem and why it is like this. I have been studying his poetry in depth to see what is behind the poems, all together I have analysed five poems; the poem without a title which is sometimes called 'I am very bothered'; this is about an incident involving a young boy at school in a science lab, 'Poem' is about the good and the bad events that a man has done to his family, 'It ain't what you do it what it does to you' is about what a person has and has not done, 'Cataract operation' is what a person sees after they have had a cataract operation and 'About his person' is about personal belongings found on a deceased man and how they represent his life. Many of his poems relate to each other; 'Poem' and 'I am very bothered' are both in sonnet form suggesting they relate to love in one way or another. ...read more.

Middle

There is also some enjambment in the middle of the poem describing something the character has done, "skimmed flat stones across black moss", the enjambment gave the affect of the stones leaping like they do on black moss. The alliteration of the 's' does this also by using the 's' every two syllables. Alliteration is also used in 'I am very bothered' in this circumstance Armitage uses alliteration to describe a burning sensation by using a 'b' sound "Bunsen burner/branded/burning". Some of the last stanzas in Armitage poems refer back to the title; in 'It ain't what you do it what it does to you' the last line of the poem is "That feeling I mean", not only is at a line which makes the reader refer back to the title it is also a type of question. It is asking the reader if they know what the character is talking about. Armitage also does this in 'Poem'; "Sometimes he did this, sometimes he did that." Armitage characteristically refuses to judge the man leaving the reader with a question. The last line refers back to the title in a poem called 'Cataract operation', the last line is "I drop the blind but not before a company of half dozen hens struts through the gate, looks around the courtyard for a ...read more.

Conclusion

Armitage does this by putting the nasty events the character does at the end of each line, the reader then remembers the character by what he has done wrong. But when the poem is looked into, the amount of good things the man did nicely actually overrules the things he did nastily. The character now looks like an ordinary man but as the nasty events are out of the blue it makes the reader think that the character is very malevolent. Armitage uses metaphors, similes, personification and imagery to make the poems he writes extraordinary. Imagery is the key thing in poetry, if the reader can not imagine the poem coming to life then the poem is useless, Armitage uses imagery to paint images inside reader's head that makes the poem seem strange and odd. Armitage's poetry makes the reader think twice of what is put in the poems. Colloquial and formal language is also used to describe what a character has done in a poem, if Armitage wants the reader to think that something is boring he uses colloquial language and if he wants the reader to think that something is amazing and exciting then he uses formal language. Armitage makes the reader think what he wants them to think and from this he controls the readers mind to think of something that is very extraordinary. Ben Waters 10E English Armitage Coursework - 1 - ...read more.

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