• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The poem "Visiting hour" by Norman McCaig - review

Extracts from this document...


Visiting Hour - Norman MacCaig The poem "Visiting hour" by Norman McCaig is about the poet visiting someone (possibly his mother) who is terminally ill in hospital. It is about human suffering and how helpless a person can feel when faced with a loved one dying, knowing that there is nothing you can really do to help. The poem has a tone that makes things seem strange and threatening. It is full of distortion and strange ways of saying things to show us that what the visitor is faced with is almost nightmarish and that they are extremely uncomfortable in this environment. In the first stanza it is not the visitor that is described as walking along the corridor, just his "nostrils", "bobbing along" with the "hospital smell" combing them in the "green and yellow corridors". It is almost as if the smells and the nostrils have a life of their own and the visitor cant control either of them. ...read more.


It is not her anymore just a shell that she is using. I think the last stanza is written from the patients "dizzy" perspective but it also describes the visitors feelings too. While what she sees appears to be "clumsy" and "dizzy" due to her deterioration and possibly the drugs that are preventing her feel pain, I think the visitor is disorientated and feels apart from what is happening too. He actually points this out to us in the 3rd stanza where he uses repetition to make the point even more prominent. "I will not feel, I will not feel, until I have to". Here he is speaking for himself, simply and plainly and it explains why he is so disorientated and dislocated from the scene as he is forbidding himself to let emotions overtake what he has unwillingly and uncomfortably to witness. The "black figure" in the "white cave" appears to be him leaving because the bell has rung to signal visiting hour is over but it is also alluding to the grim reaper who has come to take the patient away. ...read more.


There is nothing he or she can do about it and the pain of loss will inevitably come even if he doesn't want it to. The poem is written in 6 stanzas of unequal length, in free verse and also uses enjambment. Some of the techniques used that I have already mentioned are metaphor, repetition, tone, allusion, imagery and juxtaposition. I think there is also juxtaposition in the way that he describes the nurses who "walk lightly" with "slender waists" but that are also weighed down by "their burden of so much pain". I find this poem very depressing yet so true in its portrayal of the disjointed feeling a person has when losing someone they love. The confusion of the poets own feeling's and his uncomfortable ness with them really do show the kind of bitter-sweet pain a person feels when it is a relief that the person dying will no longer be in pain but that the ones left living have the pain of loss to carry with them instead. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Reviews of Personal Performances section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Reviews of Personal Performances essays

  1. Matrimonial consent - in the eyes of the law.

    Consequently the consent cannot be valid if this use of reason in not present. This Canon deals with the fundamental ability to know and not with what the person actually knows about marriage. If this ability to know is lacking, either completely or substantially, a person cannot give a valid consent.

  2. Richard Wilbur's creation, Juggler presents the reader with number of images making ...

    In line 22, "The boy stamp, and the girls Shriek" here we can see although Wilbur is giving us a very descriptive and spectacular performance, he never expresses his feeling. It appears that this poem is very descriptive as Wilbur documented what the Juggler and the people do.

  1. The title of the poem is 'sacrifice', this gives you a first impression of ...

    The poet then says that it's 'his first butchering'. The lexical choice of 'butchering', shows us that it's not kind. The last line in stanza three, reads 'four calloused hands imprison my jerking legs.' The lexical choice of 'calloused' already shows that the person is unsympathetic. The person, isn't really worried about what they are doing.

  2. Response to a six hour drama workshop.

    expand our minds so as to transport ourselves into a different world.' Narrating / storytelling The next activity we did was to continue with our story in groups of three, but due to the number of people, Sean and I had to work with no-one else.

  1. Homecoming ...

    There is a further sequel - the child sneaks out of the house at midnight. She does not go far ("no further than the call-box at the corner of the street"). We do not know whom she rings, or what becomes of it.

  2. We had to create a tableaux image of the four strong words in the ...

    There was a large projection of the painting 'Scream' by Edvard Munch, a table set out for two people, there were lots of newspapers along the right hand side of this section and also newspapers with only a headline but no other text along the left side of this section.

  1. Personal Review

    Furthermore, they often can be used as serious characters. Mime artists can now perform whole stories, through use of gestures, facial expressions, and body language. Also they were quite casual outfits, and do not have paints on there face. By blending a mime in to the rest of the characters, it's far by more effective, as it causes the

  2. Josephine believes that there is a difference between visual and aural memory - She ...

    * * Person 6 * * * * * Person 7 * * * * * * * * Person 8 * * * * * * * Person 9 * * * * * * Person 10 * * * * Person 11 * * * * Person 12

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work