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In These Two Poems, Gillian Clarke Gives The Impression Of Someone Who Is Uncomfortable With Her Surroundings - Compare And Contrast Clarke's Feelings About Violence, Change And The Attitude Of Those That Perpetuate These Themes.

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Introduction

In These Two Poems, Gillian Clarke Gives The Impression Of Someone Who Is Uncomfortable With Her Surroundings. Compare And Contrast Clarke's Feelings About Violence, Change And The Attitude Of Those That Perpetuate These Themes. The intention of this essay is to compare the corresponding themes of violence, change and the attitude of those who influence these themes in the poems 'Jac Codi Baw' and 'No Hands'. Both poems are by Gillian Clarke and give an insight into her feelings on modern society and the way in which it disregards others feelings. Clarke is obviously uncomfortable with the change that has, as she sees, come so quickly. In 'Jac Codi Baw', Clarke seems most worried by the suddenness of destruction- "In the space of time it takes to fill a shopping bag". Clarke also seems distressed by the transformation of a whole area, just by the destruction of one building- "the hand-writing of a city will be erased"; or in another way, the entire character of a city, or particular part of that city is destroyed by the demolition of just one [historic] building which gives that city its individuality. ...read more.

Middle

This use of personification gives a very vivid image of the wreckage of the warehouse, and makes it sound human. This is probably what Clarke intended- to give the destruction a kind of 'chill factor'. Clarke is also concerned with the apparent ease and calmness with which the past can just be 'brushed' aside. "Smoky with ghosts" is another reference to the age of the building and how quickly it is forgotten. It also refers to the 'skeleton' of the building which can still be seen standing through the dust. The reference to "ghosts" is also another example of personification, which the writer uses to great effect to evoke sympathy, not only for the warehouse but also for her point of view. The violent issues in 'No Hands' are much subtler, and most are metaphorically phrased. By doing this, Clarke has made important comparisons to her 'problem' (the pilots) and the destruction and violence of war- the "warplanes", "mindless thrum" and the "brake of trees". ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas change and violence are much subtler in 'No Hands', the pilot's attitude comes through much clearer. Clarke refers to them as "boys" and "lads". This evidence again shows Clarke's mistrust of the younger generation's. In this case Clarke's mistrust must occur because of the pilots apparent immaturity- "silly boys", boy scaring boy", "all do and dare", "look at me, no hands" and "lads high on speed" all relate to the pilots juvenile attitude. Clarke reiterates the pilot's childish attitude by making the last phrase ambiguous. This makes the point that the pilots act like they are high on speed the drug, while actually just being high on the speed of the planes. Clarke's unease is also with the thought that these young men have entrusted to them, a multi-million pound warplane, which they show off in as if they were using "surfboards over crests". In these two poems, Gillian Clarke has shown a passion, indeed almost an obsession for preserving the 'old ways of life', particularly her own. Her concerns are mainly about the needless change and violence in modern life and the speed in which they can be brought about. ...read more.

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