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In what ways do these two poets tell their stories so that the reader will be shocked and moved? Which of the two poems shocked and moved you more, and why?

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Introduction

Edward Boal 12RJ GCSE English : Poetry Coursework : Allingham and Simmons Title: In what ways do these two poets tell their stories so that the reader will be shocked and moved? Which of the two poems shocked and moved you more, and why? The first poem we are going to examine is about the eviction of a community on the orders from an absentee landlord (a landlord who is absent from his estate or land and lives elsewhere) in the 19th century by William Allingham who is renowned for writing poems on Irish History. The second poem deals with an I.R.A car bomb which took place in the small town of Claudy, Londonderry, in 1972, killing nine people. Both poems convey the horror of the story; the poets employ different techniques, which we will look at. At the beginning of the 19th century poem, 'The Eviction' we are given an explicit description of the scene - "In early morning twilight, raw and chill, Damp vapours brooding on the barren hill", 'Vapours brooding' is an example of personification, the surroundings and scenery are dark, as if in a bad mood. We can tell from this that 'The Eviction' is a narrative poem. ...read more.

Middle

"One old man, tears upon his wrinkled cheek, Stands trembling on a threshold, tries to speak, but in defect of any word fro this, mutely upon a doorpost prints a kiss," this is make the scene seem more real and to make us understand the way the evictees must be feeling - in particular, this man cannot turn his feelings into words and prints a kiss upon the doorpost to show his affection for the house or possibly to say goodbye to it. The next line "The children run bewildered, wailing loud" gives us an idea of the tragedy and panic of the event. Following this, a woman, Oona, is brought out from the house reclined in her chair - she is old and frail, another example of innocence and dehumanisation of the army. Now that she is losing any protection she had from the elements, it is likely her condition will deteriorate meaning she could die as a result of the soldier's inconsideration and humanity. There is a short stanza after this, the household fires symbolic of home; of sustenance and of comfort they have lost. Meanwhile Paudeen Dhu pretends to be woeful "with meekly dismal face." ...read more.

Conclusion

An example of this would be in stanza three when "Girl, matron, grandsire, baby on the breast" is used to show innocence. I feel that the second poem, Claudy, shocked and moved me more. My reasons for this would be that I think the poet has been very clever in building up to the explosion by giving us a cheerful picture of the town and giving us a background to the daily lives of the people of the town. Not only does it set us up to be moved more by what is going to happen but it helps us to feel more sympathy and horror when we know these people a little. I also think that the matter of fact lines in the poem provide a punch in the story and reinforce the story. Also, the graphic description of the injuries the people such as the man's head is lying open and the woman's legs are ripped off, make the horror of the bombing seem more real and more effective. However on the other hand, I would not say that I did not find "The Eviction" shocking or moving, as I read for the first time I was shocked but I felt that after reading Claudy, it used simplicity and matter of factness better to convey the horror of the story. ...read more.

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