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Loss is a key, reoccurring theme in my two poems of choice; Brendon Gallacher and Medusa.

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Introduction

?Compare the way loss is presented in Brendon Gallacher and a poem of your choice.? Loss is a key, reoccurring theme in my two poems of choice; ?Brendon Gallacher? and ?Medusa.? ?Brendon Gallacher? is an affectionate elegy for an imaginary, eponymous childhood friend, ?Medusa? is a poem divided into stanzas of mostly equal length. Both poets use varying language to help the reader visualise the characters? feelings and persona. Emptiness and loss are presented in both poems through numerous techniques including alliteration, imagery and refrain. There is a childlike quality to Jackie Kay?s elegy for the death of an imaginary friend. The persona uses simple language and a range of techniques such as colloquialism. Contrastingly, in Medusa, Duffy uses a sombre tone thought the poem which helps the poem flow naturally and contributes to the developing sorrow. ...read more.

Middle

Moreover in Brendon Gallacher, they meet ?in the open air?, as if Brendon represents autonomy and journeying; he talks of ?Some place far?, which offers a purpose for the narrator to live on. This is all lost with the ?death? of Brendon. A physical loss rather than emotional loss is demonstrated through the words ?we?d been friends for years? and ?he would hold my hand? which suggests there is an emptiness of physical intimacy. Similarly, Medusa was once a beautiful woman who was transformed into a horrible monster by the Greek goddess, Athena. Jealousy and paranoia transform the hair upon "Medusa's" head, in the poem, into "filthy snakes." Already the reader is aware of the change ?turned the hairs?, giving the impression that she was not always like this and did at one point have beautiful hair. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both poems show a loss of innocence, albeit in different ways. ?Look at me now.? The single line in Medusa emphasises the final request that appears as a paradox, a plea for sympathy but also a threat. Another, loss, this time more mentally affecting, Medusa has lost control over her decisions, this is further enforced by her turning of others into stone; ?bullet tears in my eyes?, ?you were stone?, Medusa has lost her ability to even look at others, and much like her tears, her fate is set in stone. This varied sentence length is indulging and engrossing as it really questions the empathy of the reader. All in all, both poems have certain similarities when trying to present loss. Both ?Brendon Gallacher? and ?Medusa? use language to bring alive the thoughts of the characters. Duffy focuses more on the imagery and tone of the poem whereas Kay brings to life the exact detail to provide the full picture. ...read more.

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