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The poem

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Introduction

Visiting Hour The poem "Visiting Hour" by Norman Maccaig is a very emotional one. The poet helps you to understand the situation and his feelings by the use imagery and word choice. "Visiting Hour" is written in the first person as the poet himself is going to hospital to visit a very close relative who is severiorly unwell and is dying. The poet is having an emotional effect as he is having different thoughts as the poem progresses. I think that the poet is trying to contain his feelings by not expressing them freely. The opening stanza begins with the metaphor "The hospital smell combs my nostrils." This suggests that the poet is sensing that there is a strong, disinfectant smell. The metaphor is unusual but very effective. It almost suggests the poet is feeling a bit of pain and sets the mood for the rest of the poem. ...read more.

Middle

Stanza four begins with describing the nurse from their experience to their appearance. The phrase "Nurses walk lightly, swiftly, here and up and down and there" tell you the movement of the nurses. The phrase here and there is split up by up and down to emphasise the movement of the nurses. The movement is very unpredictable. I think that the movement of the nurses is to indicate the movement of thoughts in the poets head. The poet has many thoughts coming in and out of his head. "Their slender waists miraculously carrying their burden of so much pain, so many deaths, their eyes still clear after so many farewells." The use of imagery by the poet suggests that the nurses are carrying a lot of pains. It also suggests that after so many deaths the nurses are still able to continue a normal life. I think that this is a message to the poet telling him that there will be deaths around but there is nothing he can do to prevent it but to cope with the causes. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that the metaphors in this stanza effectively convey the idea of the patient being in a critical state. The final stanza begins with the effective metaphor "She smiles a little at this black figure in a white cave." It suggests that the poet is feeling the odd one out. The poets situation is not helped when he "clumsily rise in the round swimming waves of a bell." My personal reaction would be that he would still be feeling empty inside. The poet ends the poem by phrasing "leaving behind only books that will not be read and fruitless fruits." This suggest that the time for the patient has come and she is about to die. Norman Maccaig has portrait himself in an emotional manner while on his way to the hospital to visit a close relative. The use of imagery and word choice has helped the reader to understand his situation and his feelings. ...read more.

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