A poem in which the poet takes a pessimistic stance about the world as he experiences it is Hotel Room, 12th Floor by Norman MacCaig

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A poem in which the poet takes a pessimistic stance about the world as he experiences it is “Hotel Room, 12th Floor” by Norman MacCaig. The poem is about MacCaig experience of New York as he hears and views it from his hotel room. The poet uses imagery to convey his despairing attitude towards New York society and their lack of care for it’s people.

The poet has a cynical attitude towards society’s reaction towards crime and violence. MacCaig desperately feels there is a lack of care for the safety and wellbeing of the people of New York. He feels that the government in New York only care for their buildings and landmarks. Everyone would agree the building are nice but they act as a mask to hide what really lies behind them; the poverty, the drugs, the violence. The poet uses synecdoche to reinforce this idea. “…to broken bones, the harsh screaming from cold water flats, the blood glazed on sidewalks” The use of synecdoche conveys the writer’s idea that the people of New York are dehumanised. The suffering of the people is not a problem to the government, but the mess that they leave behind is. Also, the mention of the blood being “glazed” on the sidewalks as if it has been piled up and dried into the ground.

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MacCaig continues to express his pessimism towards New York’s society by highlighting the nature of the city, he shows this through his description of the night, “it’s uncivilised darkness”. The poet’s singles out the word “uncivilised” to emphasises the citizen’s primative behaviour and lack of control. This also creates the impression that they are like animals. MacCaig uses an extended metaphor which links back to the image of the people being uncivilised and violent towards each other. He uses the expression “wildest of warwhoops” to emphasises his hopelessness towards society as the quote relates to war, and the residents of ...

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