Brooklyn Cop by Norman MacCaig

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English Int 2   Critical Essay – Section  C  Poetry                

Question 7   Choose a poet whose work you enjoy.  Referring closely to one or more of his poems, explain how the techniques he uses make his poems enjoyable.

The poet I’ve chosen is Norman MacCaig.  The poem “Brooklyn Cop” written by Norman MacCaig, I found extremely interesting as Norman MacCaig used very descriptive language such as “Built like a gorilla but less timid”.  This simile in the opening contributes a joking manner and gives a light-hearted opening, along with a description of the cop.  It’s not a very flattering image as it compares the man to a gorilla.  The phrase “less timid” shows that he’s stronger than a gorilla.  This is an interesting phrase as we don’t normally associate a gorilla being more timid than a man.  This also makes us use our imagination to picture the cop.  Also the phrase “thick fleshed” is a play on the cliché “thick skinned”.  I found that this added enjoyment to the poem as it made me think about what he was saying.  “Thick fleshed” made me think of strength.

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Later in the poem, “This morning he said ‘See you babe’ to his wife” made the reader see the cop’s domestic side.  I liked this dialogue as it showed a more vulnerable side to the cop.  This added to the enjoyment of the poem as it made me feel sympathetic towards the cop.

In the phrase “He hoped it, he truly hoped it” the repetition reinforces the fact that he has a domestic side and also evokes sympathy again.  I liked the fact that MacCaig was making the cop out to be a human being with feelings instead ...

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