TASK:Chose a poem which conveys a clear message to the reader. After a brief account to the poem, explain what you believe the message to be and in some depth show how the poets use of language helps to achieve this message particular impact.
Word choice, juxtaposition, contrast, irony and imagery are just some of the techniques that author MacCaig uses to convey his personal views on the hypocrisy of the church in his poem Assisi.
MacCaig sets the scene in the first stanza by introducing us to a begger outside the church built in honour of St. Francis, a church that was built to help the poor and in need. The scence of irony is created when the poet shows no hint of sympathy or compassion for the plight of the man or his pain. THe use of the word "dwarf" in a non-medical context is derogatory. The poet describes the man as a "slumped like a half filled stack", this comparrison is almost inhuman. The alliteration "tiny twisted" describes the physical deformites in a callous manner. The alliteration is used to convey that the author has no sympathy for the begger as he is described as a freak of nature. The use of onomatiopia suggests the heaviness of the begger's body and the lack of contorl he has over it. Tone is created by the casual use of brutral language and sarcasm, "over whom" is callous but helps us to realise that the poet wants us to have compassion for the begger.