Write about the poem Basking Shark: Achill Island. You should describe what the poet writes about and how he uses language to convey the speakers thoughts and feelings.

Authors Avatar by erinruth99gmailcom (student)

Write about the poem Basking Shark: Achill Island.

 You should describe what the poet writes about and how he uses language to convey the speaker’s thoughts and feelings.

In the poem ‘Basking Shark: Achill Island’ John Deane, who grew up on the island, appears to be relating his childhood experiences through the poem. He uses language to convey both his conscious thoughts and impulsive feelings. The title of the poem is straight to the point and does not use any more words than are necessary.

Deane uses vivid imagery throughout that provokes feelings of both shock and repulsion from the reader. He starts off by describing his location, “Where bogland hillocks hid a lake.” The use of the verb, “hid,” suggests that the speaker knows what he was doing was wrong and that he was trying to hide it from the world. The alliteration of, “hillocks hid,” further emphasises this point.  The speaker proceeds to write about shooting a cat with a pellet gun until it drowned. They are described to have, “clawed,” the pellets into its flesh. Clawed would normally be used to describe a cat attacking something, but the tables are turned and it is the predators doing the clawing. Before the cat drowns it is said to feel, “ancient jungle fear.” This could allude back to the big cats of the jungle and the fear they would have of human hunters. By likening the tom-cat to a much more powerful beast the speaker inflates his ego, trying to make his actions sound heroic rather than sadistic. The speaker appears to be unrepentant of his actions. It could even be argued that he felt some twisted glee from the event.

Join now!

The next event of the poem describes the speaker committing yet another unsavoury deed. They, “fished for gulls with hooks we’d hide / in bread.” Again they are cowardly trying to hide their deeds, making it seem like a harmless piece of bread. Just like with the cat, the tables are turned on the gull. Normally a gull would be the predator of the water, picking up fish, but this time the gull finds itself on the end of the fishing line. The repetition of the colloquial contraction, “we’d,” implies that the speakers are immature, supporting my theory that this ...

This is a preview of the whole essay