The most effective poems convey the poet’s idea and influence the Reader’s Response. This is certainly true when considering the poetry of John Foulcher is a contemporary Australian poet who writes about his observation of everyday life, people and places, as well as religious history. The poet’s voice is distinctive and he writes in a condensed style where each word and image is very important and has layers of meaning. He also often uses very harsh and violent imagery in his poems, which can be very shocking to the reader. Foulcher uses a range of techniques in his poems to communicate meaning, including similes, metaphors, personification and onomatopoeia. The poems that will be discussed in this essay are Martin and the Hand Grenade and Summer Rain
The poem “Martin and the Hand Grenade” is set in a classroom. The action of the poem centres on a student, Martin, who has brought in his father’s grenade to class for show and tell. Foulcher uses the subject to comment critically about the damaging physical and psychological effects of war. The poem opens with Martin displaying the hand grenade as the class pauses for history”, showing respect for the historical object, Martin demonstrates how the hand grenade is used with “his father’s bleak skills”. Foulcher uses the adjective “bleak” to emphasize that this skill is miserable and depressing. This shows the reader that Foulcher has a negative view of the destructive power of war. When Martin responds to questions Foulcher uses euphemism to describe the deadly effects of the grenade. After ten yards the spread of shrapnel becomes “too loose to catch a man’s morality”. This shows that often when war is discussed the negative effects are often minimised while the positive aspects of heroism and loyalty to your country are emphasized. When the grenade is passed around the class it is called a “small war”. Foulcher uses this metaphor to show the reader that the grenade is symbolic of war and destruction. This...
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