Essay on “Lament”
Re-read the poem “Lament” by Gillian Clarke and explore the way in which the author resorts to words and phrases to make this poem effective and memorable.
“Lament” by Gillian Clarke is a memorable and effective poem due to the poet’s resorting to specific words and phrases.
The poet uses lots of metaphors to achieve her objective. For example, “her pulsing burden” is a metaphor referring to the turtle’s need of a place to discharge her eggs and how she sees pregnancy as a disturbance and as something that needs to be got rid off. “Nest of sickness” stands for the sand which has been polluted by human beings, where she is meant to lay her eggs. “Funeral silk”, first line second stanza, is used by the poet to transmit the idea of the oil stuck in the cormorant’s feathers and as they are blackened by oil they are said to be its funeral silk or feathers of death because that will eventually kill the bird. “Shadow on the sea” conveys the oil that darkens the sea. All these are used by Clarke to make us open our eyes and realize how we are polluting earth and how we are affecting lots of creatures, including human beings.
Animals are not the only ones showed as victims in the poem. The fusilier, Ahmed and the farmer’s sons are too victims of war, which causes death and pollution. “For Ahmed at the closed border” probably refers to a Palestine man who seems to be trapped because of war and can’t leave or be free. “The boy fusilier who joined for the company” could mean that the boy joined the army in order to be among people because maybe he lost his family at war, or maybe it means that he doesn’t leave because of the other soldiers who have to stick it there. “The farmer’s son, in it for the music” could imply that they joined to play music with the army’s band but that when war started they were sent to fight all the same.
“For the ocean’s lap with its mortal stain” is a contrast. “Ocean’s lap” has a positive connotation...
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