McMillan uses harsh words throughout the poem to show his grief and remorse at his mothers death. Words like “shatters” link with how he is feeling, like everything is broken and cannot be repaired. This word makes us imagine something broken into lots of tiny pieces which can't be put back together again, and it helps us to understand how broken and jumbled up he is feeling. The word “slap” when talking about “the tears (that) slap my torn face” insinuates the idea that he is in physical pain, that the emotional pain he feels is is so strong that he physically hurts.
In the first stanza, we find out about his mothers death. Enjambment is used to speed up the pace of the poem, and show how quickly someone's whole live can change, like in the phrase“In the moment it takes a life to pass/ from waking to sleeping” The phrase “from waking to sleeping” highlights the opposites in what he and his mother are doing, as she passes from life to death. The word 'sleeping' creates quiet a gentle image, and suggests that her death was not unexpected, and perhaps was drawn out and painful. Sleep is a very relaxed and calm time, the only time when the human mind can escape from problems in the day, so perhaps the idea of his mother falling asleep is comforting, like she has now stopped suffering and can rest happy.
The second stanza uses a lot of words relating to the senses, to help us understand how McMillan is feeling. The sentence “outside a milk float chinks and shines” shows that the world is carrying on as normal, despite the fact that McMillan's world has personally just stopped. The rhyming pattern throughout this poem is abab, but in this stanza the words “mine” and “shines” are meant to rhyme, but the fact that they don;t fully rhyme represents the disorientation he is feeling upon finding out about his mothers death, and perhaps also shows how nothing is quite right any more. Also, the word 'drones' when describing a plane has been used to represent the deep...
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