Glenn Colquhoun

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Mothers, love your sons and A spell to be cast prior to dying, by Glen Colquhoun have a reoccurring theme which is to die as you are in life and not to fear death. Colquhoun’s position as a Medical professional adds impetus to the imperatives present in both poems.

A Spell to be cast prior to dying is a poem which tries to reinforce the idea that life was not given to us so that we are to fear death but to make the most of the time we have and to go out with a ‘bang’. Colquhoun uses the repetition of “Die” both to put the reader at a position where they are effectively being desensitized to death and also to convey that Colquhoun being a doctor deals with death every day and the unpleasantries that accompany it. This is shown by the statement “Die, go on, get the hell out of here, find your own way home.” How ever Colquhoun feels it is his duty as a doctor to set an example of a strong minded person, that Colquhoun seemed to show an emotional weakness when he said “..Die looking backwards as though you were some how desperate to get of the tracks before the train hit...” This showed that Colquhoun was looked up to by the family members of the deceased but he was unable to look up to another figure.

Colquhoun also uses the repetition of die to illustrate the different situations that people can die in. “die without anybody noticing it.” Is an example of a reclusive person and that would not want anyone else to bear witness to their unfortunate end. Colquhoun being a New Zealand poet falls under the category of a kiwi bloke who is traditionally subjected to the stereotype of being comfortable with death and just being able to accept it and move on. How ever Colquhoun showed how even he as a doctor can be caught off-guard by death “That’s all I want to say, go on, get the hell out of here, find your own way home.” The statement has hints at desperation in Colquhoun’s persona which shows that he is tired of having to deal with it in people’s stead.

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