Midge Essay

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“Midge” by Edwin Morgan is a dramatic monologue which tells an exciting story of a swarm of midges being rallied as they prepare to ambush a group of rambling humans in order to feed their eggs with human blood. This is a humorous poem about a seemingly unimportant event but which is rich in military ideas, told through an extensive use of word choice and humour.

In the first stage of the poem, Morgan uses various poetic techniques to set the scene in the early evening by a Scottish loch. “The evening is perfect, my sisters. The loch lies silent, the air is still. The suns last rays linger over the water.” Morgan’s use of effective word choice creates a sense of peaceful tranquillity which is further developed with the alliteration of the letter ‘l’. This repetition of soft, sibilant sounds adds to the feeling of serenity. The use of sibilant sound is further developed with the sinister rhetorical question. “Sisters, I smell super, and what is more perfect than supper?”

In the next stage of the poem, Edwin Morgan uses visual humour to describe the appearance of the humans in detail so that we can imagine the happenings. This is first shown as the midge degrades the human victims as ‘l’. This suggests that they think of the humans as unimportant. They are portrayed through the word as though they were wild rather than the midges, therefore, adding a sense of absurd humour. The group of humans are described in detail as if it were a military ambush, thus adding to the sense of absurdity. With the use of alliteration and onomatopoeia in “chatter” and “clatter”, the hard ‘c’ and ‘t’ sounds highlight the humans blundering into the scene. Their defenceless state is further revealed through clever word choice, “See the innocents…the clumsy ones, the laughing ones, the rolled up sleeves…flapping shorts, there is even a kilt” This climatic list of exposed body parts shows how helpless the humans are. The poetic voice of the midge suggests that they are...
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