Jesús Ibáñez Sagasti
Visual analysis of the poem “Lament” by Gillian Clarke
In the poem ‘Lament’ the poet is talking about war and other disasters, created by man, which destroys the world. “Lament” is an elegy, an expression of grief. It can be a sad, military tune played on a bugle. She is talking about how the animals are affected and she uses them as a device for empathy from the reader. Even in the title she is starting with a gloomy picture. “Lament” means the expression of pain or regret. By not using a well known word such as ‘regret’ she is creating a sense of mystery and importance over the poem. In the line “For the cormorant in his funeral silk,” she is talking about death, where she creates the image of funeral, being black and silk, being oil. It is well known that thousands of birds die each year because of the oil leaked into the ocean. Using oil as the murder weapon she is putting the blame on mankind, seeing us as the killer. This makes the reader feel guilty, and while putting a sense of guilt on our mind she raises the understanding of the problem we are creating. “For ocean’s lap with its mortal stain,” is a dark, terrifying picture, created by the poet to create disgust for what we have done. By saying ‘mortal stain’ she is again referring to the travelling oil, carried by the ocean, swallowing every bit of life in its path. In the line “the long migrations and the slow dying, the veiled sun and the stink of anger”, Clarke is showing that even though it is us humans who are the reason for war and oil leaks, we are also the victims. She is saying that you cannot generalize humans as one entity, that we all are different with individual opinions. And even though not everybody is to blame for wars and global warming, we can all do something to help. In the poem Clarke is repeating the word “for” in front of many lines. This raises the question ‘What is it for?’ and this makes the reader think a lot more about the meaning of the...
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