Basking Shark Commentary

Topics: Poetry, Basking shark, Shark Pages: 3 (1357 words) Published: November 14, 2013
The poem Basking Shark, by Norman MacCaig is a poem which talks about the inequalities that exist in nature due to the overpowering spirit of man. To show this inequality the poet brings the Basking Shark and himself into the picture. The inequality is brought out through the various comparisons that the poet brings out through the verses. By contemplating on these comparisons, the poet goes through a volute face, which changes his perception of the shark which he previously thought was a ‘monster’. Through retrospection the poets finally discovers who the real monster is. This retrospection not only reveals the inequality created by the monster but also the domination of the monster over the ordinary. The poet starts off the poem with a comparison, which depicts the shark as a monster. The poet brings the toughness of the shark through a metaphor by comparing the shark to a rock. It is by superimposing the nature of the rock on to the shark that the toughness of the shark is bought out. This creates a tactile imagery, which adds on to the might of the so called monster. The poet immediately creates a territory for the monster, to depict the strength and its dominating nature to add on to its tough nature. This is evident form the line ‘where none should be’. The emphasis on the word none, tends to set a very lone some environment. The phase could also be an exaggeration, portraying the vastness of the area that the monster covers and dominates over. The poet also adds to the strength of the shark by using the word "slounge". The word is onomatopoeic as it suggests the noise of the waves as the shark leaves the water. It again reminds the reader of the bulk of the shark. The first line of the second stanza is very paradoxical, in comparison to the last line of the first stanza. Through the last line of the first stanza the poet puts on a very sarcastic tone. This style of the poet can be attributed to a tactic used by the poet to...
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