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Comparison Manhunt and Ghazal

By Paisleyxo Apr 27, 2015 1152 Words
Compare the ways that the poets use language to present feelings in ‘The Manhunt’ and one other poem from the relationships section. ‘The Manhunt’ and Ghazal both explore the relationship between two people ‘The Manhunt’ is a poem written from the perspective of a wife of a soldier who has gone to war and has been scarred mentally and physically and has changed as a result of what happened to him. The poem exposes the after effects of war on those who served in it and it reminds the reader of those who gave their lives and who suffered in war. The poem uses lots of war vocabulary such as, ‘unexploded mine, bullet,’ and, ‘parachute.’ These words tell the reader that it was the war that hurt him and they are also there to keep reminding the reader of the horror of war. The line, ‘The blown hinge of his lower jaw,’ tells the reader that he was physically hurt in the war. The word ‘blown’ suggests that he was hurt by a bomb and again is a reminder of war. It also suggests that metaphorically he is no longer open to his wife and that he is unable to open himself up to her and unable to talk about his emotions and feelings. The poem also tells you that he is mentally hurt as it says, ‘The frozen river which ran through his face.’ The ‘frozen river,’ could be scars from reconstructing the damage but they could also be tears as during war he would have seen many horrific things and what happened to him would have hurt him mentally. The poem uses the metaphor, ‘a sweating, unexploded mine buried deep in his mind.’ This also suggests that the source of his problem is not physical but mental, and could cause problems at any time. The poet says that his collar bone is, ‘damaged porcelain,’ which created the image of a fragile and cold part of his body. The coldness is reflected in, ‘The frozen river,’ which suggests that his trauma is physical and mental as he was now fragile physically but also mentally. Both ‘The Manhunt,’ and, ‘Ghazal,’ are written in couplets. A couplet is traditionally associated with love and with sonnets which are love poems. As both poems are written in couplets it suggests that both speakers feel love for the one their poems are about. The couplets could also show the closeness and fondness of the speakers to the one they are writing about. ‘Ghazal,’ is a love poem in which a speaker wants to secure the love and attention of another. Although it is not clear, the poem suggests that the feelings that the speaker feels are unrequited by the one they love. This is seen in the line, ‘What shape should I take to marry my own?’ This shows that the speaker is willing to change who they are and what they are in order to appeal to the person that they love. The use of the word, ‘marry,’ is a pun as it can mean for someone to match another person but the speaker is using it to hint to the reader that they want a relationship. Both of the poems are written in the first person. This is effective as it means that the reader can feel closer to the speaker and can fully understand the emotions that they are feeling. In ‘The Manhunt,’ the man has a ‘grazed heart.’ This could mean that he literally had a grazed heart, as the result of an injury caused by, ‘the metal beneath his chest,’ but it could also be a metaphor. It could mean that he cannot reconnect with his wife emotionally as he does not want to tell her of the horrible things that happened, which has damaged their relationship. The bullet is described as a, ‘foetus of metal,’ which creates the idea of the bullet being like a developing baby. Having a baby can greatly impact a relationship and the relationship between them has been changed by what has happened to him. Although both poems are about two relationships, one is about the build-up of what could be a relationship and one is about the breakdown of what was a relationship. In ‘Ghazal,’ it says, ‘hawk to my shadow, moth to my flame.’ Both of these images are destructive and sound dark which suggests that the speaker knows that the relationship may not be such a good idea. In ‘Ghazal,’ the speaker describes the two sides of a relationship being like the ‘rhyme’ and ‘refrain.’ This metaphor suggests a sense of the two lovers being part of a larger whole. It also connects the two through poetry and creativity. The speaker sees themselves as the ‘refrain’ while their lover is the ‘rhyme’ in the poem. As a refrain is the repeated part in the poem it suggests that the speaker sees themselves as less original and important than their lover. This is also seen in the line, ‘If I am the laurel leaf in your crown.’ This suggests that the speakers sees their lover as fit to wear a laurel crown which is a sign of a intelligence and wisdom and victory but the speaker sees herself as being only a leaf and so is less important and worthy. Both poems are very powerful in what they are trying to say. Both poems use metaphors very effectively which adds to the vividness of the love in ‘Ghazal’ and the pain and suffering in ‘The Manhunt.’ The title, ‘The Manhunt,’ suggests that there is a search for a missing criminal which is ironic as it is really the wife searching for what her husband used to be. This is reflected in the loving verbs used in the poem. The speaker says that they are able to, ‘Climb the rungs of his broken ribs.’ The imagery created is of a ladder and is effective as it suggests the effort that the wife puts in in order to get answers from her husband. The poem is about how war can affect relationships and this is made clear in the final line of the poem, ‘Then, and only then, did I come close.’ Her shows that search is not completely successful and that she only comes close to getting her husband back and understanding what happened. This can only happened when she truly understands that her husband’s issues lie in his memories as well as in physical scars. I prefer ‘The Manhunt’ as the imagery makes the reader understand the pain that the wife is feeling. I can sympathise with the wife as she has not lost her husband completely but he is just a being and has lost everything he had. Many people are hurt in wars and I think that ‘The Manhunt’ explores ways that war can hurt people effectively, without saying too much.

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