Glasgow 5th march
Glasgow, 5th March, 1971', by Edwin Morgan, is a modern poem about a shocking crime committed upon `a young man and his girl' by `two youths' and witnessed by two expressionless drivers who pass by without turning a hair. The first way in which this poem effectively conveys the incident is the form it takes: very unemotional, clear and 'formal'. This feeling is emphasized in the title, which is simply a place and date. The title does two things: in the first place it implies some kind of record, not a poem; secondly, it is almost like the first line of the poem and sets the scene so we can vividly imagine the actions that follow. Most of the poem is spent on the two young people because if we had been watching they would have been the main object of our attention and the first thing we saw. We do not see the crime from the very beginning but from after the glass smashes because we, like the narrator, would probably have turned on hearing the breaking of glass to see the scene described. I imagined these young people perhaps looking for something specific; they wandered through Sauchiehall Street, unsuspecting of the danger that awaited them outside the jeweller's shop. Here, Edwin Morgan makes excellent use of imagery and word choice. Our attention is caught by the words: ‘With a ragged diamond, of shattered plate glass’ This is a good phrase to begin with because we immediately think of something sharp, sparkling and dangerously beautiful; when the words diamond and shop window are put together like this we imagine them as small sparkling diamonds and even though the writer has said nothing of what sort of shop it is we subconsciously imagine a jeweller's shop. (He could have made the shattered glass into droplets of water radiating out from a large 'splash' to hold connotations of a fish shop - if the young couple were looking at pets and the thieves wanted to steal some kind of priceless goldfish.) When we are told that 'a young man and...
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