Glasgow 5th March 1971

Powerful Essays
Topics: Poetry, Style
Intermediate 2 Critical Essay

Section C - Poetry – 45 minutes - 25 marks

Choose a poem which describes a scene or incident vividly. Briefly state what is being described and then go on to show how the poetic techniques used make the description vivid.

Poetic Techniques Link to Task Question

Edwin Morgan’s vivid visual poem “Glasgow 5 March 1971” deals with the themes of violence, crime, apathy and responsibility.This poem is all about street violence and how people don’t get involved. “Glasgow 5 March 1971” is a very dramatic visual poem about a “young man and his girl” who get pushed through a window by some thieves and are not helped by the passing drivers. The poet is commenting on the individualism of modern society and telling us not to stand by and watch others suffer and that we need to stop the violence in our society. It is about how society accepts violence without objecting, whilst pretending to object. In this poem, Morgan freezes a dramatic moment in time in a vivid manner. This essay will show how the poet uses an attention-grabbing opening, effective word choice and imagery to capture a moment in time which changes everything. It will then go on to show how realistic violence, everyday characters and an underlying message help to present the poet’s ideas and to add excitement and emotion to the incident he describes.

The first way Morgan dramatises the incident is through an attention grabbing opening. The very first four lines pull the reader into the moment:

“With a ragged diamond

of shattered plate glass a young man and his girl are falling backwards into a shop window.”

Morgan uses enjambment to create a sense of urgency to the poem. It becomes fast paced and exciting. The careful choice of words such as “ragged” and “shattered” have connotations of damage, and give us the impression that something is wrong, although

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