Summer Farm

Topics: Mind, Thought, Poetry Pages: 8 (3182 words) Published: August 27, 2013
Monday, 20 May 2013
Summer Farm - Norman MacCaig

Summer Farm
Norman MacCaig
Summary: The poet lies within the depths of his mind, probably in his happy place as his mother’s family lived in the rural area, which is reflected in this story. Everything described in the story is part of his mind, with perhaps every animal representing a different aspect of his mind. This poet always discusses the concept of having layers and layers of dreams, like how the mind is made up of layers and layers. Sounds like inception to me. Significant poetic devices and their significance (eg: Metaphors, symbols, rhyme scheme, form, imagery, repetition… etc)

Structural analysis
1. ABAB rhyme scheme per stanza. These are thus couplets. They are used to make the poem have an upbeat and overall happy rhythm throughout the poem, as one would have when you are in your happy place. 2. Four lines per stanza throughout. Implies a sense of organisation in the thoughts of the poet before the reader, giving the impression that the poet is very calm and clear as one would have these organised thoughts when there is nothing to worry about. 3. A lot of vowels are used with the sole purpose of slowing down the pace at which the reader reads. This is used to portray slow, relaxed thinking that the poet possess. It also implies a lack of stress as stress usually is correlated with fast and muddled thinking. 4. Note the omniscient narration in the beginning of the poem as all details are made aware, even when the poet himself is not looking. Because this is the recesses of his head, we can safely say that he is both the character and the ‘God’ of his own world that he has created on his own. Similarly, we often give God a physical form, when in fact it is not needed as he is already omniscient and knows all. He is everywhere, yet we often depict him as a physical entity. Why is he given an entity? So that we can talk to him better (it is better to talk to a physical being than to space after all). Therefore the poet also gives himself an omniscient self as well as a physical self to allow us to be able to empathise better with the poet, who is living in the world of his own.

Word-based analysis
1. In the first line, we see the first literary device in the poem, a simile, of which the simile is followed by an oxymoron “Straws like tame lightnings”. a. The implication here is that often we have strange similies that we do not often hear. However what is it that determines what is strange and what is not? The social and thus actions of other people that do so. However in the recess of his mind he doesn’t get criticised for his peculiar descriptions, which this one is actually a good match to describe the straw. We can’t say his description is false, for in the second line “And hang like zigzag on hedges”, his description of lightning is not wrong as it truly is in zigzags. b. Alternatively, the use of the strange description can be used in correlation with the strange world he is depicting in the depths of his mind, as one often has strange thoughts and weird interpretations of the world that are often unexpressed in society. However, when he is in his own mind, what is there from keeping his expressions unexpressed? c. The strange description also foreshadows the fact that the world that he is about to describe for us is surreal, making us wonder what it is that he is actually depicting and what possible significance it could have. That is of course, assuming that we did not read the poem through the first time. And of course, who can forget, the surrealism, or the foreshadowing of it, engaging the reader, making the reader want to read more as the poet is about to depict a world where anything is possible and where anything can happen. 2. “Green as glass”. Yet another surreal simile that we see, yet we find this to be amazingly true. a. Glass is actually a little green, which we can usually...
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