Monday, October 28, 2019

Brendon Gallacher and Medusa Essay Example for Free

Brendon Gallacher and Medusa Essay Loss is a key, reoccurring theme in my two poems of choice; ‘Brendon Gallacher’ and ‘Medusa. ’ ‘Brendon Gallacher’ is an affectionate elegy for an imaginary, eponymous childhood friend, ‘Medusa’ is a poem divided into stanzas of mostly equal length. Both poets use varying language to help the reader visualise the characters’ feelings and persona. Emptiness and loss are presented in both poems through numerous techniques including alliteration, imagery and refrain. There is a childlike quality to Jackie Kay’s elegy for the death of an imaginary friend. The persona uses simple language and a range of techniques such as colloquialism. Contrastingly, in Medusa, Duffy uses a sombre tone thought the poem which helps the poem flow naturally and contributes to the developing sorrow. In ‘Brendon Gallacher’, Jackie Kay’s use of a repetitive refrain gives a song-like quality; this is further reinforced by the interjections that show grief in the last lines: ‘Oh Brendon, Oh my Brendon Gallacher’. The passing of Brendon leaves an empty void, filled by the repetition of ‘Brendon Gallacher’, which demonstrates fixation and inability to let ones feelings pass – an emotional attachment; ‘Brendon’ as opposed to the full name previously used. The repetition of the possessive pronoun emphasizes the idea that Brendan belongs to the narrator, and emphasizes the theme of loss and longing for something that is gone. Similarly, Duffy uses evocative language immediately by beginning on the theme of obsession/mistrust. Duffy emphasises this by the list of three, suspicion, doubt and fear which grew in her mind, allowing the flow of thoughts through enjambment. This doubt and fear shows that Medusa is somewhat compulsive and has lost any freedom or ability to control her thoughts. Moreover in Brendon Gallacher, they meet ‘in the open air’, as if Brendon represents autonomy and journeying; he talks of ‘Some place far’, which offers a purpose for the narrator to live on. This is all lost with the ‘death’ of Brendon. A physical loss rather than emotional loss is demonstrated through the words â€Å"we’d been friends for years† and â€Å"he would hold my hand† which suggests there is an emptiness of physical intimacy. Similarly, Medusa was once a beautiful woman who was transformed into a horrible monster by the Greek goddess, Athena. Jealousy and paranoia transform the hair upon Medusas head, in the poem, into filthy snakes. Already the reader is aware of the change ‘turned the hairs’, giving the impression that she was not always like this and did at one point have beautiful hair. Both poets have used descriptive techniques and imagery to show the physical changes and loss each character has undergone. â€Å"One day when it was pouring and I was indoors†, this paragraph in Brendon Gallacher uses pathetic fallacy to make the mood evoke a loss of innocence which is reflected by the rainy weather. Immature language and description is used to help the audience visualise the narrator’s childhood, â€Å"He had six brothers and I had one† can be conveyed as quite childish and this might have been used to emphasise that the narrator is talking about her past when she was younger, her childhood emptiness and loss. Also, in Medusa the rhetorical questions, â€Å"Wasn’t I beautiful? Wasn’t I fragrant and young? † show insecurity due to the repetition of questions but also shows a side of innocence as is normally related to young people. Both poems show a loss of innocence, albeit in different ways. â€Å"Look at me now. † The single line in Medusa emphasises the final request that appears as a paradox, a plea for sympathy but also a threat. Another, loss, this time more mentally affecting, Medusa has lost control over her decisions, this is further enforced by her turning of others into stone; â€Å"bullet tears in my eyes†, â€Å"you were stone†, Medusa has lost her ability to even look at others, and much like her tears, her fate is set in stone. This varied sentence length is indulging and engrossing as it really questions the empathy of the reader. All in all, both poems have certain similarities when trying to present loss. Both ‘Brendon Gallacher’ and ‘Medusa’ use language to bring alive the thoughts of the characters. Duffy focuses more on the imagery and tone of the poem whereas Kay brings to life the exact detail to provide the full picture.

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