"visiting hour"

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  1. 1. Norman MacCaigNorman MacCaig S5 PoetryS5 Poetry
  2. 2. Good Morning S5!Good Morning S5! In todays lesson we willIn todays lesson we will Practice textual analysis.Practice textual analysis. Study MacCaigs poem Visiting Hour.Study MacCaigs poem Visiting Hour. Talk about word choice, sentenceTalk about word choice, sentence structure, mood and atmosphere.structure, mood and atmosphere.
  3. 3. Visiting HourVisiting Hour UnderstandingUnderstanding After reading through the poem, write downAfter reading through the poem, write down what you think is happening in the poem.what you think is happening in the poem. ThemesThemes Do you notice any themes at this stage?Do you notice any themes at this stage?
  4. 4. Stanza 1Stanza 1 How does the poet help us be there withHow does the poet help us be there with him, in our minds?him, in our minds? What do the lines The hospital smellWhat do the lines The hospital smell bobbing along. tell us about the effect ofbobbing along. tell us about the effect of the hospital smell on the poet?the hospital smell on the poet? What are the connotations of the coloursWhat are the connotations of the colours green and yellow in this context?green and yellow in this context?
  5. 5. Stanza 1Stanza 1 The poet is making his way along the hospital corridor toThe poet is making his way along the hospital corridor to ward 7 where his seriously ill relative lies.ward 7 where his seriously ill relative lies. In stanza 1, the scene is set by reference to the poetsIn stanza 1, the scene is set by reference to the poets senses.senses. The hospital smell is typical of most peoples experienceThe hospital smell is typical of most peoples experience of hospitals.of hospitals. The poet creates mood through his word choice The poet creates mood through his word choice combs my nostrils.combs my nostrils. Suggests the smell is so pungent and unpleasant to himSuggests the smell is so pungent and unpleasant to him that it reaches right up into his nose hairs.that it reaches right up into his nose hairs. greenyellow suggests colours of vomit, pus againgreenyellow suggests colours of vomit, pus again emphasises his discomfort and unpleasantness of visit.emphasises his discomfort and unpleasantness of visit.
  6. 6. Stanza 1Stanza 1 SYNECDOCHESYNECDOCHE Lines 2/3 nostrilsbobbing alongLines 2/3 nostrilsbobbing along Of course his whole body is moving alongOf course his whole body is moving along the corridor not just his nostrils.the corridor not just his nostrils. The synecdoche focuses attention on theThe synecdoche focuses attention on the nostrils in order to strengthen the idea ofnostrils in order to strengthen the idea of the hospital smell being so overpowering,the hospital smell being so overpowering, all other senses are blocked out.all other senses are blocked out.
  7. 7. Stanza 2Stanza 2 What seems aWhat seems a corpsecorpse isis trundledtrundled into a lift andinto a lift and vanishesvanishes heavenwardheavenward.. What do the words in bold tell you aboutWhat do the words in bold tell you about the poets mood at this point?the poets mood at this point? What is the effect of enjambment?What is the effect of enjambment?
  8. 8. Stanza 2Stanza 2 We know what is on his mind as when he sees theWe know what is on his mind as when he sees the trolley, he immediately assumes it is a dead body.trolley, he immediately assumes it is a dead body. vanishes heavenward in fact goes up in a lift, but asvanishes heavenward in fact goes up in a lift, but as far as poet is concerned, its on its last journey.far as poet is concerned, its on its last journey. He is clearly worried about his sick relative has heHe is clearly worried about his sick relative has he come too late?come too late? Enjambment the effect is to emphasise the last word ofEnjambment the effect is to emphasise the last word of the line (his thoughts of death and finality)the line (his thoughts of death and finality) Trundled suggests the lack of care taken by the porterTrundled suggests the lack of care taken by the porter as if the poet thinks there is no point taking care as the as if the poet thinks there is no point taking care as the person is dead. Supports his feeling of hopelessness.person is dead. Supports his feeling of hopelessness.
  9. 9. Stanza 3Stanza 3 The poet repeats the words I will not feel.The poet repeats the words I will not feel. To whom do you think he may be sayingTo whom do you think he may be saying these words and why?these words and why? How does the repetition and rhythm add toHow does the repetition and rhythm add to the overall effect of the verse?the overall effect of the verse? Explain the last line of this stanza.Explain the last line of this stanza.
  10. 10. Stanza 3Stanza 3 The poet appears to be talking to himself.The poet appears to be talking to himself. The repetition intensifies the control he is tryingThe repetition intensifies the control he is trying to impose on himself, denying his feelings asto impose on himself, denying his feelings as they are too painful.they are too painful. Together with the staccato rhythm of this shortTogether with the staccato rhythm of this short verse with its monosyllabic words, the repetitionverse with its monosyllabic words, the repetition heightens the atmosphere of tension.heightens the atmosphere of tension. The last line shows the poet making a consciousThe last line shows the poet making a conscious effort to be detached he knows he will have toeffort to be detached he knows he will have to face up to the situation eventually, but not yet.face up to the situation eventually, but not yet.
  11. 11. Stanza 4Stanza 4 Comment on the syntax (word order) ofComment on the syntax (word order) of the line here and up and down and there.the line here and up and down and there. What effect does it achieve?What effect does it achieve? What is the effect of the linking wordWhat is the effect of the linking word and?and? What do these details tell us about theWhat do these details tell us about the poets attitude to the nurses?poets attitude to the nurses? What does he reveal about himself in hisWhat does he reveal about himself in his observations of the nurses?observations of the nurses?
  12. 12. Stanza 4Stanza 4 This verse gives the sense of bustle in a busyThis verse gives the sense of bustle in a busy hospital through the description of the nurses.hospital through the description of the nurses. Unusual syntax in line 12 highlights theUnusual syntax in line 12 highlights the ubiquitous nature of the nurses, as if they areubiquitous nature of the nurses, as if they are everywhere at once.everywhere at once. The repetition of and emphasises the distanceThe repetition of and emphasises the distance the nurses cover and gives an impression of thethe nurses cover and gives an impression of the speed they move at.speed they move at. There is a contrast in how the nurses and theThere is a contrast in how the nurses and the poet cope with death. Burden conveys thepoet cope with death. Burden conveys the extent of his anguish, yet the nurses are able toextent of his anguish, yet the nurses are able to deal with many deaths their eyes clear.deal with many deaths their eyes clear.
  13. 13. Stanza 5Stanza 5 Comment on the effect of the full stop in WardComment on the effect of the full stop in Ward 7. Also, what is the effect of the use of the7. Also, what is the effect of the use of the numeral 7?numeral 7? Find 3 examples of metaphor in this verse andFind 3 examples of metaphor in this verse and explainexplain the comparison being made,the comparison being made, how appropriate the image/metaphor is,how appropriate the image/metaphor is, what is the effect it has/connotations?what is the effect it has/connotations? Comment on the use of enjambment in lines 29-Comment on the use of enjambment in lines 29- 30.30.
  14. 14. Stanza 5Stanza 5 She lies/in a cave of white forgetfulness.She lies/in a cave of white forgetfulness. The bed is screened off by a white curtain like a cave.The bed is screened off by a white curtain like a cave. Forgetfulness because she is barely conscious.Forgetfulness because she is barely conscious. It is appropriate because she is cut off from the rest ofIt is appropriate because she is cut off from the rest of the ward as effectively as if she were in a cave on thethe ward as effectively as if she were in a cave on the side of a cliff. Due to the coma, she cannotside of a cliff. Due to the coma, she cannot communicate with the poet, nor he with her.communicate with the poet, nor he with her. Poet is immediately aware that she is not accessible toPoet is immediately aware that she is not accessible to him, or him to her. White adds to the feeling ofhim, or him to her. White adds to the feeling of inaccessibility, as if he is seeing her through a whiteinaccessibility, as if he is seeing her through a white haze or white noise which impedes communication.haze or white noise which impedes communication.
  15. 15. Stanza 5Stanza 5 A withered hand/trembles on its stalk,A withered hand/trembles on its stalk, Withered is appropriate as she is dying and stalkWithered is appropriate as she is dying and stalk suggests the weakness and thinness of her armsuggests the weakness and thinness of her arm The trembling hand and eyes moving behind eyelids areThe trembling hand and eyes moving behind eyelids are her fluttering uncontrolled attempts to reach him, so heher fluttering uncontrolled attempts to reach him, so he too, is alone with his pain.too, is alone with his pain. The enjambment emphasises the heaviness of theThe enjambment emphasises the heaviness of the patients eyelids and the effort she is making to openpatients eyelids and the effort she is making to open them, to commun