Friday, October 27, 2006


Thanks for your help, I've made a few changes.

The poet still feels guilty about rejecting his mother’s faith years later; therefore it must be significant to him. He sees Calvinism as a “black figure” which was devoid of pleasure. The imagery of “the gaslit blue” is that of the dim light of the past, which contrasts with the “fiercer voltage” of today now that we have electricity. This shows the significance of the past as this image of the “gaslit blue” has remained with the poet throughout the years. The poet feels that “The past’s an experience that we cannot share”, an important theme of the poem, perhaps because he feels the past is so important that full recognition cannot possibly be given to it.

The poet uses a harsh tone when he tells us that “the bulldozer breaks raw bricks to powder”. The resurrection of the city during the building programme was not achieved without pain, which comes out in the use of the word "raw". Glasgow’s previous state is clearly significant as it will always be missed by the inhabitants of the city. Towards the end of the poem Iain Crichton Smith finally accepts that “buildings sail into the future”, and the tone becomes more upbeat showing he has finally accepted that things change. The use of the word “sail” shows confidence and therefore also establishes the upbeat tone. The poet remembers the “old songs you sang”, a symbol of Gaelic culture, which shows that although trends change, the past will always be remembered. In the last line of the poem, the poet reflects on the changes music has experienced over the years, “scale on dizzying scale”. As this line is a pun, he also accepts the sheer scale of change Glasgow has experienced over the years, and how significant this has been.

PS - I am unsure of how to include a description of the pun. Also, I have just finished reading "Grace Notes" by Bernard MacLaverty for my personal study and I have to come up with a question for me to answer on the book but am struugling to do so. I was thinking of maybe something to do with how music is integrated into the story. Do you have any thoughts?

PPS - You should tell your Standard grade blogger of the miracles of the blog! Perhaps that will get him/her working.


1 comment:

Chris said...

This is better - much. I'm not keen on the use of "upbeat" - strikes me as jarringly colloquial, esp. as you repeat it. What about "optimistic" or even just "cheerful"?

The pun: you should acknowledge the two meanings of the word - size and the run of musical notes which in itself suggests both someone practising and the the key in which a piece is written (again, I'm still away and without the poem - is there any mileage in making something of that? )

I'll think about Grace Notes - I've read it, and supervised an RPR in the past, but can't remember enogh about it to be wildly useful right now. What about something using the fact that grace notes are an extra to the note itself - a decoration? I'll check it out when I'm home tomorrow.