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Visiting Hour

Posted by lednum on October 26, 2006

Examine the techiques used by one poet to convey the significance of an experience or an event which gave rise to a poem or sequance of poems?

In “Visiting Hour” Norman MacCaig skillfully enfranchises certain poetry techniques such as personification, oxymorons and vital comparisons to convey the significance of his mothers death. Therefore these techniques often gain sympathy from the readers thus making the horrendous situation clearer and the poem more effective.

The opening stanza of “Visiting Hour” creates a degree of unpleasentness of the location in which the poem is set, for instance

“The hospital smell”

In addition MacCaig reinforces this, by portraying the intensity of the stench of the hospital, for example

“combs my nostrills”

It is evadent that throughout the duration of the first verse there is no rythem or rthym which inivatibly establishes a sense of isolation. Moreover, the syndechoe also represents the concept that he the poet is dislocated from himself.

“as they go bobbing along”

This hows the techniqus used by MacCaig to convey the terible situation.  Immediatly in verse two the first line

“what seems a corpse”

creates a preoccupation with the idea of death, for instance the person could not be dead, but he has autimatically made the presumption due to the mindset that he is in. This only helps to create a sense of apathy towards death. This displays a further techniques used by MacCaig to capture the signiifcance of this event.

In contrast to the above, stanza three establishes some degre of rthyem in the form of the stacatto methods used by Norman MacCaig, for example

“I will not feel, I will not feel”

This stacatto rythm and in conjunction the repetition emphaisizes that he is starting to take control of his emotions. This conveys that rthym and repitions was used to some extent to elaborate on the importance of the hospital visit.

In co-operation to the prior points, the repetition of “so” represents how many deaths the nurses have to bare witness to. Also the syntax of the sentence is inverted to portray that the nurses are everywhere. In addition to the points above another method used by MacCaig to enfranchise the atrocity of the incident is portrayed here.

“Ward 7″

This gives the impression that the poet is reluctant to enter the ward almost as if he was reading it off of a sign. Despite this, as he does enter he compares his mother to a dying flower but reminds us that she is frail and still maintains true beauty at heart, for instance

“A withered hand”

It is suggested by the poet that he is uncomfortable in witnessing his mother hooked up by cables and wires as if she was mearly a machanical object, for example

“glass fang is fixed, not guzziling but giving”

Taking these points into account it show the personification techniques used by the poet to represent this event.

In the last verse a prominent contrast is created which emphaisizes the isolation

“black figure in her white cave”

In conjunction to this an oxymoron is used further elaborate on the horrendous situation, for instance

“fruitless fruits”

The end of visiting hour ad also the end of the poem is captured by the use of

“swimming waves of a bell”

However, as this does signifie the end of visitng hour and the conclusion of the poem i feel it could also represnt the ending of his mothers life.

Therefore, the evidence above maintains that an abundance of techniques were used by Normain MacCaig to capture the significance of this horrible event to whcih he had to undergo.


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int 2 outline

Posted by lednum on September 6, 2006

 In the language close the thre type of questions that you can be asked are:

 U = understanding -factual

                            -meaning of words

A= analysis -Asks how writer expresses ideas

                – deals with style, punctuation, word choice, sentence structure, expression and figure of speech.


The dash is like a comma, but te ause is longer and the dash is strongercit may also be used to mark a sudden turn in thought of a sentence. It may also be used to mark an unexpected ending.


1.There are always two good reasons for doing things – a good reason and the real reason.

2.I have always believed in love at first sight – ever since i looked into the mirror.

3.My wife has a wonderful way of cutting short a story – she interrupts.

4.He loves her for what she is – rich.

A dash can also be used to mark an incomplete or interrupted sentence , to introduce or follow a list.

It canalso be used for parenthisis, parenthesis is a word put inside a sentence to give an expanation or a piece of information.


1. Tome Smith – who is probably the best goalkeeper in the country – has been picked to play on saturday.

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English intermediate 2- specimen paper

Posted by lednum on September 3, 2006

English intermediate 2- specimen paper

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