“Glasgow 5th of March 1971” by Edwin Morgan is an instamatic poem which describes an incident on a Glasgow street when a young couple are pushed backwards through a shop window by two youths who are intent on robbing the shop. The poem goes on to describe the attitude or the youths and people who are watching the crime. The poet has not made an appearance in the poem as he shows no emotion, but he makes the reader feel, through his description of the photos that are captured by his use of metaphors, onomatopoeia and repetition, that they are witnessing the crime. The first stanza has a theme of loss, which is slowly released throughout the poem as the poet begins to describe the foreground and introduces the reader to the incident:
Morgan has used the word ‘ragged’ to make the glass sound uneven, broken and unfixable. This creates the violent image more instamatic as we imagine the danger approaching the young couple. The use of the word ‘diamond’ makes the scene seem perfect timing for the youths to push the couple through the glass, but it also shows that as a diamond can never be destroyed, as to is the criminal’s act, which will never be gone from the memory of the people passing by. In the first stanza, he uses an onomatopoeia ‘shattered plate glass’. The repeat of ‘sh’ sounds like glass showering onto the ground. In the second stanza, he reveals the damage the youths have caused to the couple, in a very sinister manner;
“The young man’s face is bristling with fragments of glass”
We can tell from the use of ‘bristling’ that it wasn’t just a few bits of glass that would take no time to be removed as his face was covered in little bits of glass. This represents the life changing aspect of this attack as his face will be very scarred. This metaphor also compares the pieces of glass embedded in his face with stubble, which shows how young this man is who has just been traumatised with this attack.
“Spurts of arterial blood over...
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