Gcse English Poetry: Auden compared with Calrke

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Gcse English Poetry: Auden compared with Calrke


The two poems that I will be analysing are ‘Stop all the Clocks’ by

W.H. Auden and ‘The Vet’ by Gillian Clarke. My discussion will be

based on the theme of the poems and look at how the poets used form

and language to help his readers understand and make meaning out of

the poem.



The theme of this poem is about grief. The poet takes his readers

through a simple but complex journey that explains the different

stages of grief that a person feels when a loved one dies. The poem

reveals the emotional upheaval that death can cause. The grief felt

is carefully illustrated by the poet in the form and language he uses

throughout the poem which has a strict rhyming scheme of AABB

throughout the 4 stanzas.


The form and language that was used by the poet to describe the

feeling and mood of the bereaved was spread throughout.

The first stanza simply showed the first stage of grief and that the

bereaved is coming to terms with the death of a loved one. For

example, he said ‘stop all the clocks’ which signified that he wanted

to focus on what had just happened and does not want to forget his

love as people do over a period of time. Again he said, ‘cut off the

telephone’ meaning he wanted to be alone without communicating to

anyone. This is because she wanted to concentrate and grieve on the

death of his loved one without people offering their condolences.

Then the last line of the stanza, he said, ‘bring out the coffin…’

which suggests that he wanted to start making funeral plans.

In the second stanza he wanted to let everyone know that his loved one

has died and he mentioned in the fir...

... middle of paper ...

...tcher by saying “no inter-uterine butchery” because he uses scalpel

just as the butcher uses sharp blades to cut open animals when

performing on them. The poet compares the Vet to a butcher in the

verse because just as the butcher, the Vet uses a scalpel to cut open

the cow and bring out the calf and the child basically cannot

differentiate between a Vet and a Butcher

The last verse is all about the birth of the calf. At this stage the

Vet finally brings out the calf from its mother’s womb. The poet

describes the cow as a ‘brimming mother’ in the last line of the

stanza comparing the female cow to a human mother. This is because

when the calf is born the mother cow shows the calf a lot of love and

emotion just as the human mother when they give birth to a child.

This makes this particular birth more to a human birth and the calf

appear more to a child.

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