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Responses to Poems

Satisfactory Essays
Responses to Poems

Poetry is known to stimulate powerful responses in readers. Examine

your reactions to these poems. How do they make you feel and why?

Analyse the link between the various techniques used by the poets and

your personal response. Use detailed references to the poems to

support your comments.

Reactions: #1 Reader feels disturbed; unsettled, because (No more

Hiroshimas) d and u poet speaks about relics of the attack that remind

us people were the victims of these attacks, not just buildings or

far-off governments or high-flown principles (The Day After) d and u

reader does not know who is right and who is wrong-what should the

Americans have done rather than cause so much suffering? Was there

another way to end the war? Could the countries have worked something

out? (Monuments of Hiroshima) u only was a 'wooden box' too much to

ask for? We should give the victims of the attacks some more

substantial monuments, something that respects their courage or at

least their individuality-makes reader think (Ghosts, Fire, Water) d

and u the reader almost feels scared, frightened of the ghosts, who

are reaching out their hands and blaming us, and he/she wants to run

away, or find some excuse for the bombings, but cannot reader also

wants to deny that he/she ever stopped "loving others", but cannot

These poems make the reader feel unsettled. In "No More Hiroshimas",

the poet describes Hiroshima as "a town like any other//Ramshackle,

muddy, noisy". This makes the reader feel bad, and wonder why, if

Hiroshima was so ordinary, it had to be destroyed. It makes the reader

question how random the attacks that day were, and how much was

planned. The poet also speaks of relics of the attack with great

vividness and descriptive language: "The bits of burnt clothing,//The

stopped watches, the torn shirts.//The twisted buttons". These relics

are all to do with people; i.e., they are clothes or shoes or

jewellery. The poet uses this vibrant imagery to remind us people were

the victims of these attacks, not just buildings or far-off

governments or high-flown principles. The reader realizes how inhumane

the attack on Hiroshimawas. In "The Day After", the reader feels

uncertain because the poet has left him/her 'sitting on the fence',

unsure of whom is right or wrong. Edward Lowbury describes Hiroshima's

pain with such intensity one cannot help but feel for the people-yet

he also tells the reader "every scar of it's their fault".

#2 Reader feels sad, because (No more Hiroshimas) The bomb left an

ordinary, run-of-the-mill town in pieces; killed its people, destroyed

its beautiful landmarks, and above all, saw that Hiroshima would, in a