A Critical Evaluation of Assisi by Norman MacCaig Essay

A Critical Evaluation of Assisi by Norman MacCaig Essay

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A Critical Evaluation of Assisi

Q: Choose a poem in which the poet has put across a definite
point of view. By close reference to the poetic techniques used, show
how successful the poet has been in making you share his/ her point of

“Assisi” by Norman MacCaig is an intriguing and thought-provoking
poem, which has put across a definite point of view to me which I
believe is that all people should be treated equally and we should try
to help those less fortunate than ourselves. In this essay I will
show how successful the poet has been in making me share his point of
view, with the help of literary techniques such as language, word –
choice and imagery.

Norman MacCaig has put across a definite point of view for me and has
been successful in making me share this view by using thoughtful and
intense language. The first aspect of language, which he uses is
metaphor in the beginning of the poem when he is describing the dwarf
sitting outside the church. He uses metaphor as he says,

“The dwarf with his hands on backwards

Sat, slumped like a half – filled sack

On tiny twisted legs from which

Sawdust might run.”

The metaphor here of the dwarf sitting like a ‘half filled sack’ is
describing the dwarf and how he has a deformed body. He is being
compared to looking like a sack, which is slumped and half empty.
This is effective as it seems as though the dwarf cannot help himself
and he is sitting there waiting for help. MacCaig tells us that he is
a dwarf therefore he will be very short and “hands on backwards” and
“tiny twisted legs” portrays his deformity as I can envisage his legs
dangling from his body. Also as he is sitting like a “half –filled
sack” it seems to me that he cannot do an...

... middle of paper ...

...ered after him as he scattered

The grain of the Word.”

This shows me MacCaig is comparing the tourists to the birds and the
Priest to the sower. He does not approve of the actions as it is
compared to the parable of the sower of when he scatters the grain and
the birds flutter after it. He does not approve of the tourists
fluttering after the word and ignoring the poor dwarf, when in actual
fact they should be helping him.

In conclusion, “Assisi” by Norman MacCaig is an intriguing and
though-provoking poem, which has put across a definite point of view
for me, which I believe is that all people should be treated equally
and that we should help those less fortunate than ourselves. In this
I essay I have shown how successful the poet was in making me share
this view by using his thoughtful and intense language, word-choice
and imagery techniques.

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