The poem "Visiting Hour" by Norman Maccaig is a very emotional one.
The poet helps you to understand the situation and his feelings by the
use imagery and word choice.
"Visiting Hour" is written in the first person as the poet himself is
going to hospital to visit a very close relative who is severiorly
unwell and is dying. The poet is having an emotional effect as he is
having different thoughts as the poem progresses. I think that the
poet is trying to contain his feelings by not expressing them freely.
The opening stanza begins with the metaphor "The hospital smell combs
my nostrils." This suggests that the poet is sensing that there is a
strong, disinfectant smell. The metaphor is unusual but very
effective. It almost suggests the poet is feeling a bit of pain and
sets the mood for the rest of the poem. The setting is partly
described with the phrase "green and yellow corridors." The colours
are usually associated with hospitals which makes his word choice more
The beginning of the second stanza also helps you to understand the
poets situation and his feelings. "What seems a corpse is trundled
into a lift and vanishes heavenward." The description describes a body
descending further and further away until it aboard the lift. It
suggests that the poet is thinking about the possibility of death and
thinking about life after death. I think that the poet has opted for
the word "heavenward" as it states that the poet is looking at life
The metaphor "I will not feel, until I have to" begins the third
stanza. This suggests that the poet is trying not to fe...
... middle of paper ...
...s stanza effectively convey the idea of the patient
being in a critical state.
The final stanza begins with the effective metaphor "She smiles a
little at this black figure in a white cave." It suggests that the
poet is feeling the odd one out. The poets situation is not helped
when he "clumsily rise in the round swimming waves of a bell." My
personal reaction would be that he would still be feeling empty
inside. The poet ends the poem by phrasing "leaving behind only books
that will not be read and fruitless fruits." This suggest that the
time for the patient has come and she is about to die.
Norman Maccaig has portrait himself in an emotional manner while on
his way to the hospital to visit a close relative. The use of imagery
and word choice has helped the reader to understand his situation and
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