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Visiting Hour by Norman MacCaig The poem is about MacCaig’s experience as he goes to the hospital to visit his wife. The poem takes us through his journey.

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Presentation on theme: "Visiting Hour by Norman MacCaig The poem is about MacCaig’s experience as he goes to the hospital to visit his wife. The poem takes us through his journey."— Presentation transcript:

1 Visiting Hour by Norman MacCaig The poem is about MacCaig’s experience as he goes to the hospital to visit his wife. The poem takes us through his journey through the hospital, his thoughts and feelings until he get so his wife’s ward.

2 Stanza 3 I will not feel, I will not Feel, until I have to. Repetition Poet chanting to himself – trying to control his emotions (painful) Tension in the poem builds here – he knows he’ll have to face emotions sometime.

3 Stanza 4 Nurses walk lightly, swiftly, Here and up and down and there, Their slender waists miraculously Carrying their burden Of so much pain, so Many deaths, their eyes Still clear after so many farewells. Syntax Conveys a busy hospital atmosphere – nurses going everywhere at one and always on the go. Word choice They cope well with death – admires them Contrast Highlights difference between poet and the nurses

4 Stanza 5 Ward 7. She lies in a white cave of forgetfulness. A withered hand trembles on its stalk. Eyes move behind eyelids too heavy to raise. Into an arm wasted of colour a glass fang is fixed, not guzzling but giving. And between her and me distance shrinks till there is none left but the distance of pain that neither she nor I can cross. Metaphor The bed/curtain, she’s not really conscious Word Choice Weakness/thin/fragile like a flower Alliteration Vampire image reversed. The needle a fang – feels pity He gets close to her (kiss her?) but the pain is a barrier between them – feels hopeless Minor Sentence

5 Stanza 6 She smiles a little at this Black figure in her white cave Who clumsily rises In the round swimming waves of a bell And dizzily goes off, growing fainter, Not smaller, leaving behind only Books that will not be read And fruitless fruits. Contrast She knows he’s there Word Choice She has let go of control, feels faint/moving away Paradox Pun Highlights her situation and his distress. It seems a pointless situation – he can’t do anything to help


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