Presentation on theme: "Hotel Room, 12th floor This morning I watched from here a helicopter skirting like a damaged insect the Empire State Building, that jumbo size dentist's."— Presentation transcript:
Hotel Room, 12th floor
This morning I watched from here a helicopter skirting like a damaged insect the Empire State Building, that jumbo size dentist's drill, and landing on the roof of the Pan Am skyscraper.
But now midnight has come in from foreign places. Its uncivilised darkness is shot at by a million lit windows, all ups and acrosses.
But midnight is not so easily defeated. I lie in bed, between a radio and a television set, and hear the wildest of warwhoops continually ululating through the glittering canyons and gulches police cars and ambulances racing to the broken bones, the harsh screaming from coldwater flats, the blood glazed on sidewalks.
The frontier is never somewhere else. And no stockades can keep the midnight out. Norman MacCaig
written in 1968 In this poem, written in 1968, the poet spends a night in a New York hotel room. One or two words or ideas you might not be familiar with are explained below. Empire State Building - At the time the poem was written, the tallest building in the world. PanAm- The national airline of U.S.A. at this time (went bust in the 80s) Warwhoop –A cry uttered on going into battle. Ululating- Howling or wailing in an undulating way. Gulches- An American name for a ravine or narrow rocky valley. Flats - Among the several meanings of this word are: apartments (rooms that people live in) and, low lying plains or tracts of land covered by shallow water typical of certain areas of south and west U.S.A. Stockades - A barrier of stakes erected as a defence against attack.
What is this poem about? From whose viewpoint is it written? What is the effect of this? List all the images of technology and civilisation. List all the images of violence and the wild-west. What does midnight represent? What is this poem saying about modern (American/western) civilisation? What is this poem saying about human nature? Find examples of poetic techniques: alliteration, simile, metaphor, contrast...
IDEAS IDEAS TECHNIQUES TECHNIQUES Strong, confident picture of civilisation/ technology"This morning" Protecting us from what we fearskyscrapers/helicopter/dentist's drill Darkness seen as threatening/alien"But" An enemy to be fought with technology "Midnight has come in from foreign places" – meta “shot at by a million lit windows" - meta How difficult it is to get away from what we fear"But" - contrast Even using technology"between a radio and a television set" How the violence in the city is like the wild west"wildest of warwhoops" -allit/meta "glittering canyons and gulches" - meta Again we look to civilisation/technology to defend us"police cars and ambulances" But it is struggling to do so"broken bones" – allit "coldwater flats" - double meaning Violence/decay/all the things we fear, are part of us "frontier" - meta for line between civ/non-civ values We cannot protect ourselves completely from them "stockades" - meta for protection against fear"midnight" - meta for fear – violence /decay