GiIIian CIarke

By AIejandra & YoIanda
or the green turtIe with her puIsing burden,
in search of the breeding-ground.
or her eggs Iaid in their nest of sickness.
or the cormorant in his funeraI siIk,
the veiI of iridescence on the sand,
the shadow on the sea.
or the ocean's Iap with its mortaI stain.
or Ahmed at the cIosed border.
or the soIdier in his uniform of fire.
or the gunsmith and the armourer,
the boy fusiIier who joined for the company,
the farmer's sons, in it for the music.
or the hook-beaked turtIes,
the dugong and the doIphin,
the whaIe struck dumb by the missiIe's thunder.
or the tern, the guII and the restIess wader,
the Iong migrations and the sIow dying,
the veiIed sun and the stink of anger.
or the burnt earth and the sun put out,
the scaIded ocean and the bIazing weII.
or vengeance, and the ashes of Ianguage.
Background Information
· Gillian Clarke was born in Cardiff, Wales
(1937)
· Poet, playwright, editor, and translator
(from Welsh)
· The poem is about the Gulf
War(1991),when Ìraq invaded Kuwait, and
the United States, with Britain's help,
bombed Ìraq. This war has never really
stopped.
$tanza 1
· "pulsing burden¨ ÷ The "burden¨ is the heavy
load (eggs) that the turtle has to carry. But when
it says is "pulsing¨ it gives the image that she is
desperate to lay her eggs that is causing her
trouble.
· "nest of sickness¨- Metaphor. A "nest¨ should be
secure & warm, but the the word "sickness¨ is
mentioned, so it gives the idea that war has
reached so far that there isn't a single place safe.
Stanza 2
· "funeral silk¨ - The author refers the oil that is
covering the "cormorant¨ as "silk¨. But when
"funeral¨ is mentioned it is saying that this "silk¨
is going to cause the death of the bird.
· "The veil of iridescence on the sand¨ and "the
shadow on the sea¨ show the spreading stain of
oil from bombed oil wells and also shows the
image of war is poisoning everywhere.
$tanza 3
· "mortal stain¨ - The war is described as a "stain¨
that blemishes everyone's heart and causes
death to all the living things and our
surroundings.
· Clarke moves from the environmental cost of
the war to the human cost. "Ahmed¨ was a
soldier burnt when his tank was bombed ("his
uniform of fire¨).This creates an impacting image
of how the war caused so much pain to
everyone.
Stanza 4
· Use of the semantic field of jobs related to
war: "gunsmith¨, "armourer¨, "fusilier¨,
"company¨
· The "boy fusilier who joined for the
company,¨ and "the farmer's sons, in it for
the music¨, came from hearing radio
interviews. This once more shows how the
war spoiled the innocence of children.
Stanza 5
· Here, different animals are listed "hooked-
beaked turtles¨, "dugong¨, "dolphin¨ and
"whale¨. The authors mentions these
animals because they'll problably end up
dead.
· The sound of the missile is described as
the roar of the "thunder¨. Which shows a
powerful image of war.
Stanza 6
· "veiled sun¨ ÷ the verb 'veil' is used again
to mention how the sun and light is hidden
away and only the "stink of anger¨ is left,
filling the atmosphere with disgust.
· Different types of seabirds ("tern¨, "gull¨
and "wader¨) are mentioned showing that
after the long journey, they´re going to die.
ast Verse
· "The ashes of anguage¨
With this last verse the poet is trying to
transmit the idea that during war all the
truth is dead as well as all the lives of
many innocent people and creatures.
Stanza 7
· Use of different adjectives to describe
what has happened to nature : "burnt
earth¨, "scalded ocean¨ and "blazing well¨.
With this adjectives the poet emphasizes
the feeling of heat and fire.
· When it says that the "sun put out¨ it
means that there is no longer peace or
happiness on Earth.
Structure
· This poem is structured as a list of lamented
people, events, creatures and other things hurt
in the war so after the word 'lament', every verse,
and 11 lines, begin with 'for'.
· The poem doesn't have a particular rhyme
scheme.
· There are 7 Stanzas each of 3 verses (Tercets)
The Poem
ament
· Ms.Clarke's elegy reveals in minute detail the
comprehensive and catastrophic ill effects of the
Gulf War. The Gulf War devastates not only the
ecology but also the lives of so many people
who die in the most gruesome manner for no
reason of their own. But the sad truth which the
"ament" highlights is the fact that although it
deals in particular with the Gulf War, war as a
universal phenomenon has and is and will
continue to be the brutal means by which
mankind will settle its problems.
ow it's your turn!
· Which of these Quotes belong to
'ament'?
1.
a. "For the cormorant in his funeral place¨
b. "For the sword outwears its health¨
c. "A spiders web, tense for dew's touch¨
· 2.
a. "The scalded ocean and the blazing well¨
b. "Or is it only the breeze, in its
listlessness¨
c. "ew country at each jaunty helpless
journey¨
· 3.
a. "All hopes of Proteus rising from the sea¨
b. "And the soul wears their breast¨
c. "The veil of iridescense on the sand¨
We hope you have enjoyed our
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