There can be no doubt that “Slough” and “No More Hiroshima’s” share a large collection of differences. However, they additionally have similarities. The poem “Slough” written by John Betjeman and is expressing his hatred for the place. This becomes apparent from the beginning when he ask for “friendly bombs, come fall on slough. ” The satirical humour and juxtaposition of “friendly” and “bomb” are ironic and portray a dark image of the place, and this is continued throughout the poem with words such as “Death”, and “Hell”.
Moreover, the imagery of the poem is ferocious and ghastly which greats a sense of negativity towards Slough. The poem “No More Hiroshima’s” by James Kirkup shares a similarity with Slough due to the aspect of war. No More Hiroshima’s is constructed around the reconstruction of the city Hiroshima’s after having nuclear bombs released on it. Furthermore, both poets are infuriated by the cities.
No More Hiroshima’s begins with the tourist arriving at the station, “At the station exit, my bundle in hand” this already creates a sense of the poet coming off the train being confused at how busy the station is and how he was expecting to see huge inspirational memorials, however he was astonished and disappointed to see no memorials and compares it to any ordinary Japanese town.
The poet in Slough wishes for slough to be obliterated as it says “come bombs, and blow to smithereens” whereas the No More Hiroshima’s poem doesn’t wish for the place to be wounded as the poet still sees Hiroshima as a precious place but it has just been used in the erroneous way due to commercialization of the demolished city. Consequently I believe this portrays a sense of negativity and is extremely idiosyncratic from the poet Betjeman and this continues throughout the whole poem. In the poem No More Hiroshima’s the poet doesn’t present any characters In a clear manner.
Therefore he can talk about the place in a more general manner. Conversely in Slough the poet introduces characters as he feels he has to take his emotions out on the people not the city as it says for example “ and get that man with double chin, who’ll always cheat and always win, who washes his repulsive skin In women’s tears,” the poet here is vehement that the people are additionally a cause for the failure of Slough whereas the in No More Hiroshima’s there isn’t blame on the people.
Courtney from Study Moose
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