Comparing the Two Poems: Clown Punk and Medusa
Comparing the Two Poems: Clown Punk and Medusa
Compare the ways the ‘Clown Punk’ and ‘Medusa’ show characteristics of being isolated and having bad or no kind of relationship with people.
Both the ‘Clown Punk’ and ‘Medusa’ show characteristics of being isolated from humans; as shown in the ‘Clown Punk’, a man is being shunned by the general public, he is thought to be a bit of a joke – not to be taken seriously or treated as an equal. People fear him, yet despite this they also have a contrasting emotion of pity. Once thought of as rebellious, the man has now faded into the background, being forced to choose a simple job; his lack of education ensures this. He is a clown. The town clown. ‘Medusa’ can relate to the ‘Clown Punk’ because, although she was once accepted amongst people; beautiful and in love – she doubted her fiancé’s loyalty, slowly transforming her into a bitter and unsightly woman, thinking it would be ‘so better by far for me if you were stone’ in hopes that he would feel as isolated as she felt. Medusa’s wild thoughts slowly began to take action on her appearance, transforming her into a gorgon. Although Medusa and the clown punk are similar in many ways, Medusa chose to exclude herself from the rest of society, wanting to be unseen and living in the shadows of life, while the clown punk was turned away – wanting to be noticed but forever ignored.
The ‘Clown Punk’ uses plenty of emotive language to emphasize the fact that the clown punk is a character the reader must feel for. The structure of the poem is 4 lines long within 4 stanzas, apart from the last which contains only 2, perhaps to draw attention to the fact that people wish that they could see less of the clown. ‘Medusa’ however uses a lot of figurative language – using similes and metaphors to emphasise the fact that Medusa is a character the reader must fear but also pity, similar to the ‘Clown Punk’ Emotive language, such as ‘deflated face’ is used in the ‘Clown Punk’ to create a vivid image for the reader. The language used allows the reader to picture the clown, making him appear more realistic and letting the reader feel sympathy for the clown punk because they can now imagine him clearer as a person with emotions. ‘Turned the hairs on my head to filthy snakes, as though my thoughts hissed and spat on my scalp’ This sentence is used in the Medusa poem because unlike the ‘Clown Punk’ it uses both figurative language and emotive language, such as the simile, the use of the word ‘filthy’ and alliteration of the ‘S’ sound.
The ‘S’ sound creates the sense that the reader can actually hear the snakes upon Medusas head, these snakes share Medusa’s thoughts, and take action upon them. ‘The shonky side of town’ is used in the ‘Clown Punk’ because the clown does not belong to the ‘good’ side of town. ‘shonky’ is a new word, invented by the author to show that there is no way to describe the awfulness of where the clown lives without mixing and matching words, (shonky is made up of shady and wonky) this is perhaps to show the slang attitude of punk rock. At the end of the second stanza within the ‘Medusa’ poem, their is a question which seems rhetorical – where in actual fact the question is answered at the beginning of the third stanza, making the reader pause momentarily before receiving the answer. This pause makes the question more frightening because waiting slightly adds drama and suspense to the poem.
Within the structure of the ‘Clown Punk’ you could argue that the poem contains some characteristics of a sonnet, this could show that the clown punk is going against normal rules, he is rebelling. The structure of the ‘Medusa’ poem is rather long compared to the relatively short ‘Clown Punk’ ‘Medusa’ poem does not rhyme, whereas the ‘Clown Punk’ rhymes in the first, part of the third, and last stanza. The clown punk uses the same amount of syllables in each line in the first stanza. The reader of ‘Medusa’ would feel sorry her. Although Medusa rejected herself from social interaction, she is wild and can barely think straight without the snakes twisting her every thought.
In addition to this, the reader may also attempt to understand medusa’s situation, in spite of the fact that she is no longer human – the reader can still sympathise with her. The author of the ‘Clown Punk’ never reveals the clowns actual name, this makes him seem mysterious and less human. Without a name, the public nickname him words that can scare other people away from him. It is this fear that contradicts the readers’ earlier emotion of pity. The reader of this poem would feel sympathetic at the relationship between the clown and the people, they would perhaps also feel grateful that they are accepted into their community – and no longer take for granted their friends and family.