The Omagh bomb Essay
The Omagh bomb
In what ways do these two poets tell their stories so that the reader will be shocked and moved? Which of the two poems shocked and moved you more, and why? The first poem we are going to examine is about the eviction of a community on the orders from an absentee landlord (a landlord who is absent from his estate or land and lives elsewhere) in the 19th century by William Allingham who is renowned for writing poems on Irish History. The second poem deals with an I. R. A car bomb which took place in the small town of Claudy, Londonderry, in 1972, killing nine people.
Both poems convey the horror of the story; the poets employ different techniques, which we will look at. At the beginning of the 19th century poem, ‘The Eviction’ we are given an explicit description of the scene – “In early morning twilight, raw and chill, Damp vapours brooding on the barren hill”, ‘Vapours brooding’ is an example of personification, the surroundings and scenery are dark, as if in a bad mood. We can tell from this that ‘The Eviction’ is a narrative poem. The next line contains an example of alliteration “miles of mire”; this helps to develop the rhyme scheme.
Alliteration is again used in the next line “police pursue their way”. The following lines describe the soldiers “Each tall and bearded man a rifle swings, and under each greatcoat a bayonet clings” this is contrasted to the poverty of the evictees it is also shows how these soldiers do well out of other’s misfortune by taking their homes away from them. We are introduced to the chief who is described as “creeping on behind them” – giving us the idea that he is stealthy and sly.
His name is Paudeen Dhu and it tells us he “Pretends his needful duty much to rue”: as if to say he pretends to regret what he is doing when really he doesn’t care less. “Six crowbar men” on the following line is an example of synecdoche. These men are thought of as being Protestant but in reality, they are Catholics who don’t care. This is given to us by the lines “Orange, and glorying in their work, ’tis thought, but wrongly, churls of Catholics are they and merely hired at half-a-crown a day. ” Their loyalty is cheaply bought.
We are introduced furthermore to the village itself and the people in it. The homesteads are described as being “dark and mean. ” The houses being described as mean or poor, helps to create objective correlative around the dire event that is about to happen. “Poor always, not despairing until now”, is an example of transferred epithet – the homesteads are symbolic of their inhabitants but they have no need to complain or despair. The attitude of the evictees is stoical: they suffer hardship but do not show any feelings.
Their daily problems are described as being trifles. The next few lines show their expectations that something is going to happen “Moveless and grim against the cottage walls, lean a few silent men: but someone calls. ” The next line shows the innocence of the people and in particular the children “Far off; and then a child without a stitch (naked), runs out of doors with piercing screech. ” To make us aware of the injustice of what’s happening, the poet includes women “female sorrow, swelling loud and high” and also children – they cannot defend themselves.
“Meanwhile, o’er fence and watery field beneath, the little army moves through the drizzling rain” is another example of how objective correlative is used effectively to create the atmosphere the poet desires. “A ‘Crowbar’ leads the sheriff’s nag; the lane” dehumanises theses figures to increase are dislike for these men and what they doing. Onomatopoeia is used in the next line in “plashing tramp” to make the story seem more real.
“‘Halt’_at the doors they form in double line, and ranks of polished rifles wetly shine” contrasts the order of the soldiers to the disorder and panic of the evictees. The start of the second poem is centred in the town of Claudy in Londonderry, just as Omagh is synonymous with the Omagh bomb; Claudy is synonymous with the Claudy bomb. The first stanza, gives us an idea of the surrounding of Claudy and the town itself. It is an idyllic setting and this is helped by the light and cheerful writing style.
The next three stanzas give us a snapshot of daily life in the town and also help us to get closer to the people of the town by understanding their innocent lives. They all do usual day-to-day activities and we are told that “young Temples enjoying his first job quite well” – this is to give us a sense of pathos, he has started his first job and has his future ahead of him and this is about to be shattered. The fourth stanza talks about other people lives and ends with a rhetorical question “and Mrs Brown, looking around for her cat, goes up off an entry what’s wrong about that?
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 27 September 2017