Glasgow 5th March 1971 Poem Analysis

Topics: IronyPoetry

This sample essay on Glasgow 5th March provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

`Glasgow 5 March 1971′ is a poem by Edwin Morgan which creates a picture of a corrupt figure, but in a way the corrupt figure can be seen as a hero if we look at the poem in the corrupt figures point of view, but generally no one would classify the corrupt figures of being heroes.

The poem `Glasgow 5 March 1971′ is an instamatic poem, where the poet approaches to give an insight into the violent reality of the inner city life.

From the title we see that it is informal and conveys the image of a headline report, to give a prosaic note of time and place. But not only has the headline given us this feeling, as it eems like a written report of the incident the way the poet has not involved himself in the poem, but conveys the idea of someone standing back watching the incident or someone that knows the young couple, besides that the present tense is used to give immediacy.

The poem can be split into three parts, as there are three couples involved. The beginning of the poem shows us the young couple are passing by maybe looking at diamond engagement rings, when suddenly they are used as human bricks by two young attackers, and fall backwards into the shop window, suffering the start to bad pain and injuries.

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While the two attackers continue to go ahead and snatch what they can from this shop.

At the meantime the two drivers passing by, focusing on the road ahead trying to avoid the situation, and don’t bother helping. This shows two corrupt figures, the drivers and the attackers. Firstly, the attackers can be classified as corrupt figures due to the way they have treated the young couple as it disgusts us: “The two youths who have pushed them are about to complete the operation. This shows us that the attackers have used the couple as human bricks, and gives us the impression they are really ignorant and only think bout themselves. This is created by the word choice used by Edwin Morgan, `complete the operation,’ as it suggests in a way that the youth are looking forward to `loot’ what they can from the shop, and not caring about the fallen couple but completed the days work for them, which they may seem proud or heroes for doing it but overall we would look at them being corrupt.

But on the other hand it gives us the image that it is he beginning to the couple’s surgical operation. The fact that the attackers continue on with their work and did not give another thought to what they did or see what they have caused f the couple being in a terrible state, and end up feeling guilty shows us their lack of concern for people: “to loot what they can smartly Their faces show no expression. It shows how the attackers are heartless and do not feel any shame or shock to what they have done but the poet does contrast the attacker’s reaction to the couple’s reaction of `surprise,’ `shock’ and `pain’ which therefore really makes the attackers stand out and seem more violent and that they have no heart with feelings. Also the word `smartly’ at the end of the line shows us how they are concerned about o one else but to `complete the operation’ and gives us the image of the rate of speed they are moving about in.

The attackers stand out and the poet conveys them to be corrupt as the pain the couples are in, shocks us, as we are reading the poem, and reveals sympathy: “The young man’s face is bristling with fragments of glass and the girl’s leg has caught on the broken window and spurts arterial blood over her wet-look white coat … and the beginning of pain. ” In these lines the poet shows us how horrific the violent incident is, which creates the attackers to be very inconsiderate and they seem as f they don’t belong to human nature.

It also shows how the poet in these lines does not use any rhyme, rhythm and versification, but it is short statements to create the image of giving facts about the injuries that happened. From the poem we can see that the girl is in a worse condition than the man, `is bristling with fragments if glass,’ this is a metaphor and compares how they tiny pieces of glass are embedded in the man’s face and gives us the image of sharp glass around everywhere, but it shows the girl’s injuries are far more serious.

As her leg is caught in the window, as ell as that; the last two lines is ironic and shows us how her `wet-look white coat’ is now literally wet with blood, as it shows us how it is supposed to be wet but now covered in blood. The poet makes use of figurative language and word choice to get the image across vividly and makes it seem very shocking. The subject of the poem, has an effect on us and arouses sympathy as we do not generally think nothing of it, we take a reaction to it, of how it shocks and disgusts us.

It arouses sympathy as we think of the two couples, the fact they young lovers and we think of the love etween them which makes it seem wonderful, and that they may be looking for an engagement ring, which is spoiled by the attackers: “With a ragged diamond of shattered plate-glass” This is ironic as it shows us how `the diamond of shattered plate-glass’ as it suggests they may be looking at diamond engagement rings until they got pushed out the way and it all `shattered. The poet uses onomatopoeia to give us an image of the smashing glass, and this all builds up and creates anger towards the attackers as we read the poem, as it gives us the feeling that there is no need for all this and why do such people do such hurtful acts.

The poet has built the poem up step by step to show how corrupt these attackers are but then we realise there are people that could help: “It is a sharp clear night in Sauchiehall Street. In the background two drivers Keep their eyes on the road. This makes us wonder as the drivers passing by must have heard or seen the incident, but decided not to get involved not ironically because they are following the Highway Code but to avoid getting involved. The poet also tells us that, `it is a sharp clear night,’ and it shows us a powerful irony that it is `sharp,’ meaning it may be cold and also he cut and hurt couple on the ground. But it suggests that the weather condition was not terribly bad that the drivers had to focus on the road ahead. The word `clear’ emphasises how it must have been easily seen but ignored.

This then leads to who is the more corrupt figure the drivers or the attackers, the drivers were being very ignorant and we think to our selves why are they? But the incident was caused by the attackers. The poet makes use of irony throughout the poem which gives us a clearer image of the poem as it shows how fast the poem is going with the violence and the pictures are moving about in our mind. In conclusion the poet has created the attackers to be corrupt as they stand out and we do have a reaction towards them.

But throughout the poem the poet shows us all kinds of techniques but at the very last line of the poem Edwin Morgan reveals the message across to us. It makes us wonder about the society we live in, where things happen and are ignored and gives us a brief insight to the violence in the inner city and such ignorance people have. In fact, the last line is very much thought provoking, as why are the drivers so ignorant as well as that it makes us think about the world around us.

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Glasgow 5th March 1971 Poem Analysis. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Glasgow 5th March 1971 Poem Analysis
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