Assisi Norman MacCaig

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  • Assisi
    • Form and Sturcture
      • seperated into three seperate stanzas 1- dwarf 2- priest 3- tourists
      • the poem is written in free verse usign irregular stanzas to create a conversational style
      • language is deliberatley unsophisticated and even at times menosyllabic
    • Stanza 1
      • Focus is on the beggar himself
      • "with his hands on backwards"
        • imagery is almost grotesque and shows condition of man
      • sat, slumped like a half-fileld sack
        • the sibilance of the simile creates a vivid image suggesting he csnt support his frmae
      • tiny twisted legs
        • this figure is no longer like a man more like shell of a human
      • three tiers oof churches built
        • MacCaig deliberately juxtaposes this pitiful, crooked, pathetic individual against the grand backdrop
    • stanza 2
      • Focus is shifted onto priest
      • mood changes to anger
      • " the cleverness"
        • stanza ends on a caustic note  and dismisses the expertise of the priest
      • "reveal to the illiterate the goodness"
        • shows hypocracy of priest as hes supposed to be devoted to bible yet he seems unaffected by the beggar
      • It is clear the speaker is offended by the obvious intellectual pride the priest demonstrates when he discusses Giotto’s work.
    • Stanza 3
      • attention turns to toursits
      • "clucking contentently"
        • here we see the speaker comparing the tourists to mindless chickens
        • "fluttered after him"
          • this analogy shows the contempt the speaker holds for the tourist
        • " the grain of the word"
          • This is a deliberately ironic allusion to the biblical Parable of the Sower in which Jesus uses the symbol of seeds to represent the word of God.
      • It was they who had passed/the ruined temple outside.
      • wept pus
      • back is higher than his head
      • lopsided
      • Grazie


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