'Chainsaw Versus the Pampas Grass' - Simon Armitage

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  • 'Chainsaw Versus the Pampas Grass' - Simon Armitage
    • IMAGERY
      • Belligerent, violent imagery of chainsaw
        • Used to contrast imagery of the pampas grass
          • The "perfect disregard" of the Chainsaw and the "pampas grass with its ludicrous feather and plumes"
        • Antagonises the chainsaw as the reader witnesses its "bloody desire"
        • Portrayed as belligerent through its brutish force and desire for destruction
          • "an instant rage", "lashing out"
        • Almost provokes imagery of men - use of personification aids the creation of imagery
          • "knocked back a quarter-pint"
      • Calm, patient and regal imagery of the grass
        • "riding high in its saddle, wearing a new crown"
          • Less use of violence allows it to reign free from the spiteful chainsaw
            • Portrayal of innocence as it was "sunning itself"
            • Grows jealousy within the seething Chainsaw while "stealing the show" and taking the metaphorical and physcial higher ground
          • Almost as if it were royalty
        • Appeals to reader as protagonist ad the victor in the close
        • The power of regrowth and development show in the grass, predominating the close of the poem
      • Dominates the poem and provokes conflicting feelings for the separate entities
    • LANGUAGE
      • Personification of the chainsaw and pampas grass
        • Exaggerates the conflict as well as disparity between them
        • Accentuates their living qualities so readers feel more connected to their symbols
      • Tone begins calm with ominous undertones through description of the chainsaw
        • "weightless wreckage of wasps and flies"
          • Alliteration highlights the desolate weight of the room, exaggerating a sense of foreboding
        • "swung nose-down from a hook in the darkroom"
        • "Dropped the safety catch and gunned the trigger
          • The turning point as the chainsaw is turned on and its power is restored after being unplugged "all winter"
            • Its only function is to destroy
          • The shift helps establish ominous and hostile tones when the next stanza instantly quickens with aggressive language
      • Tone near close is angered and has a sense of defeat, almost with elements of jealousy
        • Reflects the metaphorical thoughts of the chainsaw as its power has been debilitated and cannot defeat nature
    • STRUCTURE
      • Inconsistency between stanzas
        • Varying line lengths symbolise the overwhelming force of the chainsaw
        • Chainsaw destroys the structure of the poem through its destructive nature
      • Rigid structure of enjambment in each stanza
        • Segregates the stanzas
        • Controlling nature of man and industry against nature?
        • Forceful nature of the chainsaw and its huge disparity between the grass
      • Structured to show the chainsaw as possessing the most power initially
        • Creates unexpected shift when the pampas grass reigns
        • Demonstrates the overall weak force of the chainsaw and its representation of humanity
    • FORM
      • Lack of enjambment and rhyme
        • Provides very loose structure
          • Demonstrates recklessness in the conflict and how torn apart humanity is from nature

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