Remains by Simon Armitage

  • Created by: randall04
  • Created on: 28-10-19 21:06
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  • Remains by Simon Armitage
    • context
      • based on a story from a solider in iraq
      • armitage was born in 1963 in huddersfield
      • in 2007 interviewed for channel 4 documentary the not dead
        • this shares the same title of his poetry collection from which remains comes from
      • armitage is well known for his colloquial style of poetry
      • this is a criticism of aftercare for ptsd sufferers
      • poem is about a PTSD sufferer
    • form and structure
      • much like bayonet charge the poem begins mid action
        • helps us to understand the chaos of a situation
      • repition is used
        • indicates the solider taking blame for what hes done. shows that the impact of war is personal
      • 8 stanzas 7 four lines 1 two
        • The final stanza consists of only two lines and therefore stands out, emphasising the fact the speaker cannot rid himself of the memory of the killing. It could also imply disintegration in the speaker’s state of mind.
      • The title may refer to the remains of the dead man, the remains of the memory that haunts the speaker and to what remains are left of his own life now that he is riddled with guilt.
      • The poem is written as a monologue, from the point of view of the speaker. The poem has the feel of fast-paced natural speech. There is no regular rhythmic pattern and there are examples of enjambment, sometimes between stanzas, which adds to the sense of someone telling their story fairly naturally.
    • quotes
      • probably armed,possibly not
        • The speaker is unsure whether the looter was armed and prevaricates by saying ‘probably’ and ‘possibly’, which mean different things. The alliteration and rhythmic balance of the line, stating the worrying alternatives, hint the internal conflict within the soldier. It may ease his conscience to tell himself that the looter was armed and then his own life would have been at risk. In military terms this is a justification for killing, yet the event clearly disturbs the soldier
      • I see every round as it rips through his life
        • changes to I conveys his blame of himself. the violent imagry of rips through his life conveys how destructive this is. it is written in present tense which means he cant get it out of his head. round whilst refering to bullets can also be refering to the cirularity of this memory and how it always comes back to haunt him
      • One of my mates goes byand tosses his guts back into his body.
        • tosses conveys a casual/colloquial tone. as well as this it acts as juxtapositon for the act being described
        • the colloquial tone of this act could either be him trying to cope or him now being desensitized to violent acts such as these
      • and the drink and the drugs wont flush him out
        • the verb flush us violent like hes attempting to rid himself of this memory. the repetition of and the refers to how he keeps turning back to them. he is disgusted by himself
      • but near to the knuckle, here and now,his bloody life in my bloody hands.
        • armitage avoids ending with a rhyming couplet in order to highlight the narators lack of control. instead he uses a rhyming couplet before with not left for dead in some distant, sun-stunned, sand-smothered landor six-feet-under in desert sand,. this is known as discordance
        • the third person use of his personalises the dead man affecting him more than it should. my also signifies that he fully blames himself now and views himself as the guilty party, giving him a motive for self destruction
        • bloody hands are a literary allusion to that of lady macbeth which symbolise her guil in comminting regicide, therefore symbolising the soliders guilt. it also suggests that the looters life was just as precious as a kings and the consequence of killing him is just as tragic as that of macbeths




Amazing helped me so much with my understanding of this poem

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