remains-simon armitage

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  • Remains-Simon Armitage
    • Guilt: the speaker in this poem is haunted by the guilt of taking another man’s life.
      • ‘probably armed, possibly not’ repeated in the poem, emphasizes sense of discomfort; killed another human being who may have been innocent.
    • Conflict: the speaker is acting under orders and is engaged in combat in another country.
      • 'not left for dead in some distant, sun-stunned, sand-smothered land’ physical description of the place is dry and dusty, images of newsreel scenes of wars.
    • Life and death: the looter is killed by rounds of bullets that the group of soldiers send into him.
      • ‘I see every round as it rips through his life/ I see broad daylight on the other side’ suggests the speed of everything happening. One minute there is a man who is alive and the next, nothing.
    • first seven stanzas are large and unrhymed. Final stanza consists of two lines and stands out, emphasizing that the speaker cant rid himself of the memory of the killing. It could also imply disintegration in the speaker’s state of mind.
    • written as a monologue, from the point of view of the speaker.
    • has the feel of fast-paced natural speech, no regular rhythmic pattern and there are examples of  enjambment.
    • Slang such as ‘mates’ and colloquial language (such as ‘legs it’) is used throughout, its anecdotal, and the pace and rhythm, gives the sense the speaker is directly telling us his story.
    • imagery is graphic and brutal, the bullets ‘rip’ the man’s body and after he is ‘sort of inside out’, conveys the disturbance and trauma that the soldier carries with him long after he has returned home.
  • themes
  • form and structure
  • language


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