Song for Last Year's Wife by Brian Patten Analysis

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  • Created by: Gemma
  • Created on: 22-05-13 09:59
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  • Song for Last Year's Wife by Brian Patten
    • Binary Opposites
      • Absence and presence
        • Alice is not there but he still feels her presence
          • Imagining Alice is there
            • She hasn't changed
          • He hasn't got the physical body there
        • Loss comes now and touches me
          • Personification
          • Loss is absence but it touches him so it is present
        • He is trying to recreate Alice
          • To get closure
            • Is it self-indulgent or is it a coping mechanism?
    • Language
      • A year now
        • Sums up isolation
      • Another mouth feeding from me
        • intellectually?
        • New lover?
          • Reminds him of Alice
          • Feeding his loss
          • Physical love?
          • He is the one doing the nourishing
        • Financially?
      • I send out my spies
        • My = obsessive/ controlling
          • Like a king or a leader
        • Spies = friends?
        • Are the spies him looking back into his memory?
      • Touched by this same hour
        • They are connected by time
      • Song for Last Year's Wife
        • Throw-away line
      • Dressed in familiar clothes
        • Link between her personality and her clothes
          • Metaphor
        • Is he looking backinto his memory?
      • Perhaps not even conscious of our anniversary
        • She hasn't forgotten about their anniversary
          • It's just gone
        • They should be linked by their conscience
          • She is not
      • The Earth's still as hard
        • Hard = difficult
          • The world is a difficult place
            • Or, the world is the same place
              • Or, it is winter, when the ground is hard
                • Winter
                  • Isolation and lonliness
      • Begins with direct adress
        • Alice
        • After that, he uses the pronoun 'you'
          • He is lonely and isolated
      • Tell me your body's as firm
        • You're fine
      • Touch
        • Firm
        • Warm
        • Why would the spies be touching her?
          • I send out my spies
            • My = obsessive/ controlling
              • Like a king or a leader
            • Spies = friends?
            • Are the spies him looking back into his memory?
          • Are the spies trying to tell him that Alice has moved on?
    • Themes
      • Mourning and Melancholia
        • Mourning = someone has gone or died
          • Public mourning
          • Closure
          • Author is mourning loss of Alice
        • Melancholy = personal/ internal feeling. Deep feeling of sadness
          • No closure
            • The author has had no closure
              • He still sends out spies
                • So he writes a poem to get closure
                  • Or does he want to indulge himself in the loss rather than find a solution, closure?
            • The author is melancholy because he has lost love
              • Love had not the right to walk out of me
              • His in love with the idea of being in love
            • Winter
              • Season of melancholy
              • Isolated
              • Inevitably, he is thinking of her in this month
      • Tone and Mood
        • Treats he as though she is dead
          • She has just dumped him
            • It was a bitter end to their relationship
        • At the start, the reader feels sympathy for the author
          • As the poem goes on, he gets more angry and bitter
            • He feels like he's the victim
              • He's more interested in his own feelings
          • You think that he is mourning the loss of his wife or lover and she has died
        • Tone changes from sad to bitter
        • The narrator is quite creepy and obsessed
        • The poem is self-indulgent.
          • It is his way of coping with his separation from Alice and from love
            • It is his way of getting closure




    this has helped me a lot THX



    You're welcome, Janarth

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