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Norman MacCaig (1910-1996)
· He was brought up in Edinburgh.
· From his mother he had a Gaelic heritage.
· His visits to his aunts had an influence on him.
· Gaelic isn't commonly spoken now.
· "Aunt Julia" is an auto biographical poem in
which the author looks back at his childhood days
with aunt Julia affectionately and now speaks
regretfully that, following her death, he has lost
the ability to converse with her in the Gaelic
Language.…read more

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She was different,
as Gaelic is not a
common
language.
She appears to
be very Aunt Julia spoke Gaelic
extrovert and
not shy. Very loud and very fast.
I could not answer her ­
I could not understand her.
Repetition
emphasises This poem is in free verse
MacCaig's which corresponds with
helplessness. aunt Julia's eccentricity
and unpredictability.…read more

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Aunt Julia is
quirky and
She is burly,
unconventional She wore men's boots and shows a
When she wore any. sense of power
- I can see her strong foot, and strength.
Stained with peat,
Paddling with the treadle of the spinning
wheel
While her right hand drew yarn
Marvellously out of the air.
He is in awe of
her and admires
her.…read more

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Despite the darkness and
Hers was the only house primitive accommodation
, he feels secure and safe
Where I've lain at night
In the absolute darkness No
Of a box bed, listening to punctuation
­ shows
excitement.
Crickets being friendly.
The `darkness'
and friendly
crickets contrast…read more

Slide 6

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She was buckets He compare to a series of
metaphors ­ to do with
And water flouncing into them. nature and things of a
She was winds pouring wetly home (clothing and
money)
Round house-ends.
She was brown eggs, black skirts It is a hard life,
she did not have
And a keeper of threepennybits much money but
In a tea pot. worked very
hard.
Aunt Julia combines the
strength of nature and the
security of a domestic home.…read more

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