Brendon Gallacher Notes

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  • Created on: 30-05-13 13:26
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Brendon Gallacher [Jackie Kay]
Structure and Form
Elegy
Mournful for Brendon/ for the innocence of the idea of him/ for a lost childhood.
Poem is written as a memory, not as an immediate response to grief.
Stanzas
The poem is very regular in form with five stanzas of five lines each.
There is a diminishing effect towards the end; final two stanzas are shorter - reflects the sudden
death of Brendon Gallacher and the fact that he is fading away.
Language
Direct speech
Provides a sense of immediacy and draws the reader in
The poem is spoken through the voice of a child, and is very realistic
Rhyme
Every line ends in a half or full rhyme for `Gallacher', thus creating a sense of unity e.g. "dinner",
"trouser"
Personal pronoun
Possessive pronoun emphasizes the idea that Brendan belongs to the narrator thus emphasizing
the theme of loss and longing for something that is gone.
When the name Brendon appears without the surname or the ""my"" in the last line, as just ""Oh
Brendon"", the impact is much greater: losing the refrain highlights the loss of her imaginary friend.
Repetition
Reinforces the importance of friendship and the fact that he is a product of her imagination
"He" + "his" constantly puts Brendon at the centre of the poem
"Brendon Gallacher" gives the name more prominence and indicates that he is always in the
narrator's mind so as to keep the illusion alive.
Enjambment
"Two years-one day" draws reader to a dramatic conclusion
After "Mrs Moir"; holds the narrative sufficiently for apprehension to creep in before the
explanation.
Childish language
Creates an informal tone which adds to the pathos (pity) and mournful tone
Juxtaposition
Contrasts fantasy and reality to create a sense of escapism.
"Some place far"
Coveys wistfulness to get away from mundane dullness
Suggests a sense of displacement; the narrator wants to escape into a different mental place NOT
a physical place
"My mum says to me"
Colloquialism of "says" marks the move to present tense thus creating immediacy

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There are no Gallacher's"
The intrusion of this fact destroys her fantasy
Imagery
He's ""Irish"" rather than Scottish, and his father is a ""cat-burglar"", not just a thief. This description
makes Brendon Gallacher's background seem slightly unbelievable from the outset.
Kay uses pathetic fallacy to create a sense of the fateful day when Brendon Gallacher 'died': the
rain that was ""pouring"" could reflect tears, or be used to create an ominous atmosphere.
"It was pouring" foreshadows that something bad is going to happen.…read more

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