Notes on Clown Punk

Simplified notes on Clown Punk

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The Clown Punk
Based on real person ­ Armitage (the poet) used to see a person like the Punk around the town
Poem describes a local character ­ an adult who dresses like a punk and is covered in tattoos
He presses his face against the cars windscreen when it stops at traffic light, frightening the children
sitting at the back seat
The poet asks the children to think about what the clown punk would look like in 30 years time
A sonnet sonnet usually has a love theme this poem could be indicating a lack of love
The lines are pentameters ( they have 10 syllabus each )
In the second stanza the rhythm breaks down ­ tome is more thoughtful and sad
Last two rhyming couplets ­ "brain" and "rain" gives a neat ending to the poem but leaves with this
image of the clown of the windscreen
Characteristics / Imagery
An outcast, who lives on the margin of society
He is misshapen ­ "sad tattoos", "shrunken scalp", "dyed brain"
Clown Punk dresses oddly and acts oddly
He is seen in the rough part of town ­ "driving home through the shonky side of town"
A shambolic (messed up) character
"sad tattoos" ­ wants reader to feel sympathy for the character ­ as this is how a person will look at
old age
Attitudes, Ideas and Themes
Clown is portrayed as a frightening but also a comic character ­ however poet warns the reader "don't
Negative emotions ­ A sense of darkness in human nature. Clown Punk is stuck in the state forever,
he cannot escape, evoking sympathy
The poet tries to make Punk seem less threatening as he describes the Punk as "daft mush" and
"like a basket of washing"
Poet tries to make us see the bright side of the clown ­ not someone who we would avoid or mock
identity, power, status, pride
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