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Aunt Julia ­ Norman MacCaig

The poet recalls the remote Highland culture of his Aunt, whom he knew before he had learned to
speak any Gaelic: `By the time I had learned/ a little, she lay/ silenced...' The theme of the poem is
lack of communication ­ neither can speak…

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Techniques: As well as repetition, (which gives an impression of simplicity as well as emphasising
key ideas), and metaphor, the poet uses visual rhyme (boots and foot) and assonance (peat...
wheel; yarn... marvellously; flounce... brown; round house; seagull's....peatscrapes). Alliteration
also links images and ideas: brown eggs, black skirts (colour); learned…

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one line ­ a statement about memories. He has used the power of his own memory to bring alive for
his readers a world which is vanished, but can be conjured up very easily.

Techniques: Mukherjee uses assonance very effectively in the poem, which is set out as though

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is somehow stifling and threatening ­ it is totally impossible to see anything. `Silence' is one whole
line ­ again dramatic. `Tears on a pillow' now remind the fosterchild of crying for the fosterfather
who might be lost, although the reader is still not told who it is that the…


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