Skirrid Hill- Owen Sheers

A detailed set of of Skirrid Hill revison notes that took me ages to make last year. I found them really helpful as i liked having all the annotations in one place to read through religiously before the exam! In red are the poems that are similar. I hope these help someone as they've just been sitting in my documents for half a year. :)

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Last Act:
First poem/ subverts expectations
Poems are his honesty
"taken so long," not his first poem
"missing teeth," imperfections of childhood
"mouthing o" Stammer, Late Spring
"isn't this always the last act," there are always questions being asked
"curtain," revealing the truth
Reference to a Show / façade
"bowing as himself," not a character/ honesty
Mametz Wood:
Battle of the Somme aftermath Welsh division WW1, 1960
Triplets= odd and too short like their short life/ unnatural
"Tended the land back into itself," the countryside's…read more

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Arm in arm" brotherly. Comradeship, died together
"skeletons paused" cut off too young
"Boots outlasted them" subverts expectation as you assume there boots
would die before them.
"Unearthing" cyclical idea of life after death nature etc.
"Absent tongue" literally decayed and also had no choice or voice
Link to: Happy Accident/ Liable To Floods
The farrier:
Horse shoe maker, destruction of nature...…read more

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Women = beauty, men = destruction
(RS Thomas = welsh poet national ID)
stanza = father: Short sentences, less emotive, emph brisk speech of
stammer seems to be a weakness, Love of nature over manmade, Order and
chaos juxtapose mother, Emph the inconsistencies he receives from parents,
aware of inconsistencies of life from Father
= mother: Longer sentences, "joiners lathe," something mundane that, for
him, is turned into something beautiful, "fable," creativity, real life into a story,
Smooth flowing sound juxtaposes the…read more

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Loving scar remains," love they felt still remains = emotional scars they leave
upon one another + physical he leaves upon her. Unlike keyways where she
"lowers" to him.
Role playing/insincerity pressure on women/ objectification
(part 1) "Model" mute/no emotion/ultimate pressure of female beauty.
Nature= "curlews," long beaked birds. "High heeled," patriarchal oppression.
Assonance= all you hear is shoes and camera clicks
"Spectators," women= entertainment.
Irony of "tennis match," being repetitive its skilled/strong unlike the models
"Flex," "featherless," birds: colloquial/derogatory.…read more

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Paris"= city of love
"channels of our hearts" reordering their lives and love
This juxtaposes the idea that they weren't in love anyway or expected to fall
out of love
Deliberate interruption in the poem "that will be one memory" disjointed
"skirt and hip" alluring
"wet lashes" crying/ emotional pain, perhaps trickery
We move away from sexually charged and towards an unhappy honesty
veneers gone
"wrecked voyagers" injured/charged/desperate
Their relationship= a shipwreck and they cling onto one another
Ship/ocean = women
"washed up" survived but…read more

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Even number of lines in last stanza = now united
Night Windows:
Darkness/light contrasting
Poem reminiscent "that night," there's been a change
This sets the atmosphere, cinematic and intimate
"we could see," realisation, see clearly, passionate
"they"= audience, describes them as activists creating something/fakery,
"thin white drapes"= can't see clearly
"lowered yourself onto me" dynamic shift as female dominates him, unlike
"distant landscape," emotional distance/nationalism/nature and women
"valleyed" woman and Wales
"august heat" opposite to Winter Swans = passage of time, august= mating…read more

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Left only a shadow= a lack of intimacy/ not satisfied/ he was distracted/ she
needs to leave
He focussed on lights and windows outside= oblivious to sexual act
Realisation that a relationships not for long
Unnatural to mate without emotion= like animals
Triplets > quatrains > quintrains: like a slowing down/ approaching an end
Begins media res
Starts and ends in same line
Inevitable end to love/ finality/ sombre
"our," unity, personal pronoun different next line where it is just "your key,"
"that mine…read more

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Repetition of "strange then," circular structure adds pathos from start
Abrupt end with only 2 lines, like the premature end to their relationship
All manmade things ultimately break
Even after changing for each other they break up
Develops the paradox of last act
Incongruent in anthology in terms of imagery
Draws a relationship between people and manmade objects, contrasts the
usual relationships drawn between people and nature
Border Country:
Borders of England and wales/ national ID/ childhood and adulthood/
juxtaposition of nature vs industry
Novel…read more



Much better than e.g. ZigZag which costs a fortune - true spirit of the internet - sharing free information. You should be congratulated for every aspect of this ! 


Much better than e.g. ZigZag which costs a fortune - true spirit of the internet - sharing free information. You should be congratulated for every aspect of this ! 


These are absolutely brilliant! I'm retaking this year and have been wanting to expand on the notes I made from last year and this is what I wanted to make. Thank you for making these accessible for the public, I'm sure these could help many people like me :) **

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