Bright Lights of Sarajevo, Tony Harrison



'stroller's stride'- Alliteration further emphasises idea of relaxation, stroll.

'death-deep, death dark wells'- alliteration combines the idea of beauty represented by the sound of the words with the destruction represented in the meaning of the words. The boy sees the reflection of the stars, represents juxtaposition of love and hate in the poem.

'tonight in Sarajevo that's just not the case'- After list of problems experienced in the city, the poet raises the idea of something surprising that people still go out onto the streets in the evening- life goes on. An enjambment is used to carry over the rhyming couplet from stanza 1 to 2. This technique reinforces the idea of life continuing despite everything.

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'they wheel home in prams'- this suggests it is as precious as their babies.

'meagre grams'- treated as gold. Gold is often measured in grams.

'calls bread hjleb or hleb or calls it kruh'- these wrods represent the different dialects spoken by different ethnic groups. The word bread suggests basic need for survival, suggesting how they all are struggling equallly.

'don't collide'- idea that young people don't bump into each other even in the dark, suggesting that different ethnic groups are able to coexist peacefully.

'radar...signals'- describes communication, but these military-like words suggests that the war has affected them.

'clouds have cleared away'- represents hopefulness, light, romance.

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'clear for bomber's eye'- ironic, not hopeful after all but in fact made the city an easy target.

'splintered Pleiades'- even the stars are shattered because of the war.

'Bright Lights of Sarajevo'- Literally, the bright lights are the reflections of the night and stars observed by the boy. Metaphorically, the bright lights are the young people themselves as their resilience and hope is a light for the city.

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  • Written in 5 stanzas
  • Rhyme scheme= Rhyming couplets representing harmony and continuity, love.
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