Gillian Clarke ( The Field Mouse)

This is about a in-depth of Gillian Clarke poem "The Field Mouse" the poem is based on the events of the Yugoslav Civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Field Mouse 1

The main point of this poem was about theYugoslav civil war also known as the Bosnian war. This poem was writen about the suffering of victims in war.

The poem is set in summer and there is a sense of sound at the beginning of the poem: ‘the long grass is a snare drum’ and ‘the air hums with jets’.

It is far from a peaceful summer country scene.

The sense of something bad is focused on with ‘the radio’s terrible news’ which is not specified, so the other sound, the radio, gives off unpleasant sounds in the form of terrible news occurring around the country on another typical day.

They are away from this ‘terrible news’ as they cut hay down at the other end of the meadow.

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Field Mouse 2

The hay seems like a sea, metaphorically ‘its wave breaks before the tractor blade’ emphasising the vastness of it and the fact that it does blow in the wind looking like a sea or ocean. The neighbouring farmer in his field creates a cloud of lime, which sends the sweet smell across to their field in the form of ‘a chance gift’ (a metaphor), which they happily receive.

The second stanza brings the child into the poem and there is a sense of death with ‘the killed flowers’ personifying the flowers as if dead.

The child carries a ‘quivering mouse’, which is nestled into his hands. There is still life in the mouse as its eyes are described as ‘two sparks burning’ but there is a loss of hope ‘we know it will die and ought to finish it off’.

The description emphasises the pain the mouse is in ‘it curls in agony big as itself’ so the pain is so vast that it is as much as the size of the mouse, so it is immense. Life seems to be going as ‘the star goes out in its eye’ showing the end is close. ‘the fields hurt’ is a personifying of the feelings created by the death of the mouse, as when the harvest is brought in animals who have lived in the protective world of the crop are now exposed to the elements and are often killed by the farm machinery.

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If you are to mention the War, dont use the Yugoslav War as this may loose marks. Instead Use The Bosnian War.

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Even thought it was the yugoslav civil war its called the Bosnian War in the exams.

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