The Clown Punk

Analysis of The Clown Punk - by Simon Armitage

Please rate + comment and tell me if your stuck on any other poem from the AQA anthology - Moon on the Tides!!!

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  • Created by: Sara
  • Created on: 16-05-11 07:27


  • The poem describes a local character - a man who dresses like a punk and walks around with  a dog on the end of a rope. He is covered in tattoos
  • As he crosses the road, he presses his face against the cars windscreen - making the children in the back scream
  • The poet asks the children to think about what the clown punk will look like in 30 years time
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Character and voice

  • The voice is the voice of the poet. He could be anyone driving home through town, with his children in the back of the car
  • He describes a well known local figure
  • He does not give the man a voice or give any details about his character and feelings apart from what he sees in his brief encounter
  • According to Armitage, this poem was based on real events. When he stopped at traffic lights the man he describes pressed his face against the windscreen. He does not know what happens to the clown punk
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Ideas, Themes and issues

The outsider and soceity

  • The clown punk is on the edge of the town's soceit
  • He is seen in the rough part of town - he dresses oddly and acts oddly
  • The poeta and his family are conventional and safe in the car


  • He asks his children to think about the future of the clown punk
  • He speculates on what he will look like when he is old
  • What once was fashionable is now frightening, pathetic and odd
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Form, Structure and Language

  • The poem is written in first persona - the poet is part of the poem
  • At first he addresses the reader/ anyone who might drive through his home town. He seems to be giving us advice/ warning about the character
  • Later he addresses his children/ any children who might react to the clown
  • At the start and end of the poem he uses rhyme -town+clown- half rhyme - scream+windscrean - and internal rhyme -town+ clown - together with quite a strong rythem creating a playful, almost childish, tone
  • However, in the middle section, the rythem breaks down - the tone is more thoughtful and sad
  • The car could be seen as a symbol of modern soceity - the clown punk is outside it and attacks it
  • The final ryhming couplet gives a neat ending to the poem, but leaves us with this image of the clown of the windcreen - symbolising the passing of time
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Rhys Turner

You absolute genius! I would never have thought of any of that! Thank you so much!


:P ,lol,  Urm thanks and your welcome!? :)


now this my homework thanks lol


This is a good way to look at it, but the homeless man is washing the cars windscreens, and the image of the man covered in "high punk" is what makes the children scream. The poem urges the reader to think of stereotypes, acceptance, and image.


The word 'mush' has two meanings, it could mean soft pulp, which indicates he was cleaning the windscreen, but it also means mouth, giving the impression he pressed his face onto the windscreen. Either will work in the exam :P


Thanks this really helped, but could you add more detail please i really need help! Thanks a lot :D


Rhys Turner wrote:

You absolute genius! I would never have thought of any of that! Thank you so much!

yeah i kow but i already knew this 

it is about  a punk whihc is coveed in tattoos and when he has got old he knows what mistake he has ade by placing the tattoos so therfore wants to wipe them off with the windscreen wipers


it si about a punk which at a old age is ot liking what he has done asvhe has placed tattopos so tehrfore wants to wip them off eoth thw indscreen ipers


can someone tell me how to analysis the poem for my exam


if you could put up notes on all the other poems in character and voice

I would be very thankful




This helped me alot!!!




This helped me alot!!!


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