Premium Essay

Give

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ansakhanlfc
Words 981
Pages 4
Give by Simon Armitage
Subject
Give is about homelessness and the way in which society reacts to beggars. The poet has adopted the persona of a homeless person to challenge the reader directly, although initially there is some ambiguity about the speaker: in the first stanza the word "dear" suggests an intimate connection between the speaker and audience. Later it becomes clear that the speaker is creating a "scene" by asking for money.
Structure and language
Form and Structure
The poem is regular in form, divided into five stanzas, each of two or three lines, with a strict eight-syllable count to form a strong metre. The first stanza is a rhyming couplet, which accentuates the strong rhythm.
Armitage also uses repeated structures in this poem: the third stanza, for example, has three parallel lines introduced by metals of increasing value. The drama of this parallelism peaks in the final stanza, which has four short sentences over two lines:
You give me tea. That's big of you.I'm on my knees. I beg of you.
The way the two lines mirror each other - to the extent that the last sentence of each is very nearly identical - juxtaposes the beggar and "you", letting the reader compare the two characters. This is also a rhyming couplet because the last words are the same.
What could the structure be used for? Perhaps by following a strict structure and rhythm, Armitage is helping create a sense that the beggar is educated, possibly to surprise the reader. And is it significant that the poem has five stanzas, like the five fingers of an outstretched hand?
Sound
Alliteration is used throughout the poem: "public places"; "chosen" and "choose"; "street" and "stars"; "swallow" and "sword". This refers to the point made before: the poem is closely knitted to reinforce the tight structure.
Imagery
Armitage uses words and phrases that suggest a relationship between the speaker and…...

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