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Glasgow 5 March 1971 By Edwin Morgan

1248 words - 5 pages

Glasgow 5 March 1971 by Edwin Morgan

‘Glasgow 5 March 1971’ is a poem by Edwin Morgan which creates a
picture of a corrupt figure, but in a way the corrupt figure can be
seen as a hero if we look at the poem in the corrupt figures point of
view, but generally no one would classify the corrupt figures of being

The poem ‘Glasgow 5 March 1971’ is an instamatic poem, where the poet
approaches to give an insight into the violent reality of the inner
city life. From the title we see that it is informal and conveys the
image of a headline report, to give a prosaic note of time and place.
But not only has the headline given us this feeling, as it seems like
a written report of the incident the way the poet has not involved
himself in the poem, but conveys the idea of someone standing back
watching the incident or someone that knows the young couple, besides
that the present tense is used to give immediacy.

The poem can be split into three parts, as there are three couples
involved. The beginning of the poem shows us the young couple are
passing by maybe looking at diamond engagement rings, when suddenly
they are used as human bricks by two young attackers, and fall
backwards into the shop window, suffering the start to bad pain and
injuries. While the two attackers continue to go ahead and snatch what
they can from this shop. At the meantime the two drivers passing by,
focusing on the road ahead trying to avoid the situation, and don’t
bother helping. This shows two corrupt figures, the drivers and the

Firstly, the attackers can be classified as corrupt figures due to the
way they have treated the young couple as it disgusts us:

“The two youths who have pushed them

are about to complete the operation.”

This shows us that the attackers have used the couple as human bricks,
and gives us the impression they are really ignorant and only think
about themselves. This is created by the word choice used by Edwin
Morgan, ‘complete the operation,’ as it suggests in a way that the
youth are looking forward to ‘loot’ what they can from the shop, and
not caring about the fallen couple but completed the days work for
them, which they may seem proud or heroes for doing it but overall we
would look at them being corrupt. But on the
other hand it gives us the image that it is he beginning to the
couple’s surgical operation.

The fact that the attackers continue on with their work and did not
give another thought to what they did or see what they have caused of
the couple being in a terrible state, and end up feeling guilty shows
us their lack of concern for people:

“to loot what they can smartly

Their faces show no expression.”

It shows how the attackers are heartless and do not feel any shame or
shock to what they have done but the poet does contrast the attacker’s
reaction to the couple’s reaction of ‘surprise,’ ‘shock’ and ‘pain’
which therefore really makes the attackers stand...

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