Those Are Real Bullets Bloody Sunday, Derry, 1972

694 words - 3 pages

In the leaf of Those Are Real Bullets- Bloody Sunday, Derry, 1972, by Peter Pringle and Philip Jacob, it describes the horrid scene on this hellish of days- "Barney McGuigan lay on the pavement in a pool of his own blood and brains, his head blown open by a paratrooper's bullet. Peggy Deery was near death in the hospital, the back of her leg torn away. Frantic relatives searched the morgue for their loved ones. On that day, known ever since as Bloody Sunday, British paratroopers opened fire on unarmed Irish Catholic demonstrators in Derry, killing thirteen and wounding another fourteen. Five were shot in the back..." Although not a specific reference to Bloody Sunday, Ciaran Carson's "Belfast Confetti" conjures up images strikingly similar to the one's I read about years earlier. What makes Carson's analysis of this familiar situation so unique, is his direct use of punctuation as part of the language rather than directions telling the reader when and where to separate words. He incorporates it into his fast-paced, detailed poem allowing us to see into his thought process.

In the opening line, Carson says, "it was raining exclamation points." He sets the scene with the image of people yelling and screaming forceful outcries, as all their words, sentences, and other noises end in the expected high volume of exclamation points. As the ingredients of home-made bombs fly around a true explosion occurs- "Itself--an asterisk on the map." Here, Carson uses a form of punctuation for the second time, again as a visual aid. This line gives flashbacks to old military movies, where the main action of the battle is marked by a star or dot, or very often an asterisk, on the map. Perhaps, Carson didn't mean for it to be taken so literal, in which he could have realized the similarities of an asterisk and an explosion- an asterisk boasts lines going in all directions, just as the destruction of an explosion expands in all directions. When I write my asterisks, I place a cross (+) on top of an...

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