Analysis of Poem Cockroach

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Analysis of Cockroach:

The Cockroach is a poem written by Kevin Halligan that is targeted towards teenagers and adults. At the first glance, the readers presume that this poem is written on great depths on a Cockroach. However on deeper reading, it is revealed to the readers that this poem is actually an extended metaphor of presumably the poet himself, or humans in general.

To begin with, the poem has a sonnet structure, consisting of 2 quatrains (1 octet) and a sestet. Halligan has structured the poem in an iambic basis using the iambic pentameter that restricts him to a minimal usage of 10 syllables per line. By incorporating the sonnet structure and iambic pentameter in the poem, the readers understand that the poet really hones his poetry. Halligan challenges himself by attempting to keep the poem concise, yet it evokes a rather deep and a complex thought. The 1st quatrain has a rhyme scheme of (a, b, a, b) and the 2nd one consists of rhyme scheme (c, d, c, d). Both the quatrains introduced from the beginning of the poem, consist of a similar rhyme scheme, with alternate lines rhyming, however the contrast in the action and movement of the Cockroach differ within the two quatrains. The sestet has a rhyme scheme of (e, f, g, e, g, f). The relatively simple rhyme schemes sharpen the memory of the readers and help them better appreciate and comprehend the poem.

Throughout the poem, the poet ponders upon his life, relating it to a Cockroach. Halligan’s decision to implement the Cockroach, an insect notorious for it’s foul and disgusting traits, suggests that the poet is not proud or content with life. The readers notice this upon reading negative words such as “victim, “worsened, “vicious” and ‘uncertain”.   These words suggest that the poet is either reflecting over his past experiences and decisions or generalising it to all humans, stating how we all have had to withstand difficult times in the past,

The readers are first introduced to the idea of...

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