Barn Owl & Nightfall

542 Words3 Pages
Barn Owl part one begins the journey of understanding for the young child, depicting a graphic lesson of life and death learned. The use of the metaphor ”Master of life and death, a wisp haired judge.…” illustrates the power the child holds in her hands, in the form of a gun. The scenario depicted in the poem takes place outside the supervision of the child–s father, she says …Let him dream of a child obedient, angel-mild- old no-sayer, robbed of power by sleep…which in the poem represents the child who is beginning to resent the control of the father and her desire to act as an individual, free from his authority. The child aims for the owl and shoots it, and as a result the child’s perception of death dramatically changes from ”... clean and final…To, through the use of graphic imagery and alliteration depicts death, rather, as a tragedy of prolonged pain and suffering. The poet has achieved this by the use of a long and evocative description of death. This description is interrupted by the phrase ”I saw those eyes that did not see, mirror my cruelty…this represents the child–s loss of innocence, the realisation of the malice of her action. This is further reinforced in the last stanza where the child finally comprehends that as a result of her actions, her life has changed, the little child still inside her weeps upon her fathers arm ”for what I have become… but also comes to the realisation that she will never be the same again as a result of her actions.The father, authority figure only speaks once in the poem; ”End what you have begun.…This changes the child–s understanding of the responsibilities associated with power and the consequences of the misuse of this power.The second part of the poem …Nightfall… continues the story of the child forty years from ’Barn Owl– and is written in the form of an ode. The poem represents death closing in on the father, and
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