Basking Shark Essay

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Basking Shark Commentary Basking Shark, by Norman Mac Caig, is a poem about a humans experience of encountering a shark in the sea. Through the poets word choice and the use of stylistic devices creates his attitude towards the shark as well as the tone of the poem. The structure gives rhythm and flow. With the description of the swimmers experience forms the underlying message of not to be prejudice. The word choice and stylistic devices used in the poem allows the reader to see his attitude toward the shark and forming the tone. The poet immediately describes the shark to be a rock and how s/he was shocked that it was a large shark when saying, “Is a thing that happened once (too often) to me. /But not too often- though enough.”. The unclearness of these lines can show how when first seeing the shark s/he was so shocked and full of fear that they were unable to express themselves clearly of how s/he was feeling. Although it was a fearful experience was still a positive and a once in a life time experience when saying, “I count as gain”. When the shark is first seen the person is, “on a sea tin-tacked with rain” which sets the scene of how it is blurred therefore possibly making the shark look bigger and more monster-like and giving an unease tone. The shark is described using the metaphor of “roomsized monster with a matchbox brain”, allowing the reader to visualise how large it is and how it is unintelligent and also scientifically basking sharks have small brain. The shark is described as a monster which expresses the poet’s fearful feeling towards the shark because when something is unknown to one, one get scared and therefore refer to it as a monster. Once again the sharks size is emphasized when saying, “He displaced more than water”, giving a profound effect on the reader feeling overwhelmed and suffocated by the size and being displaced with

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