Manhunt + Nettles Essay

893 Words4 Pages
Compare how a relationship is presented in ‘The Manhunt’ and one other poem Relationships are the connections between people. In ‘The Manhunt’ Simon Armitage explores the relationship between a wife and her husband, an injured soldier who has returned from battle. In ‘Nettles’, the relationship is between a father and his young son who has fallen into a bed of stinging nettles. Both poets explore the compassion felt by the narrator of the poem for the other person in the relationship. In ‘The Manhunt’, the narrator’s compassion is for the mental anguish which her husband is obviously suffering and in ‘Nettles’ it is the father’s compassion for the physical wounds of his son. Both poets use unusual imagery to present the writer’s family member as needing protection. In ‘The Manhunt’, instead of the obvious representation of a soldier as strong and powerful, Laura’s husband is likened to fine, precious china, “the damaged, porcelain collar-bone”. This gives the reader a sense of his fragility following his injuries, with his punctured lung described as delicate “parachute silk”. These images show Laura’s tenderness for her husband and how she wants to protect him. Similarly, Scannell also chooses the imagery of war for what is really only a minor childhood incident. He refers to the “spears” of the nettles, calling them a “regiment” and, when he has cut them down and they have grown back again, he compares them to “tall recruits”. This battle imagery helps the reader understand the deeper, metaphorical meaning of his poem; that it is not just about comforting his son from the pain of nettles but also about the future pain which he knows he will experience in life. He knows that “my son would often feel sharp wounds again”. Both poets use a strict rhyme scheme. ‘The Manhunt’ uses rhyming couplets, with each couplet used to separate the different injuries endured by
Open Document