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Vultures

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Vultures

  1. 1. Title is slightly deceptive. The poem begins with a graphic description of the repulsive vultures, but as we read on we realise that they are a symbol for the poems theme of evil.Structure: The poem is written in Free Verse. The lines are short, so we read them slowly. This adds to the horror effect. There are 4 stanza’s, each separated by an indentation instead of line breaks. Makes the poem read as a flow of ideas (conversational effect)<br />Dark opening/atmosphere.VULTURES Chinua AchebeChild-like language.A vault where dead bodies or bones are piled.The commandant cannot escape the evil deeds he has spent the day doing.Love is personified as a woman finding a place to sleep in the second section.Metaphors of death and horror. The branch the vultures are sitting on is described as a ‘broken bone’, and the male ‘bashed-in head’ is like a ‘pebble on a stem’Not even the upcoming sunlight makes the atmosphere lighter.AlliterationBelsen Camp was a notorious concentration camp during WWII. The word roast makes us think of food.The description of the vultures is in past tense.But the Belsen Commandant incident is in present tense. Perhaps to remind us that evil is all around us.In the greyness and drizzle of one despondent dawn unstirred by harbingers of sunbreak a vulture perching high on broken bones of a dead tree nestled close to his mate his smooth bashed-in head, a pebble on a stem rooted in a dump of gross feathers, inclined affectionately to hers. Yesterday they picked the eyes of a swollen corpse in a water-logged trench and ate the things in its bowel. Full gorged they chose their roost keeping the hollowed remnant in easy range of cold telescopic eyes... Strange indeed how love in other ways so particular will pick a corner in that charnel-house tidy it and coil up there, perhaps even fall asleep - her face turned to the wall! ...Thus the Commandant at Belsen Camp going home for the day with fumes of human roast clinging rebelliously to his hairy nostrils will stop at the wayside sweet-shop and pick up a chocolate for his tender offspring waiting at home for Daddy's return... Praise bounteous providence if you will More metaphors. The commandant is ‘ogre’ like, with hardly any warmness is his heart, having only an ‘icy cavern of a cruel heart’. that grants even an ogre a tiny glow-worm tenderness encapsulated in icy caverns of a cruel heart or else despair The germ of love.Related by blood.for in the very germ of that kindred love is lodged the perpetuity of evil.Going on forever.<br />What tone should we read the poem in?A nightmarish tone, as in a horror film?In a cold, dead tone, to emphasise all the horrors?In a warmer tone, to replicate the finding of love?How do we feel at the end of the poem? Happy because there is love in the most evil creatures? Or sad because despite that love, people still commit such horrific acts? The poem is ambiguous.<br />

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