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GCSE Poetry - Belfast Confetti annotations

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by

Ellen Booth

on 23 January 2013

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Transcript of GCSE Poetry - Belfast Confetti annotations

What did we think the poem was about when first looking at it, before doing research? At first glance we interpreted the poem to be about the very prevalent conflict in the late 20th century between the Protestants and the Catholics in Belfast Ireland, which we concluded from the title of the poem "Belfast Confetti". Whilst taking a glimpse at the poem we apprehended that it had been written in first person. The first half of the poem is written in the past tense and the second half is written in the present tense. What is the poem about? Suddenly as the riot squad moved in, it was raining
exclamation marks,
Nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys. A fount of broken type. And the
explosion.
Itself - an asterisk on the map. This hyphenated line, a burst
of rapid fire...
I was trying to complete a sentence in my head but it kept
stuttering,
All the alleyways and side streets blocked with stops and
colons.

I know this labyrinth so well - Balaclava, Raglan, Inkerman,
Odessa Street -
Why can’t I escape? Every move is punctuated. Crimea
Street. Dead end again.
A Saracen, Kremlin-2 mesh. Makrolon face-shields. Walkie-
talkies. What is
My name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going? A
fusillade of question- marks. The Poet - Ciaran Carson From Northern Ireland
Born in Belfast
Bilingual (Irish and English)
Writes in Irish
Witnessed the conflict
His multicultural upbringing affects his poetry meaning he is not biased towards either side Belfast Confetti Simple every day objects which normalizes the conflict and makes it sound petty and trivial, its not the normal connotation of fighting and war on a national scale. As the objects fall its like the confetti of the war as indicated in the title. The hyphenated line (-) represents the bullets being fired, but because it doesn't say directly that a gun is being used it makes it less brutal and by again likening an aspect of war to punctuation, it makes it sound less severe and more simplistic. The title of the poem represents conflict as the simple objects falling such as the nuts and the bolts which are the aftermath of the explosion. These represent confetti, but the irony is that confetti is used at a time of celebration and not war. This shows how the conflict has affected the city the author knows so well. By using actual street names, he makes the conflict seem more personal and his observations are more believable. This shows how war has transformed Belfast. The use of the word 'Labyrinth' makes it sound sinister. nothing is fixed anymore everyone is broken due to the war which has tore the country and people apart.
Also shows the desperation to harm through makeshift weapons. the street names are symbols of conflict random bits of war paraphernalia not authorised by the government. guerilla war controlled by the people. government not in control Anger and Frustration Group attack Generalizes the conflict by using different types of punctuation to represent different aspects of conflict. This normalizes it. By linking it to punctuation it presents the war as how it must look to others written down. Simplifies the poem but it is still very powerful. Enjambment is used continually. stanza one is in perfect tense stanza two is present tense Belfast confetti bittersweet nickname for the bits of rubble they have become accustom to. Structure If you turn the poem sideways it is supposed to look like an explosion. This represents a daily occurrence as talked about in the poem.
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