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John Montague

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Jenny Murphy

on 4 April 2014

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Transcript of John Montague

The Cage
The title of the poem is a metaphor for the life of John's father, James Montague, who spent his life working underground in a subway ticket office.
The main themes are hardship, poverty and childhood memories.
There is a cinematic quality in this poem as the reader is presented with a number of scenes of New York.
The poem ends where it begins.
A Welcoming Party
This poem gives an insight into the effects, or lack thereof, on Ireland during the war, due to it's neutrality.
Main themes include childhood memories, Irish life and suffering.
Poem features disturbing and unsettling images.
This poem also feature a number of contradictions.
Like Dolmens round my Childhood
The Trout
This poem contains assonance which creates a pleasant verbal music, reflecting the beauty and fluid movement of the fish.
The main themes in this poem are nature, memories and childhood.
The poem draws in nature's imagery to convey its message.
John Montague was born on the 28th of February 1929 in Brooklyn, New York. Montague's early childhood was troubled. His mother dealt with depression and his father was an alcoholic. The family was also poverty stricken. In 1933 he and his brothers were seperated from their parents and moved to Garvaghy, Co. Tyrone.
John Montague
Many of Montague's poems deal with his childhood. Unhappiness, anger and hurt feature in many of his poems. Montague is also a poet of place. His poetry succeeds in bridging the gap between the rural and cosmopolitan.
The Locket
This poem is a lament for what could have been.
The locket symbolises the love between mother and son.
The main themes of this poem are hardship and suffering, poverty and the individual.
According to Montague, this poem is "riddled with human pain".
This poem vividly portrays some of the eccentric individuals who inhabited the poets childhood during his time in Co.Tyrone.
The main themes of this poem are childhood, place and how the people in our area affect us.
Montague was influenced by Irish and traditional Gaelic music and literature. Montague was also greatly influenced by the work of Oscar Wilde. Also his brief time in New York and his sudden uprooting to Northern Ireland influenced his work greatly.
Critical Response
Personal Response
John Montague is a very personal poet. He draws from memories of his own troublesome childhood to inspire and enhance many of the prominent themes in his poetry. His poetry is full of raw, genuine emotion and this makes him a very relatable poet.
"Montague speaks much to the Irish past and to his own past, but equally to the present: his consciousness of the degradation of cultural values in modern Ireland is at the heart of his work" - Patrick Murray

I agree with this statement as Montague greatly deals with Ireland's past in "Like Dolmens Round my Childhood", His own past in "The Cage" and "The Trout" and also deals with how today the themes he discussed are still relevant as they are universal and timeless as seen in "The Welcoming Party"

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