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Copy of Below the Green Corrie - Norman MacCaig
Transcript of Copy of Below the Green Corrie - Norman MacCaig
Courtney, Max, Monique, Dan P, Jasmine
Holly, Autumn, Dan G, Sam
Hatty, Ted, Amy, Oliver, Martha
Lydia, Aoife, Luke D, Sophia
Nikita, Daniella, Jack, Bethan
Abi, Kieran, Paige, Alice, Luke W
What is Robin Hood famous for?
Make notes from the song
Now read through the poem
Pick out words you might link to a character like Robin Hood
What might MacCaig be suggesting about the mountains of the Green Corrie?
What does the poet describe?
Comment on the presentation of the mountains
What impact does the natural world have on humanity?
Look at each individual stanza and comment on
the presentation of the natural world
the impact of the natural world
the poet's use of language and poetic techniques
Which other poems could you compare this with and how?
The poem describes the experience of coming down a Scottish mountain range in bad weather
The mountains appear to be heroic, threatening and wild
The poet shows how the experience of the landscape enriches his life
The imagery of romantic adventure turns the mountains into heroic outlaws
The personification of the mountains as Robin Hood-like 'bandits' animates the landscape and entertains the reader
MacCaig refreshes traditional, cliched ideas of nature as 'inspiring', 'breath taking' and 'female' in an almost mocking manner.
"The mountains gathered round me / like bandits. Their leader / swaggered up close in the dark light / full of threats, full of thunders."
The personification of the mountains through the verb 'gathered' gives power to nature over the human speaker; nature seems somewhat intimidating and overwhelming.
The simple ad amusing simile combines the elements of surprise and alarm that an enormous landscape can inspire in us when we take a moment to notice where we are.
The oxymoron,'dark light', helps to emphasise the intimidating nature of the landscape as does the caesura and repetition in the following line.
"But it was they who stood and delivered. / They gave me their money and their lives. / They filled me with mountains and thunders."
The speaker finds that he is receiving gifts from the natural world. The metaphors of 'banditry', 'money' and enrichment create an idea of the landscape as being a store house of wealth. The currency the poet refers to is not paper or metal coin, but the value he places on nature for itself. The repeated grammatical structure seems to create a sense of gratitude in the speaker's tone.
"My life was enriched / with an infusion of theirs."
These lines are illustrative of the positive impact of the natural world on human experience. The noun, 'infusion' suggests a spiritual experience.
"I clambered downhill through the ugly weather."
The verb and atmosphere are uncomfortable; it seems that the speaker is perhaps not an experienced climber and that he is struggling in the bad weather.
"And when I turned to look goodbye
to those marvellous prowlers
a sunshaft had pierced the clouds
and their leader,
that swashbuckling mountain,
a bandolier of light."
There is a change in tone and mood as the poet describes looking back up at the mountains; there is sense of awe, inspiration and the creation of a fond memory. The adjective, 'marvellous' seems to capture how the spirit of a place impresses itself on our senses in an immediate and lasting way.
Again, the personification through nouns such as 'prowlers' and the verbs, 'swashbuckling' and 'wearing a bondolier of light' create s an image of the mountains as heroic outlaws
The sun shaft that 'pierced' the clouds creates a powerful image of safety and protection; it is as if the outlaws look on humanity with the intent to give and protect.