After Great Pain A Formal Feeling Comes Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in After Great Pain A Formal Feeling Comes Deck (13)
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Key themes

Sensory failure, existence, death


Explain 'after great pain, a formal feeling comes'

Death is being treated as a formality - as if going through pain is the real struggle and death is all that remains


Explain 'the nerves sit...the stuff heart questions'

By personifying the body parts, a sense of control is introduced into the experience.


Explain 'was is he, that bore?'

Reference to christ, who 'bore' the ultimate pain. -subversive of a momentous occasion


Explain 'the feet mechanical, go round'

Pyschic immobility experienced whilst in pain - demonstrating the state in which people exist after enduring injury or grief. (They keep living but only through an 'auto pilot' effect


Explain 'quartz contentment'

-more personification - if a person is as happy as a stone is does not say much for their state. Simultaneously ironic, abstract, oxymoronic and personifying


Explain 'this is the hour of lead'

Defining line of the poem. Definitive point is accentuated by the word lead- mix of temporal and spatial dimension.


Explain 'remembered, if outlived'

Concrete form introducing possibility of death of the speaker


Explain 'first chill-then stupor-then letting go'

-demonstrates sensory shut down
-dashes stage chronology and slowing down of thought process
-form mirrors context
-'chill' implied exposure
'Letting go' implies lack of struggle
(After great pain the dying process is easy)


Sensory failure links to other poems

Fly buzz, funeral in my brain


Existence links to other poems

Funeral in my brain, world is not conclusion, it was not death


Links to death in other poems

Funeral in my brain, fly buzz, last night she lived, world is not conclusion, was not death etc


Key techniques

Synecdoche, oxymoron, personification