From the Selection of Poetry about Nuclear Disaster and Possible Aftermath,.
Choose to Poems to Compare and Contrast.
For this essay, we were given a selection of poems by different authors, and asked to choose two to compare and contrast. The two I have chosen are "Your Attention Please" and "Noah's Ark". My aim is to look in depth at the two poems, look at the different styles, and try to see if they both have any similarities.
"Your Attention Please", by Peter Porter.
The first five lines of this poem are in one long sentence. This is ment to be the calm before the storm. It is saying what has happened in a calm, flowing sort of way. The rest of the poem is a different structure, and there are lots more jerky sentences. During the first five lines, the poet is giving a brief description of what has happened, "The Polar DEW has just warned that a nuclear rocket strike launched by the enemy directly at our major cities" and the rest of the poem that follows is a lot more like orders, set up in short sentences to emphasize the importance of of what people should do "You therefore have eight and a quarter minutes to comply with shelter".
Porter then brings a time scale into the poem "This announcement will take two and a quarter minutes to make". In doing this, Porter subtly brings in orders to survive casually but is building up a sense of tension into what would be very scary and devastating. The time scale shows us exactly how dangerous the bomb is. At this point in the poem, we still haven't been told the severity of the situation. Porter then starts using longer words, such as "comply" and "requirements". The longer words make the poem sound more formal, like a radio broadcast. It is not the kind of language someone would use to talk to someone they know well.
The poet brings the use of religion into the poem. "A specially shortened Mass will broadcast Protestant and Jewish services will begin simultaneously we are in the hands of God.