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Analysis Of Under The Mountain By Louis MacNeice

ABOUT THE POET: A Non-African Poet
MAIN SUBJECT: Comparison
PROSODY: No Specific Rhythm Or Rhyme Scheme
THEMES: (1) Height And Perception (2) Pleasure At The Top (3) Instability And Discomfort
DICTION: Prudent Structuring And Construction of descriptive lines to fit each stanza.
SETTING: Mountainous Town Or City
PLOT: The poet compared his perception from above to when he got down from the mountain, and blah blah blah.

[if this isn't what you expected to see, CHECK HERE]

This is a non-african; he belongs to the British group of poets. He was born in Belfast United Kingdom in 1907 but death him away in 1974.
Under The Mountain by Louis MacNeice is a six stanza poem with three lines per stanza. Though the poem lacks a vivid rhythm and end rhyme pattern but the language is poetically simple because it's easy for readers to point at the exact representations in the poem; words like "foam", "flap", "worth-while crop" can easily be noted and ascribed their perfect meanings.
The title of the poem shows that the poet had his above view from a mountain top while the breakers and the wrack that sizzles with stinking life, brings the readers to a conclusion that the poem holds a mountainous town setting.
The poem contains some easy to detect figures; the poet made use of anaphora, metaphor, antitheses, alliteration, metonymy, onomatopoeia, etc.
MacNeice identified his different heights to the readers with the use of anaphoras "Seen from above" and "when you get down", Antitheses in the sense that the poet's above views were contrast of the ones when he got down the mountain; the ways he saw the houses and the field differed based on height. He brought the differences to life with the use of metaphoras "The house is a silent gadget"(line 8) "The breakers are cold scum"(line 11)
Alliterations are "field is a flap"(line 5) "Sizzles with stinking life"(line 12) "field is a failed or a worth-while crop"(line 14). The phrase "a worth-while crop" is a metonym that stand for a richly cultivated farm, the word "sizzles" in line 12 is an onomatopoeia.
(1) Height and Perception: From the poem, Louis MacNeice unveiled how perception differs in height. The way things appear at the top is always different from the way it is seen below.
At the top, the poet saw houses as long abandoned properties but when he came down from the mountain, houses were places "loves and hates ...belong". At the mountain top, the field was like a mere attachment to the earth but in the 5th stanza, the poet said, "When you get down/ The field is a failed or a worth-while crop, the source/ Of back-ache if not heart-ache"
(2) Pleasure at the top: The first part of the poem which contains three stanzas described the poet at the top of the mountain where everything he saw were simple and pleasing to his eyes: the river became a goose-quill, the field became a broard attachment of earth, the house was a silent gadget. All his mountainous experiences proved that the top is always better than the crowded below.
(3) Instability and discomfort: There were pollution, problem of coping with love and hate couple with stresses that lead to back-ache or head-ache. Those were the issues the poet had to always deal with whenever he got down from the mountain.
According to the last stanza of the poem:
"And when you get down
The house is a maelstrom of loves and hates where you_
Having got down_ belong."


Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)





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