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Natalie Houston 1995 Poetry No11 Poetry is often written as a result of reflecting on an intense emotional experience or a significant event Examine the techniques used by one poet to convey the significance of an experience or an event which gave rise to a poem or sequence of poems The Almond Tree by Jon Stallworthy describes through the eyes of an expectant fathers supreme emotional joy at the prospect of the birth of this child The excitement and joy turn to despair and hopelessness when he is told that his son is a Mongol The poem begins on an optimistic tone and the poet conveys this prospect by giving life to objects which are normally dull and go unnoticed Trees of black iron and lights as green as peppermints The poet uses a fairytale image to create a lack of realism in order to re-enforce the optimistic tone As if I were the lucky prince in an enchanted wood However the poet uses this technique further on in the poem to convey his devastation when realising the he will not be able to communicate with his son because of his disability Never to come ashore into my kingdom speaking my language In my opinion this creates a good contrast to that of his image at the beginning of the poem Jon Stallworthy uses a clever use of personification as another technique in order to portray his hopes The tower held up its hand the college bells shook their heads in blessing This once again stresses his anticipation and excitement at the prospect of becoming a father The poet also uses personification as he describes the symbolic almond tree waving him For the tree was waving me waving me upstairs As before this is in direct contrast to further on in the poem when the almond tree is
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