Analysis of 6 poems on the topic, 'Hidden messages'. contains poems by hughes, mcauley, strand, dobson, yeats, williams.

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"The Bystander" - Rosemary Dobson

"The Bystander" describes the significance of the insignificant characters in paintings. The speaker in the poem is that figure painted behind/beside the subjects of artworks, where he/it speaks out of its existence to us: in the form of a wing, a squire, a distant figure or part of a crowd.

This insignificant character reflects upon several scenes he/it has stood in, such as the two slaughter of Innocents (i.e. the murder of infants from both Old and New Testament Bibles), and settings such as 'the Garden ' (of Eden). The ignorant speaker who recalls the voice, which said "Eat", in 'the Garden ', gives these certain clues to the learned reader.

Dobson has placed remote rhyming in this poem, as the
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Leda was a beautiful maid who attracted Zeus; the mighty God transformed himself into the form of a swan with his divine powers and raped Leda. The outcome of this was the birth of Helen of Troy. The four stanzas reflect upon the actual scene of the rape, where Zeus (as a swan) attacks Leda.

Yeats uses rhetorical questions to let the reader enter into Leda 's consciousness. Her fingers are "terrified" but "vague", physically they are blurred because they are buried in the feathers of the swan, and emotionally, "vague" may perhaps indicate she does not know what to do or that she does not take any definite action.

Zeus ' magic and mystery are reflected by word use such as "dark webs" than "black feet" as the colour suggests something sinister and mysterious, and "strange heart" has suggestion of enchantment.

The third stanza recalls the tragedies of the Trojan War in the future history: "the broken wall" (Greek forces breaking through Trojan defences), "burning roof and tower" (the visually dramatic image, where both Leda and Troy have their security violated), "Agamemnon dead" (an emphasis on the cataclysmic chain of events engendered by the rape of Leda and the birth of Helen).

"Keeping Things Whole" - Mark Strand

"Keeping Things Whole" describes one 's own place in the physical world. It is a unique way at looking at one 's existence as matter in space. In the three stanzas, Strand repetitively tells the reader of the role he plays to taking

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