Skirrid Fawr Analysis Essay

Network security research paper ieee

2 things due friday� my research paper and my senior quote. guess which one i'm actually stressing about ? (hint:i may not graduate)

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Network security ieee paper research

It is no accident that Sheers follows up a poem about American arrogance with a poem which makes mention of oil. Whereas it was once the case that a country’s worth was placed on its industrial capabilities, the paradigm has shifted and it is the availability of oil that gives countries value and power as we move through the twenty first century.

For this reason, Wales is no longer a key figure in an industrial world and so the quarry in Lleder Valley likes ‘disused’ and reclaimed by the natural elements such as ‘the blackbird’s song’, ‘moss’, ‘soil’ in a way that is entirely symmetrical with Sheers’ depiction of Ebbw Vale in ‘The Steelworks’.

The irony here is that Sheers is not giving us simply episodes of nostalgia for a simpler, more natural time. Steelworks and quarries are no more natural than oil-rigs, gyms and the internet – all these things are examples of man’s inflicting of his own agenda upon nature.

When Sheers suggests that this ‘history’ runs ‘down the marrow of every bone’, he is drawing our attention to an uneasy paradox. Whilst the people of Wales may yearn for a time in the past, the golden-age that they yearn for is one entirely based on the industrial revolution, quarries and mining. Whilst this era may have created extra jobs for the Welsh, it was also a time of terrible living conditions founded on ruthless innovation and decisions based on business models.

Notice how the quatrains of this poem are interrupted by three couplets. The couplets could be a visual indication of the blades of slate that are depicted, or could be seen as a symbol of the crumble and break-up of Welsh industry.

The mention of bone-marrow also subliminally put the reader in mind of cancer – an important thing to consider when dealing with the next poem.


When you read this poem, think about the popular platitude about things that don’t kill you making you stronger.

In the modern world, the world ‘Amazon’ has several connotations, all of which are important to the poem and the collection as a whole. Perhaps the first thing you thought of was the internet bookshop when you saw the word. Sheers is surely familiar with the website, and if you go to the page for his debut collection, The Blue Book, you will see some particularly scathing reviews of his work.

Perhaps Sheers would describe the public insult of his work by jealous fellow poets as being a painful experience that has made him stronger in the long run. If we extend this metaphor, then Sheers may be subtly suggesting that his early critics are a bit like the ‘cancer’ of the poetry world.

The word ‘Amazon’ can also be used to refer to the rainforest and river in South America. The area carries connotations of man’s destruction of a natural environment – did you know that the area the size of a football pitch disappears from the forest every five seconds? This isn’t always through deforestation, it is sometimes through tribal agriculture, but still a shocking figure.

The Amazon rainforest is sometimes effected by the tribal practice of ‘slash and burn’ agriculture – a technique which has a temporarily damaging effect on the environment, but can lead to recovery – similar to the cancer of the woman in the poem.

It might also interest you to know that around 90% of the ingredients needed to make all modern medicines can be found within the Amazon rainforest – bit of a tangent but it’s still pretty relevant given the subject matter of this poem.

It is also important to our understanding of this poem that in the Amazon rainforest, some of the tribeswomen will have one of their breasts removed to improve their ability to use a bow and arrow in hunting. This practice is specifically referred to in the final line of the poem – the missing breast is used as a symbol of strength rather than vulnerability.

The other main connotation of the word ‘Amazon’ however, is the term used to describe a group of female warriors in Greek mythology. This connotation is obviously important to the depiction of the strong, female figure who emerges by the end of this poem.

As you will have noticed, the structure of this longer poem is unique in the collection. Whereas ‘4 Movements in the Scale of 2’ is arranged into four individually named sub-poems in a sequence, this all falls under the same title with a centralised asterisk to separate the sections.

Why has Sheers made this choice? I would suggest that it is because the title ‘Amazon’ is fundamentally important to all elements of the poem and Sheers does not want to distract us from the ways that he is playing with this word.

So the poem begins with a woman in the process of dressing, as with ‘Landmarks’. However, beneath the defences of her clothes, beneath her very skin, lies a sign of something that is set to undo her life. It is interesting that Sheers chooses to describe the lump as a ‘mote’. One assumes he is referring to the size and shape of a grain cooked in water, but it is hard not to think that he is aiming at the aural match with the word ‘moat’, which points us towards the ‘Hill Fortification’ earlier on in the poem, a once-strong thing that eventually crumbled like the woman’s tumour soon will.

The idea of role play is further developed in Sheers’ treatment of the doctor – ‘his practiced look of concern and the slow pace of his voice’.

It is also highly telling how Sheers never explicitly denotes the word ‘cancer’ but rather hints at it through the pseudo-riddle, ‘with it’s hard C of cruelty / and soft c of uncertainty’. By doing this he gives us a sense of the reluctance to fully come to terms with our own mortality.

Bonus points if you noticed the feminine half-rhyme in the lines –

‘She hears the words he uses
and is quietly surprised by how language can do this’.

If you didn’t know, feminine rhyme is like a normal rhyme but with the stress on the penultimate syllable of each line. It can be no coincidence that Sheers, who rarely rhymes, has chosen to use feminine rhyme when dealing with a woman’s battle with breast cancer.

In the third section, her appearance on fireworks night reminds us of the ‘firework smiles’ in the Dr. Hitler poem. Fireworks have become a symbol in this collection for putting on a front and displaying a sort of contrived beauty. The woman in this poem now feels strong enough to reclaim her femininity and rejoin the world of playing roles.

Ultimately, this is another poem which personifies the ongoing theme of man’s battle against nature. Not only does ‘Amazon’ refer to how the woman has managed to defy nature by recovering using artificial means – but the implicit contrast allows us to think of how human beings treat the Amazon rainforest. In this sense, human beings are like a cancer to the natural world.

This is a morally ambiguous aspect to Sheers’ writing though – the woman has managed to live for longer using medicines, something which Jean Sheers refused in ‘On Going’. There is no simple moral stance taken by Sheers on whether it is right to defy nature with artificial means – the equilibrium between man and nature is a complex balance in this collection.





Shadow Man

At the heart of this poem is a philosophy that runs through many other of Sheers’ poems – the idea that the most moving and conspicuous of sentences can be sought out in the things that are left unsaid. Think back to his father in ‘Trees’ who makes his imminent death known entirely implicitly.

Sheers’ need to boil down the complexities of life into simple maxims also shows in this poem… contrast

‘it’s not matter that matters,
or our thoughts and words,
but the shadows they throw

against the lives of others.’

with this quotation from ‘Hill Fort’:

‘it isn’t the number of steps
that will matter,
but the depth of their impression’.

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