John Foulcher – Loch Ard Gorge essay

Fouler uses strong sexual overtones in his description of the powerful ocean, “tide thrust into the dark interior of the earth”, which illustrates the sheer force and strength of nature. Through the use of deliberate sexual connotations. Fouler draws our awareness to the beginnings of life and the power of nature. Enjambment is used to highlight the line “hump the grass”, where the persona notices the gravestones of drowned sailors. Fouler is introducing the idea of frail humanity in the face of nature.

Weathering has eroded the words on the gravestones, and the persona notes, “You can just make out their names” this meager allowing the reader to recognize the impersonal nature of death. Towards the end of the poem, Fouler uses juxtaposition, “savage dark fish” and ‘Weaver decked with light” to explain the idea of beautiful surfaces hiding savagery beneath. The same distinctive idea is illustrated in the poem ‘For the Fire’. Fouler uses a metaphor, “A kookaburra hacks with its axe-blade” to give the animal a murderous power, which is not normally a way people would describe the Australian icon well-known for its jovial laugh.

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Correspondingly, the onomatopoeic nature of ‘hack’ and ‘axe’ puts the reader erectly underneath the gruesome death-scene and invites responders to witness the savagery with the persona. Throughout these poems, Fouler is commenting on the core idea that violence and brutality are part of nature yet acknowledging that we, as human beings, are also a part of it. Life is a continuous cycle and the drive to survive is dominant. Readers learn of a vicious encounter between a kookaburra and its feeble prey. The bird ‘hacks’ at the lizard, inevitably killing it and Fouler uses strong verbs and alliteration “pouting blood… Saws clutching at aid’ to exemplify the savagery in the kill. A metaphor is used when referring to the kookaburra’s beak as an “axe-blade”, this reinforces the brutal dimension of nature. He places the word “oblivious” in the centre of a line for the reader to recognize that there is no malice intended on the part of the bird. A man gathering kindling witnesses the death of the lizard and collects the twigs knocked down by the struggles and continues the cycle. Concurrently revolted by nature’s harsh ways, the persona accepts the savagery of the life cycle and proceeds with his duties conveying the human role in the biorhythm of nature.

Similarly, ‘Summer Rain’ also explores the cyclical and sometimes savage nature of life. In this poem there has been an accident causing a traffic jam and the poem follows the thoughts and Observations of the persona as he sits in his car searching for a diversion to pass the time. Not only does the persona feel apathy and disk-concern towards the incident, Fouler suggests that he is emotionally detached and instead of worrying about the situation, the persona shows a greater concern to the time consuming nature of the incident. Oh wrench yourself from the road”, searching for a distraction, the persona notices children playing in the streets and peers deep into the domesticity surrounding the halted cars. ‘clashing like cars on a highway this simile is symbolic of the conflicts and clashes that kids have now and will probably continue to have as adults through the cycle of their lives. The conflict between nature and urban development is somewhat resolved after he wrangled wreck of metal is cleared “charred, unbroken road”. This ‘unbroken’ road is life, with all its delays and challenges, it still continues as a cycle.

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