A poem that I found had a strong message was “Byre” by Norman MacCaig. The poem’s message is that we should appreciate nature, as it is beautiful. MacCaig does this by using figurative language, imagery and word choice. First of all, MacCaig shows the message through figurative language by using a simile. He makes something seen as horrible sound nice. The metaphor “squeak small hosannahs” makes the mice’s squeak sound like angels even though they are seen as pests. I think MacCaig used the metaphor perfectly as it is hard to make mice sound nice. He is able to take something negative and successfully give it a powerful and positive image to make it seem beautiful and attractive.Order now
An oxymoron is also used to show the message that nature is beautiful. This oxymoron is used in “silver slaver” in the fourth verse to make the cow’s slaver sound better than it really is. This is effective as it makes me think that even something that seems horrible can be beautiful. It just depends how you look at it.
Another way MacCaig put across the message was that he made plenty of references to heaven, sustaining this imagery to make a number of comparisons. These references and comparisons make the barn seem like heaven. “Golden pavements”, “hosannahs”, “Aphrodites” and “crystal” all refer to the idea of something beautiful and something that is like heaven. This makes the message stronger. Using words and imagery associated with heaven and beauty was, I think, a good idea as it makes it easier for us to believe MacCaig’s message we should appreciate nature.
The last technique that I think MacCaig used that was effective in conveying his message was word choice. “Shine”, “crystal river song” and “Milky, secret, female” are particular examples of word choice that I found interesting. These, to me, reinforce the message of nature being beautiful and that we should appreciate nature. The “shine” refers to the straw that is natural but not appreciated. The “crystal river song” elevates the ordinary water in the gutter into something special and makes us think again about it. Finally, “milky, secret, female” creates a comforting and maternal image of the cows to make us realise that they are beautiful and should be appreciated. All of these words show the beauty of nature in the simplest of things which we normally take for granted.
MacCaig has proved himself to be an excellent poet as he has been able to take something as ordinary as the barn and turn it into something beautiful. The way he put the message across in “Byre” was perfect. Using imagery, oxymoron, comparisons to heaven and vivid word choice, I think the message that we should appreciate nature ahs been put across well. The poem “Byre” is an interesting poem and carries and important message for those who read it.