“Visiting Hour” by Norman MacCaig is a poem which emits deep emotion, feelings of loss and sadness. The use of many interesting technique’s such as juxtaposition and enjambment emphasise the feelings to make them deeper still.
The poem is about the poet, Norman MacCaig. He writes about his experiences and feeling whilst he was visiting his severely ill relative/loved one. This poem gives the impression that this may be the very last time that he will see her alive. Throughout the poem he reveals his mixed but very deep emotions on this topic.
In the first verse he sets the scene and also creates mood and atmosphere. ‘The hospital smell combs my nostrils’, this shows that he’s in a hospital but isn’t keen on the sterile smell that hospitals have. And when he writes about the ‘green and yellow corridors’ it makes your mind focus on disgusting things such as sick and pus, getting across that he’s obviously not looking forward to this experience.
MacCaig moves the atmosphere going into the second verse; he sees a dead body being pushed into a lift. He uses the word ‘corpse’ to show that he was already thinking about death. Enjambment is a technique associated with the words ‘corpse’ and ‘vanishes’ to emphasise them to make us think more about death. They also set a gruesome atmosphere for the rest of the poem. The word ‘trundled’ is being used to describe the corpse being moved around, it gives the idea that there is no care being taken once people die.
Verse three is the shortest verse in the poem being just twelve words, ‘I will not feel, I will not feel, until I have to.’ Repetition gives us the idea that he’s talking to himself, trying to control his feelings and emotions. Enjambment is used again with the second ‘not’ to show that he’s really emphasising it.
In the fourth verse he moves onto talking about the nurses as though he had been watching them and recording their detail. ‘here and up and down and there’, the unusual word structure points...