Armitage talks about his inspiration for the poem, some of the unusual vocabulary within it and the responsibility he feels to write a suitable elegy for real people involved in warfare. The metaphorical language of the persona's 'porcelain collar-bone' by Armitage is effective in conveying the persona's care with her partner as 'porcelain' is very delicate and easily 'damaged'. On the other hand, the title suggests that the soldier feels as if he is still being chased by the memories of war, even though the fighting is over. The 'blown hinge of his lower jaw' seems to be used by Armitage in a figurative way, perhaps showing the 'man's' inability to express his emotions, or perhaps his refusal to speak about them, maybe he wants to lock his feelings away, to forget. Could the allusion be that her partner has become mechanical? This device has been used several times in the poem and is effective at showing the reader something without actually telling them.
It is revealed in this couplet that the partner had been shot. The frozen river referenced here gives the image of a glacier. Once again though I would question whether she is talking about an actual injury to the collar of her partner or if it is a metaphor for his wider self? Hope it helps : Any queries, please ask without hesitation! The persona gently 'handles and holds' her partner's collar-bone. There is no easy resolution or happy ending here. The poet also uses structure effectively to convey the meaning of the poem. Then I widened the search, traced the scarring back to its source to a sweating, unexploded mine buried deep in his mind, around which every nerve in his body had tightened and closed. Armitage further emphasises this phrase by putting it at the beginning of the line.
It is unlikely, although it would not be beyond the poetic abilities of Armitage to be that clever in his choice of words. The last line again emphasises this distance. The idea of the ladder is reflective of the effort involved in the wife's gradual search for answers. The images it creates in my mind is a man who has been injured at war and is scarred physically and mentally his wife the poet is trying to find the problem which is buried deep in his mind but first she has to follow the path that has been left. The Manhunt Analysis Line 1-2 After the first phase, after passionate nights and intimate days, This couplet clearly talks about the early relationship between the narrator and their partner. This poem explaines how War can cause Physical, emotional and psychological pain and how that can affect an intimate relationship. Going through his physical injuries she begins to understand him but it is only when she explores the fear in his mind that, 'Then, and only then, did I come close.
The verb 'explore' seems very thorough, the persona doesn't want to miss anything. Key phrases are colour-coded to match the analysis below. Line 7-8 Describing her partners collar bone as porcelain has a two-fold meaning. Each stanza consists of only two lines, this could represent how carefully the wife has to be around the husband in order not to hurt him, or to trigger a horrific memory of the past. As the title of the poem suggests, the poem is about a woman trying to find the person her husband was once, before he got injured. Line 11-12 Once again the narrator describes her man using adjectives that have a beauty, yet a delicacy. To hunt or find the man she fell for.
Then, and only then, did I come close. The poem is unsurprisingly poignant. Take notice here that in the first three stanzas, 'phase' and 'days', 'trace' and 'face', 'explore' and 'jaw' Armitage uses rhyming couplets however in this stanza Armitage begins to slowly split off into half rhyme as the persona moves from surface injuries to deeper injuries as the 'collar bone' is inside and cannot be explored from a skin-deep relationship. I think the implication is that the narrator has to work hard and softly cajole sentiment from her partner. Has her partner had their jaw physically blown? About Simon Armitage Simon Armitage is English Poet, song writer, play write and translator hailing from a county in the North of England called Yorkshire.
Take notice here that in the first three stanzas, 'phase' and 'days', 'trace' and 'face', 'explore' and 'jaw' Armitage uses rhyming couplets however in this stanza Armitage begins to slowly split off into half rhyme as the persona moves from surface injuries to deeper injuries as the 'collar bone' is inside and cannot be explored from a skin-deep relationship. Not all men are comfortable talking about their feelings. As the 'first phase' compromised of 'passionate nights and intimate days'. Later in the poem the narrator references a bullet in the chest, but throughout this poem where the metaphor ends and reality begins is often ambiguous. Once again the metaphorical and literal are so seamlessly close here that it is impossible to ascertain what is real and what is purely for descriptive purposes. In a nutshell, I would like to say that I have never read a more touching, sensual, and better expressed poem ever.
The poem ends when the search is brought to a close. Will they ever be able to fully connect with him again? This makes the poem seem fragmented, similar to the mental state of the injured soldier. The poem The Manhunt is based around a soldier who has sustained some serious injuries at war. Line 19-20 This on appearances would be describing a physical ailment. The title puns on the idea of the 'manhunt', meaning literally a hunt to capture a man, often a criminal. The part where you said you couldn't think of anything though - where the rhyme scheme is completely lost in the ribs stanza - perhaps this is due to her loss of words, her pausing and stumbling as she realises how far the injuries go? It describes the way in which the distraught wife attends to her injured husband, going through his physically injured body, as well as taking patient care of his mental state.
The comparisons with her man are all manufactured items, rather than organic living things. The 'blown hinge of his lower jaw' seems to be used by Armitage in a figurative way, perhaps showing the 'man's' inability to express his emotions, or perhaps his refusal to speak about them, maybe he wants to lock his feelings away, to forget. His body is compared to things which are non-organic man-made and inanimate cannot move. These are related to medical attention and therefore suggests that the wife is attempting to mentally heal her husband. We might expect the poem to end with the speaker finally reaching the man they are searching for underneath the injuries. The mine sweats as if it is alive, as if the weapon has fused with the body. Teacher Notes Students could carry out some prior research into the condition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in people who have experienced conflict.
It is written in thirteen couplets. My personal Opinion: In conclusion this poem makes me feel sympathetic because of their situation. Or is this a metaphor for a partner that has become increasingly tight-lipped and monosyllabic? Line 13-14 This couplet is heavy on the double meanings. Armitage highlights the contrast between this emotional tenderness and the physical damage through line breaks. But the end of the poem is different in that 'a sweating, unexploded mine' is really an image in his memory. It is hard to not feel sorry for the narrator who never complains about what she has to go through, instead shows unrelenting empathy and understanding towards her partner.
Is this a physical description? The persona speaks in third person which is unusual, and seems to be addressing the reader rather than the subject of the poem. The 'frozen river' may be interpreted as scarring from his time in the war, or perhaps even tear tracks to explain the emotional trauma he may be going through and the metaphor used 'frozen river that ran through his face' gives imagery of landscapes, bumpy terrain. Structure: 13 stanzas of couplets each with irregular rhyme and rythm, which emphasises how mixed up and irregular their lives are as a result of the war. His comments are accompanied by a reading of the poem, mixed with images to illustrate its meaning and documentary footage from modern conflicts. I think this is the narrators way of highlighting the life-changing impact of the wound. Line 21-22 When the narrator talks of scarring it is unclear whether she is talking about physical or mental scars. As the 'first phase' compromised of 'passionate nights and intimate days'.