When the meadow is dead is a carpet thin and shabby with no pattern

(MacCaig, 1988:38)

The poem's meaning is in its vitality, and depends not just on contrasts but on the relative position of the scenes. In this version, the positive tone of the poem is lost completely. Which two-line stanza would make the most chilling ending?

In the following example by W.S.Graham, the poem's subject is a storm at sea where there have been casualties, but the treatment is to weave those details into a frieze, a monument, to emphasise metaphor and likeness in a design. In this way, too, the prevalent mood is one of readjustment:


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