Please Hold

(Note that analyses can vary widely, hence these annotations must only be used in conjunction with your own analyses).

Annotations of Please Hold by Ciaran O’Driscoll

Summary of the poem:

Title: Imperative, but false politeness.

Tone:  Frustrated, 1st POV. At the end prophetic. Very informal, false politeness. 4 different speakers: robot operator, narrator, wife and the translator (an inner monologue).

Summary: The narrator seems to be ranting, repeating things over and over that ultimately they lose meaning. Although the poem may seem humorous at first, the clear frustration through crude language and exclamatives  pose the question of humans’ relationship with technology and how we have isolated ourselves.

Structure: one big long stanza, most lines end with the same words. Cyclical, never-ending,

Themes: Modern issues, anger, technology’s impact on humans, human interaction.

Devices used: repetition (wonderful, great, and my wife says — robotic, 1st part. Shows impatience, lack of options), sarcasm, internal/half-rhymes, metaphor for the lack of response in the modern world?, reference to A little Night Music,

Links to other poems: Effects (lack of understanding), From the Journal (modern life, frustration, unresolved problem), Ode on a Grayson Perry Urn (humour, criticism), Chainsaw (ordinary events), A Minor Role (empty language).


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