From the Journal of a Disappointed Man

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

Annotations of From the Journal of a Disappointed Man by Andrew Motion

Journal of a Disappointed Man (comp) (pdf)

Summary of the poem:

Title: Journal — something personal, from the perspective of the observer.

Tone: At first seems objective 1st POV, but narrator can sometimes tell what the men are thinking. Like an event he wrote in a diary.

Summary: Narrator observes a group of workmen trying to drive a new pile into the pier. They fail, and this failure to complete the task speaks volumes about hopelessness in daily life.

Structure: regular 4 line stanza, shows monotony. No rhyme scheme. Enjambment, flowy,

Themes: Modern issues, hopelessness, disappointment,

Devices used: contrast, juxtaposition, allusion (crack of doom), figurative language, symbolism, metaphor, diction to reflect ambivalent mood,

Links to other poems: Effects, Please Hold, Fantasia, A Minor Role (inevitability), Chainsaw


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