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“The Cyclist” beautifully constructed wording commentary “The Cyclist” is a poem simply by Louis MacNeice which romanticizes the short lived joys of childhood. These kinds of joys are emphasised through imagery of summer – be it actions, food, the beach, a bicycle ride, numerous techniques such as juxtaposition and enjambment are more comfortable with evoke attached to memories through the reader. MacNeice’s poem is set in the freebie southwest of Britain, on a mountain with a chalk horse designed into it.
It is during the height of summer, when the grasshoppers will be buzzing plus the children are playing outside. The smoothness is a son or a selection of boys, and perhaps they are riding bicycles down a hill near the chalk equine.
The framework of the composition is quite disjointed, with simply five paragraphs throughout 3 stanzas. Enjambment is used widely to further reinforce the idea of a out of breath child, as simply by not closing each line with a period the poet is tempting the reader to stay and hear what this breathless kid has to claim. The use of amount of time in “The Cyclist” is used to reinforce the notion which the pleasures of summer will be temporary. Inside the first stanza, for example , online 7, “but these five minutes” can be described as reference to the comparatively small amount of time of years as a child and the speedy rush throughout the hill during summer.
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Time is again mentioned in line twenty four (“For five seconds more”) to help remind the reader that time is ever-present, and that getting older is not possible to avoid to get a child as adulthood takes in every deeper (emphasised in the decrease of period from a few minutes to ten seconds). On the whole, the loudspeaker in “The Cyclist” is apparently speaking since a child, he overuses and ‘accidentally’ mixes up words. For example, on line 5 the audio says “In the heat of the handlebars this individual grasps the summer”. This is certainly plainly a child’s problem, and it makes simply no sense as it is – it ought to be ‘heat from the summer this individual grasps the handlebars’.
One more example of this really is during the last stanza, where the loudspeaker is describing various ways to relish the summer, he states “chase it with butterfly netting or reach [, ] little reddish ball or gulp [, ] cream /Or drink” (lines 18-20). This excessive use of “or” again displays the upset excitement when a child is definitely overloaded with activities, that they can’t possibly even speak fast enough to experience them all over the course of 1 short summertime. The experiences that are breathlessly shown are all common summertime actions, such as catching butterflies, playing cricket, consuming summer fruits with cream or enjoying a ool drink in the shade. All of these activities are typically not reliable: butterflies go out of nets, breath cannot be organised underwater pertaining to long, and food and drink generally do not last long with famished children about. Therefore , MacNeice is reinforcing the idea that childhood and summer season are short lived joys which could only be carelessly enjoyed to get a so long, plus they should be savoured. There is interesting juxtaposition and repetition in the last four lines: repetition of “calmly” and juxtaposition among calm/stillness and movement.
The very last four lines also illustrate the feeling of peace while you coast along on a bicycle with no need to pedal following having sped down a hill. “For ten mere seconds more may move while the equine in the chalk” means they can be nonetheless while even now ‘galloping’ (as the equine carved into the hill is galloping, but cannot move). “Calmly no matter tenses and final clauses” – again grammar can be mentioned which refers to the “forgotten sentence” of school. The final line, “Calmly unendingly movements. “, can be described as reference to the horse carved into the hillside.
This idea is increased in the first line, with “unpassing horse”. “unpassing” provides idea that as the horse is consistently moving, this never in fact moves. The fact that the poem both commences and ends with reference to this horse shows that it is one of main suggestions of the poem. And so the equine remains generally there, seemingly for a lot of eternity, fixed in its elegant stride, calmly, unendingly going. Further accommodement can also be found inside the opposites of “Left-right-left”, which in turn comes in while the poem approaches their end.
That shows the kid slowing down and needing to coated to keep moving, as “Left-right-left” is the motion needed to switch the pedals one total circle. “And reaching the area the son must coated again” (line 22) implies that the joys of summer are brief, and they only arrive once the ‘hill’ (seasons) has been doing a full circuit and the bicyclist has returned himself for the crest with the hill. Water is a image which is seriously used in the 2nd stanza and the beginning of the third stanza. It can be used to show the innocence of childhood, the purity ahead of the child becomes ‘polluted’ by reality which is forced to ‘pedal’ back up the hill of life.
The second stanza begins with images of a meadow which quickly transforms in an ocean: “The lawn boils with grasshoppers, a pebble /Scutters from under the wheel”. The wonderfully poetic language assists in the soft transition via meadow to ocean: the rolling lawn hills happen to be likened the boiling surf (heated by the sun), plus the pebbles happen to be compared with crabs, scuttering apart to escape the bike’s tyre. The “boys riding their particular heat-wave” produces a picture of a surfer, “feet on a filter plank and hair tossed back”.
The narrow plank creates double entendre, as the reader is unsure if the poet person it referring to a surf board or the throtle on a bike. The “spattered white” countryside spoken about on the previous collection draws parallels between light caps for the ocean, the boys (whose skin color would stand out against the green or blue) and the white-colored chalk horses carved into the hills. The “heat-wave” can be described as play on words simply by MacNeice, because the real that means is a period of exceptionally warm weather which usually occurs in summertime. In this context though, excellent double meaning of figuratively ‘surfing’ within the ‘wave’ whilst ‘riding’ the wave on a bicycle.
This water symbolism then goes over into the next stanza, pulling you forward nowadays in this of the poem, as it describes the bicyclist with a “surf of dust” (line 17) beneath him, more like a wave when compared to a cloud of dust. The continuation with the sentence in the next stanza is another way MacNeice draws someone onwards. The animals reported throughout the composition are all normal summer animals: grasshoppers chirruping on a warm summers’ working day, dragonflies hanging in the haze, horses operating free in the hills, the butterflies floating back and forth, crabs scuttling along a beach.
These symbols enhance MacNeice’s picture of a perfect summer season. The poem as a whole – but particularly the first stanza , likens life to a text or piece of writing, with the fleeting excitement of child years: “Between the horizon’s brackets”, with the “main sentence” of adult life to be “picked up later”. The use of grammatical terms just like “brackets”, “parenthesis” and “tenses and final clauses” will remind the reader that school and education is usually in the back of a child’s brain, not looking for the summer to end.
Through the use of poetic techniques such as juxtaposition and enjambment, MacNeice has established parallels between joys of childhood as well as the fun of whizzing down a mountain on a bicycle. Water imagery, the majority of which can be found in the 2nd paragraph, is utilized to show that summer pleasure is not only limited to the meadows of south west England, but can be liked by the seaside or surfing in the ocean. In “The Cyclist” Paillette MacNeice looks for to make an initially light-hearted statement regarding the fun in being a child which slowly shifts in a more contemplative, melodramatic announcement of the inevitability of ageing and the passage of time.