In this essay I will be discussing the techniques used by Norman MacCaig in his poem Assisi and how they get across the idea of people treat others in certain ways and how this creates sympathy for a beggar sitting in front of a great church.
The poem starts by drawing your attention to the “dwarf” who is described as something that is not human and more puppet like than anything else. By calling him a dwarf it makes it clear he is seen as not normal. You are given a description of the figure, which I feel is meant to disturb you, with the repulsive description. The dwarf is described as having “hands on backwards” and “like a half filled sack”. In the second line the alliteration of the letter ‘s’ gives of a short sharp distaste sound. Also words that start with the letter ‘t’ are used next to each other. “Tiny twisted” which makes a tut sound which is alliterate and harsh sounding.
On the third forth line it begins to describe the juxtaposition of the expensive church where the beggar to highlight the difference. It begins with the word “Outside” to emphasize where he is, as he should be inside the church, not outside. The focus swifts further along the line from the beggar to the chur
Finally the last two lines go back to the beggar and St Francis, which is what the poem was meant to be about. The third paragraph changes the focus again to the tourists now. " This shows he is lucky to be alive but had nothing else going for him. His voice was seen as so graceful and delicate it was like when a bird "spoke to St Francis" The poem I as I see it is split up into three main focal points. But then he says from his "lopsided mouth" in a really sweet voice "grazie". Another contrast appears as the church was built in honour of St Francis who is described as "brother of the poor". Sympathy is not given to any of the other characters but more and more sympathy for the beggar is created throughout the poem. Then the word "outside" is used again just to emphasize how he is outside of the church being ignore rather that being helped by the priest in the church. He is described as a "ruined temple" as the word temple contrast to what he is and ruined means it was not always like this but has been destroyed and is now broken. He describes it as a "rush of tourists" which shows they were all in a hurry and nobody was stopping to think about what they are hearing and seeing. It"tms a direct contrast as first it"tms the beggar being described as awful looking and disgusting. The last two lines are saying how the beggar had no advantages over St Francis. The same idea is used for a few more lines as it says the tourist "fluttered" after the priest as he "scattered the grain of the word. It goes on to say how they simply ignore the beggar at the entrance of the church.