Remains by Simon Armitage (Form- (No regular line length / rhyme scheme-…
Remains by Simon Armitage
Group of soldiers shoot a man who's running away from a bank raid he's been involved in. His Death is described in graphic detail. solider is unsure if man was armed- this plays on his mind. He can't get the man's death out of his mind.
No regular line length / rhyme scheme- sounds like a story
Starts with first person plural "we" - changes to singular "i"- poem becomes more personal like a confession.
Final couplet- same metre- giving finality - guilt will stay with solider.
Begins as an amusing anecdote but quickly turns into a graphic description of a mans death.
Clear volta beginning of 5th stanza- soldier's tone, thoughts and emotions changed by his guilt
The mans death is described in gory detail- "guts" have "split" onto the ground "rips through his life- i see broad daylight on the other sides"
Imagery reminds reader of the horrors of war, hw desensitised to violence and death speaker was at the time- part of everyday life
Lots of chatty familiar language- story like
Language trivialises mans death "legs it" tosses his guts back into his body
words are repeated to reflect the way that killing is repeated in speaker's mind "probably armed, probably not"
Feelings and Attitudes
Nonchalance- very casual at first towards the mans death- tone is anecdotal
Body is thrown into a lorry and "carted off"
Guilt- speaker can't get the memory of killing out of his mind. He is tormented- acknowledges has blood on his hands- he is guilty "his bloody life in my bloody hands"