The Yellow Palm - Robert Minhinnick

Jessica Phillips
Mind Map by , created over 4 years ago

In depth analysis of Robert Minhinnick's poem The Yellow Palm from conflict section of English Literature anthology Moon on the Tides. Information on structure, language, form, techniques, imagery, comparisons included.

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Jessica Phillips
Created by Jessica Phillips over 4 years ago
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The Yellow Palm - Robert Minhinnick

Attachments:

1 Subject and Themes
1.1 Poem is about an unknown conflict
1.1.1 Conflict is not overt in the poem

Annotations:

  • Overt - obvious, open
1.1.2 Past/present/future?
2 Title
2.1 The yellow palm is a date-producing palm tree
2.1.1 The leaves, bark and fruit are used for a variety of helpful purposes
2.1.1.1 Shade
2.1.1.2 Food
2.2 Positive image
2.2.1 Contrasts with context
3 Form and Structure
3.1 Written in form of a ballad
3.1.1 Strong rhythm and rhyme scheme
3.1.2 Song like quality
3.1.2.1 Contrast with the context
3.2 Six stanzas
3.2.1 The second, forth and sixth line of each stanza rhymes or has a half rhyme
4 Language
4.1 Imagery
4.1.1 Religious connotations
4.1.1.1 'to watch the faithful there'
4.1.1.1.1 Muslims going to pray
4.1.1.2 'the muezzin's eyes'
4.1.1.2.1 Official who calls the faithful to prayer at mosque
4.1.1.3 'blessed it with a smile'
4.1.1.3.1 Missile - mile - smile
4.1.1.3.1.1 Weapon has become a smile
4.1.1.3.1.1.1 Negative into positive
4.1.1.3.1.1.1.1 Makes the missile appear harmless
4.1.1.3.2 Child doesn't know it's a threat
4.1.1.4 'were wild with his despair'
4.1.1.4.1 Mosque should be peaceful
4.1.1.4.1.1 Links religion to violence
4.1.2 The different senses are used throughout
4.1.2.1 'I heard the call'
4.1.2.2 'I smelled the wide Tigris'

Annotations:

  • Tigris is a river that flows through Baghdad.
4.1.2.3 'I pressed my hands'
4.1.2.4 'I watched a funeral pass'
4.1.3 War connotations
4.1.3.1 'I met two blind beggars...and their salutes were those of the Imperial Guard'

Annotations:

  • Imperial Guard were a unit of largely volenteers who served Hussein
4.1.3.1.1 Contrast
4.1.3.1.1.1 Soldiers - smart, order, power
4.1.3.1.1.2 Beggars - scruffy, have nothing, no power
4.1.3.1.2 Suggests that the soldiers have become beggars
4.1.3.1.3 Saluted like soldiers
4.1.3.1.3.1 Makes them sound sinister, violent
4.1.3.2 'Mother of all wars'
4.1.3.2.1 Hussein's description of the first Gulf War in 1990

Annotations:

  • Saddam Hussein was the president of Iraq, 1979-2003
4.1.3.3 'had breathed a poison gas'
4.1.3.3.1 Victim of war
4.2 Ending
4.2.1 Last stanza is positive
4.2.1.1 Ends on a positive note rather than dwelling on the conflict
4.2.1.1.1 Suggests that life will continue on
5 Poetic Techniques
5.1 Repetition
5.1.1 'As I made my way down Palestine Street'

Annotations:

  • Palestine Street is a major street in Baghdad, which is the capital of the Republic of Iraq.
5.1.1.1 Repeated throughout the poem in the first line of each stanza
5.2 Enjambment
5.2.1 No punctuation at the end of lines
5.2.1.1 Makes the poem flow quickly/erratically
5.2.1.1.1 Adds to the song like quality
5.3 Alliteration
5.3.1 'all sweeter than salaams'

Annotations:

  • Salaams is an Arabic greeting meaning peace.
5.3.1.1 Positive image
5.3.1.2 Adds to the song like quality
5.4 Personification
5.4.1 'down on my head fell the barbarian sun that knows no armistice'
5.4.1.1 'armistice'

Annotations:

  • An armistice is a truce. People at war agree to stop fighting.
5.4.1.1.1 Links back into war
5.4.1.2 Violent, wild, strong
5.4.1.2.1 Negative image
5.4.1.2.1.1 Contrast/juxtaposition with optimist image given in same stanza
5.4.1.2.1.1.1 'the river smell lifts the air'
5.4.2 'the river smell that lifts the air'
5.4.2.1 clears the air
5.4.2.1.1 as moves away from conflict
5.4.2.2 Positive image
6 Comparison
6.1 Belfast Confetti
6.1.1 Positive images created by title
6.1.2 Conflict is expressed in a way that doesn't make it obvious

Media attachments