Focusing upon both ‘structure’ and ‘function’ produce a critical analysis of Craig Raine’s poem ‘A Martian Sends A Postcard Home’ Essay
” Focusing upon both ‘structure’ and ‘function’ produce a critical analysis of Craig Raine’s poem ‘A Martian Sends A Postcard Home'”Perhaps the most important feature of Craig Raine’s 1979 poem ‘A Martian Sends A Postcard Home’ is that is uses an alien voice as its persona, when writing a poet may use their own voice, someone else’s voice or indeed have a multi-voiced persona as a tool of reaching, challenging and pleasing their audience. It is a very useful tool as this poet shows.
Raine’s piece is directed by a keenly observant, intelligent (if not always intelligible), disengaged tone.
Using this foreign voice Raine can intrigue the reader by making conventional objects seem unusual. One example would be:’Mist is when the sky is tired of flight and rests its soft machine on ground’From this quote the audience can acknowledge that this visitor has appreciated the natural beauty and mystique of clouds and mist, but can only equate the phenomenon it mechanical terms.
Throughout the piece Raine uses a range of audacious figurative language as his tools to give the poem an air of defamiliarisation, as well as trying to bring the reader into the poem (the very essence of it being an observational poem creates the platform for the reader to develop their own range of signs and signifiers to both conflict and support the said observations) Raine alienates his audience by confusing them. The issue of defamiliarisation was a keystone in Russian formalist thinking.
Due to our own lives being made up of repetition and countless encounters with the world, the way that we view things become automated into a single diatribe of less than conscious stumblings. If you like, we become over familiar with the world and our own existence that we do not appreciate individual experiences any more, we mould everything into a continuous blur of shapes and shades and limit our own understanding of events and repercussions. The function that Raine’s audience defamiliarisation provides is that instead of the habitual way of viewing the world that normally happens the reader has to realise that the things they have taken for face value are no longer normal and thus have become abnormal, creating the platform for alienation.By having the foreign voice refer to a watch in the way:’ But time is tied to the wrist or kept in a box, ticking with impatience’Another example of the defamiliariaThe audiences own signs no longer govern the understanding and we have to deduce the Martians to gain real meaning, developing, on the way, a new series of signs and signifiers.
We take Raine/the Martian’s figurative speech and begin to create word puzzles and pictures to develop a level of understanding that enables us to continue reading. The unnerving quality of the language therefore becomes the poems and success by encouraging the audience to appreciate what they are reading/developing.As ‘A Martian..
.’ is an observational poem you can see the poet at work, even though Raine is using an alien voice we are still reading thoughts and reflections that he has seen worthy to document, so we must take into consideration that although some of the meaning isn’t directly clear we are reading work that is created by a very human inner source. It’s this that can lead us to argue the origins of the voice that is ‘narrating’ it is feasible Raine put Martian in the title just to refer to the alienating content of the work and its actually a human voice referring to objects in his life.