The Clown Punk

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Text of The Clown Punk

What do you think of when you look at this image?

Punk Ideology:Punk-related ideologies are mostly concerned with individual freedom and anti-establishment views. Common punk viewpoints include anti-authoritarianism, non-conformity, direct action and not selling out. Other notable trends in punk politics include: Anarchism Socialism Anti-militarism Anti-capitalism Anti-racism

Mrs Thatcher came to power during an especially creative period for UK music in the early aftermath of the punk rock movement which had experienced its first stirrings three years earlier. Set against a backdrop of the winter of discontent, home-grown music protest music began to flourish like never before, giving a voice to a young disenfranchised audience Among its earliest proponents were The Clash, whose debut album bristled with songs of urban blight and racial disharmony.

Themes and messages:

Now read The Clown Punk by Simon Armitage.

What impression do you get of the punk movement?

But / dont laugh

three times out of ten youll see the town clown, like a basket of washing

The Clown PunkA poem voiced by a third person narrator, an observer. The narrator is intrusive as he/she offers his opinions on the character and homelessness. The poem focuses on a homeless man he had once been a punk and his face has the tattoos from this fashion period. Punks were a symbol of the anarchist in the early 1980s, people who fought against government control (politics, law and social order). However, the image of the punk is out-dated, as is the cause that they fought for. The poem captures different tones: ridicule, fear and pity.

the sad tattoos of high punk

the shonky side of town

remember the clown punk with his dyed brain, then picture windscreen wipers, and let it rain

Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Themes and messages:

How are The Clown Punk and Ozymandias similar?

The central theme of "Ozymandias" is the inevitable complete decline of all leaders, and of the empires they build, however mighty in their own time. Ozymandias was another name for Ramesses the Great, Pharaoh of the nineteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt. The sonnet paraphrases the inscription on the base of the statue, "King of Kings am I, Osymandias. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works. Shelley's poem is often said to have been inspired by the arrival in London of a colossal statue of Ramesses II, acquired for the British Museum by the Italian adventurer Giovanni Belzoni in 1816

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair

OzymandiasA first person narrator recounts a conversation with a traveller the traveller tells him of a strange statue in the desert. king of kings The poem focuses on pride before the fall Ozymandias boasts of his power and strength. However, the poem focuses on time and how it can erode, bringing with it a sense of failure. The speaker of the poem is not intrusive as he does not pass comment on Ozymandias arrogance or failure.

Themes and messages:Despite the similarities between the poems both focus on the decline of a powerful empire or the decline of a political stance there are differences in their treatment of the theme of inevitability.

Make a list of how the poems are different:For example: The Clown Punk the intrusive narrator engages the reader and asks them to consider how the punk lives his life after the decline of his political movement. Ozymandias the narrator recounts a story of the statue and subtly engages the reader in order to get them to think about inevitability.

As well as focusing on language (meanings and themes), you will also need to focus on structure and form:

Structure the way an idea developsThe Clown Punk


Form:Form is another word for genre or style of writing. When we explore form, we look for features that are typical of that form.

What are the typical features of a newspaper article?

What are the typical features of a poem?