Unto Us

Spike Milligan
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is
given; and the government shall be upon his
shoulder: and his name shall be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting
Father, Prince of Peace.”
Extract from the bible foreseeing the birth and
power of Jesus.
Every child is born with potential to do great
writer, poet,
musician, playwright, soldier
and actor.
Born 16th April 1918.
Died 27th February 2002
– “I told you I was ill”
Read the poem yourself.
 What do you think the main issue within this
poem is?
In pairs discuss the topic of abortion.
Do you agree or disagree with it?
 Is there any situation in which abortion should or
should not be allowed?
Be prepared to justify your answers.
After reading the poem how did it make you feel
A. The topic of abortion.
B. The parents.
C. The unborn baby?
What, from the poem, made you feel this way?
Monologue – inner thoughts and feelings of the
foetus. Shows a biased view of abortion.
Persona – Milligan writing as if he were the
1st Person – Written as if by the foetus, showing
its perspective.
No Stanzas – To emphasise how raw the foetus’
thoughts and feeling are.
We are now going to analyse the poem to
determine how Milligan conveys these themes
and elicits such a strong reaction from the
Make sure that you are taking detailed notes now
as they will come in useful when revising.
Word choice- makes the
conception seem random
and unimportant or
memorable –
Highlighting theme of
Somewhere at some time
They committed themselves to me
And so, I was!
Small, but I WAS!
Tiny, in shape
Inversion – highlights how
small the baby was and the
theme of vulnerability.
Contrast – committed
suggests that it had been
carefully considered and
taken seriously. These
parents clearly hadn’t.
Repetition and capital letters
show the foetus already has a
sense of being and existence.
Alliteration – shows
how badly the baby
wants to be alive.
Metaphor –
connotations of
death, comparing
the umbilical
chord to that of a
noose. Showing
the baby is at
another’s mercy.
Theme of
helplessness +
Metaphor for the womb.
Should be a place of safety
and comfort. Pulsing shows
life. In this poem the place
the baby dies.
Lusting to live
I hung in my pulsing cave.
Dashes suggest that
the parents are
Soon they knew of me
separate and not a
My mother -- my father.
I had no say in my being
I lived on trust
The baby did not have
these things therefore
And love
death was almost
Metaphor – babies need these things to live
in the same way as they need food and
water. Again showing helplessness and
Showing that the baby was
not fully developed in womb.
The promise of
a new life and
what could
have been.
Tho' I couldn't think
Each part of me was saying
A silent 'Wait for me
I will bring you love!'
I was taken
The turning point
of the poem – the
moment that all
the promise and
hope disappeared
as the baby was
Desperate to live.
These yells were
silent and in vain as
they could not be
Word choice – shows that
the baby was removed from
the womb without
permission and roughly/
without care. Highlights
theme of carelessness.
Word choice – again
highlighting how
vulnerable the foetus was.
Play on the word
grave – where the
baby has gone to die.
Blind, naked, defenceless
By the hand of one
Whose good name
Was graven on a brass plate
in Wimpole Street,
and dropped on the sterile floor
of a foot operated plastic waste
Word choice – showing how
carelessly (theme) the foetus is
being treated and with such
little dignity.
Play on the term ‘Hand
of God’ suggesting that
the doctor was playing
God, choosing who lives
and dies.
Sarcastic tone.
Wealthy area of
London, private
doctor. Seems to
make the abortion
more acceptable and
not as tacky.
Line on its own – showing how
disposable this life is
Shows the abortion is
considered a crime, with no
one there to look after the
baby (helpless) or give it a
fair hearing.
Again showing
the parents’
There was no Queens Counsel
To take my brief.
The cot I might have warmed
Stood in Harrod's shop window.
When my passing was told
My father smiled.
No grief filled my empty space.
Last 2 lines showing the callous nature of the father
and the relief he feels knowing that the baby has been
disposed of.
Again the idea of what
the baby may have
Suggesting that the
baby would have
been loving and
Euphemism – The
baby giving itself
some dignity when
no one else will.
Continuing the idea of the
baby’s death being a relief and
the heartless nature of the
parents to celebrate and not
A famous drag
queen. Tacky and
cheap connotations.
My death was celebrated
With tickets to see Danny la Rue
Who was pretending to be a woman
Like my mother was.
Final 2 lines of the poem sarcastic to show the anger and
hatred the baby has for its parents not allowing it to live
out its hopes. Scathing criticism of the mother who he
claims can not be a real woman if she is so willing to
give up her baby without a second thought as well as to
be relieved with its death.