Fiona Cruse Sample Essay ‘Trio’ Category 2 (19) ‘Trio’ Like many works of literature ‘Trio’ by Edwin Morgan has more than one level of meaning. At first glance, the poem seems to be about a normal, everyday experience which took place on a winter’s evening on Buchan Street in Glasgow. Although, when we take a closer look at the poem, the reader realises that the poet is actually making a much deeper comment about life. The poem is ultimately concerned with Morgan’s ideas and thoughts that the religious aspect of Christmas becomes irrelevant in the face of the human aspect of Christmas. This is embodied in the form of love, friendship, generosity, charity and happiness which is so evident at this time of year. In this essay I will show how the techniques used by the poet helped make this poem and its ideas memorable to me. Throughout the poem, the poet uses many different techniques, one of which is the use of the present tense “coming up Buchanan Street”. The fact that the poet has written this in the present tense adds realism to the poem and makes the reader feel like they are witnessing the event. Also, the fact that Buchanan street is real location gives the poem’s message universal significance as by presenting a cross section of society, Morgan is able to show how the scene he witnessed is representative of society as a whole. One technique that the poet employs repeatedly throughout the poem is comparison, “their breath rises in a cloud of happiness”. Morgan uses metaphors to reveal his deeper meaning and this can be taken to refer to the cold weather causing their breath to be visible. However, Morgan uses imagery to illustrate the strength of their happiness by suggesting that it is almost tangible and lingers in the air after they are gone. Morgan uses this seemingly irrelevant detail to highlight the fact that everyone is capable of feeling the joy and love that Christmas embodies regardless of religious beliefs. Another technique that Morgan uses to make his ideas memorable is simile, “royal stewart tartan coat like a teapot holder”. This suggests that the dog is warm, loved and protected, all the human qualities that Morgan is celebrating in this poem. The comparison with a ‘tea pot’ holder suggests warmth and the cosy connotation of the word demonstrates the capacity for human beings to love. Morgan goes on to describe what the trio are holding and focuses his description on the young baby, “like favours in a fresh sweet cake”. This simile has very positive connotations and the suggestion of celebration in the ‘sweet cake’ captures the good parts of humanity and reinforces the poet’s central message. As the poem progresses, the poet adopts a change of register, giving the poem a totally different perspective, “Orphean sprig! Melting baby! Warm cihuahua! At this point in the poem, the reader can clearly see that the poet is now reflecting on the significance of what he has witnessed. He talks of his own thoughts and feelings about the scene in front of him and conveys his central message to the reader through this use of reflection. Imagery is used later in the poem to reinforce the importance of the scene, “life of men and beasts and music”. This allows you to imagine exactly what Morgan thinks. The fact that he says ‘life of’ shows how much he values these things and he does not just see them as a group of people with a baby, a dog and a guitar. Instead, Morgan shows how they are representative of he better parts of human nature and that we all have this capacity to love and care. The symbolism in the final lines is very poignant “laughter ringing round them like a guard”. This shows how Morgan believes in the power of love and joy. The simile ‘like a guard’ reinforces this idea by suggesting that their happiness acts as protection against the evils of the world. In ‘Trio’ by Edwin Morgan, the poet shows how a normal everyday occurrence can be used to convey a much deeper comment on life. Morgan does this with skill, using many techniques which the can allow the reader to appreciate the message below the surface.