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Simon Armitage explores and explains the themes, ideas, feelings and attitudes behind 'The Manhunt' and considers the language, structure and form of the poem linked to its central ideas. A reading of the poem is accompanied by a series of shots and visual images to illustrate the meanings, including documentary footage from current and past conflicts. Armitage examines the use of metaphor and structural devices he uses to explore the effects of conflict from personal rather than societal/ historical perspectives.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
9 March 2012

Classroom Ideas

Students could carry out some prior research into the condition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in people who have experienced conflict. They could produce a one-page army dossier on the troubled subject of the poem, a soldier called Eddie, incorporating ideas from the text. This could help students to uncover some of the military themed language in the poem. Students could then go on to examine his wife Laura's response to the dossier (perhaps as a letter in reply to the army) and her attempts to use much more figurative language, in order to deal with the real horror of the situation.