Form and structure

The poem is split up into three stanzas of different lengths. There is no regular rhyme scheme and, as in many of Lochhead's poems, the ideas and impressions seem to tumble out as if they had just occurred to the speaker.

Lochhead does this to give the ideas in the poem a feeling of occurring spontaneously and naturally. Here, this technique helps us understand the disorganised way in which a child experiences an event which has a dramatic impact on her.

Lochhead makes effective use of enjambment which often gives a first meaning before she adds to it or contradicts it in the next line. This technique is evidence of the confusion of the girl as she experiences something entirely new to her and also has the effect of demonstrating how she constructs her thoughts.

The three stanzas form stages to the story and take place in different locations.

  • the first is set at the entrance to the bull's enclosure and builds to the moment when she sees the bull fully
  • the second takes place in the yard outside and describes the girl moment of revelation as she realises the significance of this monster
  • the third sees the girl fleeing what she has found, running down the lane that leads away from the farm