Form and structure

Morgan makes the unusual choice of selecting thePetrarchan sonnet form for his poem. This seems strange because the sonnet form is associated closely with love and romance and the subject matter here seems, on first reading, to be matched squarely against this.

Yet, Morgan is surely using the form to show his love for his city in all its discarded ugliness. He seems to be using the form ironically, to call into question why parts of Glasgow and its people have been allowed to become so unloved and uncared for. The classic romantic form throws the city’s abandonment by the authorities into sharp relief.

The setting here is urban and conventionally unattractive. This is also unusual for the sonnet form which is more normally concerned with beauty, reflection and love.

The sonnet form is tightly structured and rigid. Morgan uses it to draw a forensic picture of the dilapidated building, both inside and out. The poem is made up first of an octet to describe the exterior of the building and then a sestet to describe the interior.

Morgan brings to life the experiences of the people in this landscape by using imagery and emotive language.