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Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
Appreciation Of Modern Literature   Spike Milligan
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Appreciation Of Modern Literature Spike Milligan

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  • 1. Appreciation of Modern Literature: SPIKE MILLIGAN: 1918-2002 Comedian, writer, musician, playw right, and POET!
  • 2. Early Life & Career:  Born in Ahmednagar, India on the 16th of April 1918  Son of an Irish father, serving in the British Indian Army, and an English mother  Spent his early childhood in India, and later on in Burma  During most of the 1930‟s and 40‟s he played as an amateur Jazz vocalist and trumpeter, until he was called to service to fight in the second World War  He was hospitalized after fighting in Italy with a mortar wound to his right leg and shell shock  After being released from the hospital Milligan became a full time musician, and later broke into radio with a relatively radical show called The Goon Show
  • 3. Career:  After that show ended he had a number of acting parts in theatre, film and television  He became known for his ad-libbing, one of his most famous ad-lib incidents occurred after he had been interviewed live on air by ABC. He stuck around for the post-interview news broadcast during which he continually interjected, adding his own name to the news items  As a result of this he was banned from ABC and they created a new policy wherein all live interviewees must leave the studio after the interview has been conducted  He continued to write various plays, poems, comedy acts and cartoons
  • 4. Personal Life:  Milligan suffered from sever Bipolar Disorder for most of his life, having at least ten mental breakdowns  The Prince of Wales was a noted fan of Spike Milligan, who caused a stir by calling him a “little groveling bastard” on live TV in 1994. He later faxed the prince saying „I suppose a knighthood is out of the question?‟  Milligan campaigned on environmental issues and animal rights, he once attacked an art exhibit at the Hayward Gallery, breaking the display with a hammer. The exhibit had various sea creatures electrocuted as part of the exhibition. He was also a public opponent of domestic violence  Milligan had three children with his first wife June Marlow (divorced in 1960), one daughter with his second wife Patricia Ridgeway (marriage ended in 1978 with her death), as well a son from an affair in 1975, and reportedly another daughter born around the same time by a journalist
  • 5. Death & Legacy:  Milligan died from liver disease at the age of 83, on February 27th 2002  He wrote his own obituary where he said multiple times that he “wrote The Goon Show and died”. He once said that he wanted his headstone to be engraved with the words “I told you I was ill” but the diocese wouldn‟t allow that, so they made a compromise and engraved it with the Irish translation  In a BBC poll in 1999 Spike Milligan was voted the “funniest person of the last 1000 years”, he has several plaques dedicated to him and multiple campaigns for erecting a statue of him, in June 2006 Professor Richard Wiseman identified Milligan as the writer of the world‟s funniest joke, he has been portrayed twice in movies
  • 6. “The Soldiers at Lauro”: Young are our dead The poem “The Soldiers at Lauro” was written by Like babies they lie Milligan after having buried the dead following a direct hit The wombs they blest once on his battery which left only two survivors. It is the first Not healed dry And yet - too soon serious poem written by him. Before this, all of Milligan‟s Into each space poetry was written in the genre of “Nonsense Poetry”. This A cold earth falls poem displays not only his feelings towards serving in the On colder face. military himself, but also foreshadows his spiral into Quite still they lie These fresh-cut reeds depression caused by Shell Shock. Clutched in earth The simple writing style Milligan uses here is also Like winter seeds very different from his other poetry. In this poem he uses But they will not bloom When called by spring very common, straightforward words to better display the To burst with leaf event and convey the emotions that he felt while writing it. And blossoming For example, the line “Quite still they lie”, while depicting a They sleep on great tragedy and loss of life, the vocabulary is understated In silent dust As crosses rot and could be referring to anything commonplace instead of And helmets rust. the bodies of his friends.
  • 7. “The Soldiers at Lauro”: Young are our dead The overall tone of this piece is one of despair, loss Like babies they lie and finality. Milligan is grieving for the loss of these men all The wombs they blest once the more because the were so young; “Like babies they Not healed dry lie”, and so promising; “Like winter seeds”. The finality is And yet - too soon Into each space seen in the last half of the poem when Milligan writes “But A cold earth falls they will not bloom when called by spring”. There is a On colder face. realization of the conclusiveness of death here that makes it Quite still they lie These fresh-cut reeds all the more real to the reader, because the realization occurs Clutched in earth in within the poem as opposed to being told of through the Like winter seeds poem. In between the lines the poem is also about Milligan‟s But they will not bloom fear for himself that he, too, will die in the war. The rhyme When called by spring To burst with leaf scheme is “a b c b d e f e g h i h j k l k m n o n”. And blossoming The poem has twenty sentences, all of them except 2 They sleep on are four syllables and under. The only two exceptions to this In silent dust As crosses rot are the lines “The wombs they blest once” and “But they will And helmets rust. not bloom”. These both have five syllables and the difference doesn‟t disrupt the flow of the poem.
  • 8. “The Soldiers at Lauro”: Young are our dead Literary Devices: Like babies they lie The wombs they blest once Alliteration: examples are in line 2 “Like babies the lie” and Not healed dry lines 15 and 16 “burst with leaf and blossoming”. And yet - too soon Into each space A cold earth falls Repetition: uses this only once in lines 7 and 8 “a cold On colder face. earth falls on colder face”. Quite still they lie These fresh-cut reeds Clutched in earth Metaphor: “Quite still they lie, these fresh cut reeds”. Like winter seeds But they will not bloom Simile: “Like babies they lie”, “Like winter seeds”. When called by spring To burst with leaf And blossoming Anthropomorphism: “When called by spring”, “In silent They sleep on dust”. In silent dust As crosses rot And helmets rust.
  • 9. “Unto Us”: Somewhere at some time By the hand of one They committed themselves to me Whose good name And so, I was! Was graven on a brass plate Small, but I WAS! in Wimpole Street, Tiny, in shape and dropped on the sterile floor Lusting to live of a foot operated plastic waste I hung in my pulsing cave. bucket. Soon they knew of me There was no Queens Counsel My mother —my father. To take my brief. I had no say in my being The cot I might have warmed I lived on trust Stood in Harrod's shop window. And love When my passing was told Tho' I couldn't think My father smiled. Each part of me was saying No grief filled my empty space. A silent 'Wait for me My death was celebrated I will bring you love!' With tickets to see Danny la Rue I was taken Who was pretending to be a woman Blind, naked, defenseless Like my mother was.
  • 10. “Unto Us”:  The poem “Unto Us” is about experiencing abortion from the perspective of the unborn child. Abortion is one of the issues which Milligan campaigned against, along with Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse. This is another of Milligan‟s more serious poems, and it shows his feelings very clearly through his diction and use of metaphor. The poem is written in blank verse which means that it is not intended to have any rhyme scheme.  The writing style is different from the first poem because in “Unto Us” Milligan uses a larger variety of words and focuses on evoking emotion through the use of words like „lusting‟ and „pulsing‟ as opposed to evoking emotion through the actual event. The sentence structure is widely varied ranging from very short lines of two syllables to the longest at twelve syllables. The lines generally get longer as the poem develops.  Unlike the other poem this doesn‟t seem to be connected with any actual event in his life, but is just Milligan expressing his frustration about the issue of abortion.
  • 11. “Unto Us”:  The tone throughout this poem is very obviously one of anger and bitterness. Milligan attacks many of the different aspects of abortion as well as the people involved, the parents and the doctors who perform the surgery. By giving emotions to the unborn child and telling the story through his eyes Milligan makes the poem personal to the reader. He also emphasizes the fact that the child is alive “And so, I was! Small, but I WAS!”  The feelings of betrayed trust overrun the first feelings of innocence and love, the child, living on “trust”, “lusting to live”, is taken from the safety of his mother‟s body. The doctor is seen by the child as someone whose good name is engraved upon his nametag, but not shown through his work/actions.  Milligan implies that the mother is less of a woman for having had an abortion, “Who was pretending to be a woman, Like my mother was.” The abortion is made all the worse by the fact that it seems unnecessary, even considered a triviality by the parents, who celebrate the surgery by going to see a concert.
  • 12. “Unto Us”: Literary Devices: Repetition: “And so, I was! Small, but I WAS!” Metaphor: “I hung in my pulsing cave” Symbolism: “Whose good name was graven on a brass plate” (also irony) Hyperbole: “dropped on the sterile floor of a foot operated plastic waste bucket.” Irony: “who was pretending to be a woman, Like my mother was”
  • 13. “Oojah-ka-Piv”: The people who live On the Oojah-ka-Piv This is an example of Milligan‟s Stand around in bundles of nine nonsense poetry. Normally nonsense poetry is written as a meaningful When asked how it feels statement about politics or personal They reply 'Curried Eels'! opinions under the cover of whimsical Otherwise - everything's going fine! made-up words. A good way to analyze nonsense poetry is to look at the specific words that are used. For example, the title: Oojah-ka-Piv. The word “Oojah” is old fashioned British slang that was first used in the army as a word that you can use in place of any object when you can‟t remember it‟s name, similar to words like whatchemacallit and doo-hickey. Most army slang terms of the time came from India, but there are no words in the Indian language that are related to the word “Oojah”, so it‟s origins are unknown. After it‟s army use the term became widely used by civilians and changed into many different sayings, such as “Oojah- capivvy” and “Ooja-ka-pivvi”, which came to mean that basically things were alright.
  • 14. “Oojah-ka-Piv”: The people who live From those definitions, Milligan is On the Oojah-ka-Piv writing about a place called “Oojah-ka- Stand around in bundles of nine Piv” that is either a place used as a substitution for a place you can‟t When asked how it feels remember, or a place where things are They reply 'Curried Eels'! alright. Otherwise - everything's going fine! The second thing about this poem that is interesting is how the people always stand around in bundles of nine, specifically. The number nine has many meanings to it, a few of them are occult but most are mathematical. In math nine is a unique number because the sum of all the digits which form it‟s multiples are themselves always a multiple of nine, for example: 2 x 9 = 18 (1 + 8 = 9), 3 x 9 = 27 (2 + 7 = 9), 52843 x 9 = 475587 (4 + 7 + 5 + 5 + 8 + 7 = 36, and 3 + 6 = 9). In the poem this might represent that the people who stand around in bundles of nine all amount to the same number (quality, person). It is also the last of the digits and represents and end or a conclusion.
  • 15. “Oojah-ka-Piv”: The people who live The last mystery in this poem is how the On the Oojah-ka-Piv people who stand in bundles of nine Stand around in bundles of nine reply that it feels like “Curried Eels!”. I‟m not sure whether they mean that living When asked how it feels in Oojah-ka-Piv feels like Curried Eels or They reply 'Curried Eels'! standing in groups of nine feels like Otherwise - everything's going fine! Curried Eels. In dreams eels represent temptation, but that doesn‟t make much sense when applied to a Curried Eel. The rhyme scheme is “aab ccb”.
  • 16. Spike Milligan: Famous Quotes  “Money can‟t buy you friends, but you get a better class of enemy.”  “My father had a profound influence on me. He was a lunatic.”  “I‟m not afraid of dying, I just don‟t want to be there when it happens!”  “Listen, someone‟s screaming in agony- fortunately, I speak it fluently.”  “You can feel some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, which is just long enough to be president of the United States.”

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