Night Over Birkenau powerful impression

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Task: Many memorable poems leave the reader with a powerful impression of a person, a place or an era. Using a poem which has left you with such an impression, explain what techniques are used by the poet to convey this impression. “Night Over Birkenau” by Tadeusz Borowski is a poem which leaves the reader with a powerful impression of a place. The poem describes the horrific atmosphere in Birkenau – Auschwitz.

Borowski uses a range of techniques successfully throughout the poem to convey his experiences and feelings after seeing and living through the holocaust himself. This brings another level of depth to the poem knowing that the poet has been there and has felt these emotions. Tadeusz Borowski was born on the 12th November 1922, in 1943 he was captured by Gestapo agents and sent to a Nazi medical hospital where they performed experiments on him. In 1944 he arrived at Auschwitz, he worked there until the Americans liberated the camp in 1945.

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After the war he became a writer and continued his work as a journalist. In stanza one the poet gives the reader a powerful description of the atmosphere and mood within Birkenau. In this stanza the poet conveys to the reader the idea that the atmosphere is very intimidating and oppressive. The writer conveys this successfully when he uses the technique of repetition on the word “Again”. This gives the reader the impression that there is no escape from the camp. They keep trying, again and again but they never succeed.

This links in with another atmosphere the writer conveys, the idea that the camp is claustrophobic. The repetition of “again” gives the impression of there being no escape. They are trapped in the camp with no way out. The poet also uses similes effectively in this stanza to convey the vulnerability of the people trapped in the camp. The similie “like a crouching beast” gives the impression that there is a “monster” outside the camp waiting to attack. The connotations of beast tend to be of animals or monsters.

These do not have human emotions and are cold, heartless hunters. This could possibly be a reference to the Nazi’s oppressors in the camp who felt nothing at the slaughter of millions of innocent people. Many animals will crouch and wait before attacking so this Display complete essay The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Other Poets section.


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