Describe and explain the structure of ‘Kamikaze’.

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Scottie Cummings

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Kamikaze is written in seven, six-line stanzas.

One notable feature of the poem's structure is that it is composed of only three sentences and contains only three full-stops, possibly reflecting the idea of a story being told orally.

The first sentence runs over five stanzas, as we are told about what the pilot can see from the cockpit. We are therefore given a lot of detail, allowing us to imagine more exactly the circumstances of the pilot's difficult decision.

The second sentence marks a shift in time and in speaker. The daughter is directly speaking in her own words. Until this point, her story was re-told in third-person narrative, creating a distancing effect. Now, the reader is suddenly brought close to someone with a direct interest in the story she tells, speaking at a much later time.

The final sentence is only three lines and reverts back to third person. It adds another twist, emphasising the fact that the pilot may have thought he would've been better off if he had died in the suicide mission.

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