In both poems are about towns that have gone wrong but in different ways slough is a town built after war to try and make a better place and no more hiroshimas is about a town in ruins because of the effects of a war. The purpose of ‘slough’ is protest against the horrors of post war England – the way that ‘progress’ leads to a decline in culture and character. The writer dislikes the artificiality of modern life and chooses slough as an example of soulless modern living it is a very nostalgic poem even though this is not the main message it is giving out.
His serious point in the poem is that the town was thrown up after the war to add hope and many people were exploited. The poem uses satirical humour and juxtaposition with “friendly bombs”. He explains how everything is manufactured “tinned meat, tinned breath” and how the town was put up to help the people when really all it helps is the “man with the double chin” (the businessman) as people didn’t have a choice but to move into the manufactured town and so were exploited.
Even though our country won the war the people have still “tasted hell”. The manufactured towns have no character and no story to tell as the houses before the war would have done so this is also attempted to be manufactured “bogus Tudor bars”. The poem ends with a repetition of satire “come friendly bombs fall on slough” and the poets explanation of how the town may as well of been blown up by war bombs because its newness does not make it anymore useful because nothing is real and everything is manufactured and characterless.
The purpose of ‘no more… ‘ is to show what a real memorial should be. To show what’s left after the bombs have exploded and to show that life goes on but when people remember the dead they should remember what it was really like “stained and tattered vests” and not the glamorised plaques and statues. It explains how the reminders of war are still left “stunted trees” and the word “dead” is repeated as a constant reminder and so the real meaning of the poem is not lost in the glamour as has happened in the town.
The poem does not start as a war (or effects of war) poem, the explanation it gives could be anywhere it explains the traveller “at the station exit” and I had forgotten where I was” and explains the happy and normal place the town is “on little roofs….. oranges and dark red apples” and slowly brings in the feelings of the people and the emotions that the stress of war brought with it “lotion for hair fall out”(also meaning in the sense of fall out as war terminology) and the “second hand looks of the boys” showing they have had to grow up to fast and see to much stress to soon in their lives.
It explains the area surrounding the offices “long wide and empty” (using lots of adjectives for effect) as official as though this is what people should see a good version of how the town has recovered when really it will take much longer for the real wounds to heal as so many died in such tragic conditions. The poem explains the modern hotel which the mourners and people visiting the memorial are staying and nothing is explained how it should be “dingy iced cake” and “overheated morgue” it is all a fai?? de of modern life when really nothing has been the same since the bomb.
And the “evangelist” will be preaching about a sinless life in an area that will have held much terror. Yet again the poem says how the town puts up a front “for the world to see”. Ironically it explains the day as the “dying afternoon” when the whole place is about death and dead anyway also in the “park of peace” where it would have been anything but peaceful when so many died there.
There is more euphemisms when the pieces left over from the bomb are described as “relics of catastrophe” when really this is an innocent phrase to describe the humanness of a disaster, but this soon leads on to how a real memorial should be with lots of description on how the terrible things should be remembered to “the ones that made me weep” as these are more likely to stop the event recurring than false images of the well recovered town.