Analysis Of My Busconductor By Roger McGough

The Line-by-Line Summary

This thirty three line poem begins with an abstract voice telling the readers about his busconductor who soon will depart this heart as a result of kidney failure. 

From line 5-18, the poem speaker tells that all the things that used to amount to nothing in the eyes of the busconductor became important while those cherished things became uninteresting to the busconductor:-

“Each busticket
takes on now a different shape
and texture.
He holds a ninepenny single
as if it were a rose
and puts the shilling in his bag
as a child into a gasmeter.
His thin lips
have no quips
for fat factorygirls
and he ignores
the drunk who snores
and the oldman who talks to himself
and gets off at the wrong stop.”

The further narration show the dying busconductor walk slow toward the back of the bus as if he won’t be able to get to the back of the back of the bus next time; he watches the “familiar shops” and “sameold streets” with different view and question if the sky was ever so blue?

The concluding lines of the poem reveals the thought of the busconductor thus (line 29-33):-

“And all the time
deepdown in the deserted busshelter of his mind
he thinks about his journey nearly done.
One day he’ll clock on and never clock off
or clock off and never clock on.”

“My busconductor” is a free verse that teaches the important of life and living. From the context of the poem knowing when death will come upon a soul is better than knowing that death is at hand. 

The poem’s category fall under life and living and the tone is mild with a sympathetic mood through the third person point of view, the voice of the poem painted the clear picture of scenes in the poem.

About the Poet

By the way, who is Roger McGough? Roger McGough is an English poet and broadcaster born on the 9th of November 1937 in Lancashire, England.

The setting of the poem is crystal clear; the bus. There, the busconductor displayed his love for human existence. Within the bus, the dying busconductor reflected on his life journey that is nearly done.

The Message of the Poem

The themes of the poem are 

(1) Negative effect of overworking the body. The busconductor believes that his death is due to overwork of his single kidney. 

(2) Negative impact of dying. When a person realizes that the things he or she has been taking for granted will soon exist no more, such case is the dying busconductor who feels unhappy because death will soon claim his life. 

(3) Life and the sweetness within it. From the poem, the list of sweet things in life are the blue sky, fat factorygirls, shops, pubs, etc.

The Poetic Recipes

The poetic devices in the poem are assonance in line 2 “he only has one kidney”. Alliteration in line 3 “may soon go on strike”. Simile in line 9 “as if it were a rose”. 

Antithesis in line 32-33 “One day he’ll clock on and never clock off/ or clock off and never clock on”. Personification in line 22 “and watch familiar shops and pubs pass by” Metaphor in line 30 “deepdown in the deserted busshelter of his mind”.

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.