Norman McCaig's Brooklyn Cop is a poem that explores the theme of violence which is a theme that has the potential to affect us all. This theme is explored by McCaig, by writing about a cop in Brooklyn and the daily dangers that he faces.
The poem is about a cop who works in Brooklyn, New York, which is renowned for being a rather violent society, thus making the job of being a cop there even tougher than being a cop anywhere else. The fact that every working day is a life threatening situation for him is affluent throughout the poem, as is the fierce, tough and unyielding characteristics of this Brooklyn Cop, all of which are necessities in order for him to be able to fulfil his duties.
The physical description of the cop leaves the reader in no doubt as to his aggressive appearance.
McCaig uses the simile in the first line of the cop being "built like gorilla." This immediately allows the reader to have the image of the cop being huge and very intimidating, which is again, a necessary feature for a man with such a job. The images of him having the necessary qualities for his dangerous job, are continued when his skin is described as being "thick fleshes, steak coloured". This gives the reader the image of him being a stereotypical red faced person, someone who is angered easily and has a short temper. Again the features of being unforgiving and volatile are included in those that would be required for his job, when dealing with the kind of criminals he has to on a daily basis.
The cop's eyes are cleverly described as being "two hieroglyphs....that mean trouble". This metaphor implies that the cop is very difficult to understand...