A Critical Analysis of 'FUCKING UP ON THE ROCKS' by Sophie Robinson

Module: Poetry (Level 4)


  • Alexandra Thompson


Poetry, critical analysis, sophie robinson, fucking up on the rocks


I wrote this piece in my first year at Leeds Beckett. I chose the poem from the Forward Book of Poetry 2020, a tumultuous year and I wanted to focus on a poem that was equally as erratic. Stemming from an appreciation of American poet Frank O’Hara, Sophie Robinson constructs an alcoholic elegy that mirrors O’Hara’s drunken escapades. The poem delves into desire and trauma in the form of an ode to a dead poet, via abstract portrayals of a drunken figure piecing together a disjointed hungover reality. The poem is elevated among its anthology peers, as its skewed form lends to the irony of its content. This essay explores how Robinson leans towards long, sparsely punctuated and uncapitalised sentences, falling over one another, aiming to stick to the left margin but straying in small moments of forgetfulness, much like an alcoholic trying to walk in a straight line.

Author Biography

Alexandra Thompson

Alexandra Thompson is an English Literature graduate. During her time studying, she worked with professor Rachel Connor in assisting a creative research project, as well as getting involved with the LBU Blog writing several articles across her 3 year degree. Her work has been featured in the inter feminist magazine TitChat, the Yorkshire Food Guide, along with creative submissions to poetry and prose anthologies. During her research with TitChat she conducted an interview with a prison officer which led to her completing her dissertation on the rights of the incarcerated and institutionalised. She is now working full time as a writer and plans to continue with Postgraduate study in Autumn 2022