To An Athlete Dying Young by A. E. Housman, is a poem expressing an opposing view than most people have towards dying young. In this poem dying young is portrayed as a good thing, even lucky because the author, who seems to be a friend of a deceased athlete, says that accomplishments happen early in a persons life and it’s better to die in glory of youth then to rest too long on your laurels only to see them fade away, and forgotten. The author used many literary devices to get this story across clearly, but the main three are: personification, structure, and alliteration.
There is personification used throughout the entire poem, Housman give inanimate things and objects human ability. Such as in line 16 “After earth has stopped the ears:” The earth does not stop our eyes from working, but he is referring to how when we die we can no longer live, and we don’t decide when we die it’s a higher being in this case referred to as earth. Another example of personification in this poem is in line 21, “and the name died before the man.” Obviously a name can not “die” but the author is referring to his name not being remembered when he dies, it is lost.
Another literary device used in this poem is structure. The structure for this poem is made up of rhyme and meter. It uses a AA BB rhyme scheme, which gives off the feel of then and now. Like that was then, but this is what is happening now.
One of the last main literary devices used in this poem is alliteration, this isn’t used that much in the poem but it is noticeable. One example of personification in this poem is in line 22, “The fleet foot on the sill of shade”. This has the repetition of the letter f revealing alliteration.
Overall this poem is a pretty well written poem, in terms of its literary devices. The devices used definitely went hand in hand making the poem more understandable and interesting to the reader. It also got the underlying message across about life, that the author was trying to reveal.
“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”
As the reader, hearing nothing gold can stay you get the sense that he is talking about the beauty of life and the innocence of everything that is life. With that being said, as he says, “nothing gold can stay” it clues the reader in to the fact that hes comparing nature to beauty and how everything loses its beauty after a while. Everything loses its innocence once it has been touched by fault. As proved by line 4, “but only so an hour.” The hour of time is like a symbol for fault and the darkness around everything beautiful. As soon as fault or “an hour” passes by something beautiful and innocent, it changes. This is also shown in line 6 by Frost stating that “.. Eden sank to grief.” The Garden of Eden is symbolic of Christ and his pureness and innocence and everything beautiful until sin or fault passes through and ruined everything.
With the rhyme scheme that Frost keeps to he allows the reader a very fluid, and flowing poem. Every line is a couplet with the line after and clearly defineshghghg each thought this way. “Nature’s first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold,” lines 1 and 2. allow let’s the reader see that not only is there rhyme but allows the reader to flow from one couplet to the next.
“So Eden sank to grief,” line 6, is an example of the literary term allusion. Allusion being a reference to some known work or known thing. Eden coming from the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Everyone knows this story because Eden and the first two humans are commonly known references in our lives. Preferences that allude to the beauty of life that we see everyday but also the corruptions and faults see experience and go through as well.
Robert Frost is a brilliant man who implants vision and wisdom into his poem’s readers in a way that some poets only hope to capture. With his use of the literary elements, he brings his readers to a new level of poetic excellence.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought –
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
“And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
In Jabberwocky, a poem by Lewis Carrol, the author uses fantasy to evoke imagery. He also uses onomatopoeias and dialogue to add to this imagery and create a monster that we in this world, do not know.
Imagery is used by creating a moster called the Jabberwocky, that has “The jaws that bite and claws that catch”. He also sets up what the monster look like as he is walking towards the boy. An example of this is “And, as in uffish thought he stood,The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, Came whiffling through the tulgey wood, And burbled as it came!” He also uses this imagery to set up how the boy slays the jabberwocky. He uses the blade as imagery as it slices through the monster; “One, two! One, two! And through and through; The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with its head; He went galumphing back.
The next literary element that carrol uses Onomatopoeias to emphasize the monster’s gait, the slaying of the jabberwocky, and the boy as he comes back with the jabberwocky’s head. The onomatopoeia that carrol uses to describe the monster’s gait is “Came whiffling through the tulgey wood, And burbled as it came!”. Whiffling emphasizes the sound the jabberwocky makes as he passes the brush and the wind going around him. While, burbling describes the sound the monster is making while walking. The next one he uses is the sound of the sword chopping off the jabberwocky’s head, “Snicker-snack”. And the last one is the sound of the boy joyfully going back to town “galumphing”.
The last literary element carrol uses is dialogue, even though the person speaking is never directly stated. Who ever it is speaking to the boy is joyous that he has slain the jabberwocky. And at the beginning this same person warns him about how dangerous the monster is.
All of these literary elements come together to create a poem that is full of fantasy and images that captivate the reader.
There are three literary elements in Hilaire Belloc’s poem, “The Llama.” The poem uses consonance, simile, and personification to describe the llama and show how the author feels about it.
Consonance is used throughout the poem; an example can be found in lines 9 to 11. In these lines, the “l” sound is repeated, such as in the words “Llama,” “Lord,” “beautiful,” “valuable,” “latter,” “loveable,” “useful,” and “least.” This repetition of the “l” sound emphasizes both the positive traits of the Llama, and the negative traits of the Lord. It places emphasis on those lines in general, making them stand out from the rest of the poem, because the rest of the poem does not use this literary element. This consonance helps the reader remember the poem more easily, and flows better when read, as well.
The author, Belloc, also makes use of simile in line 3, with “The Llama…with an indolent expression and an undulating throat, like an unsuccessful literary man.” This comparison gives the reader a description as to what the llama looks like, and adds on to the poem’s imagery and descriptions. It also may personify the llama a bit, with it being compared to a person.
An example of personification can be found in line 2, “With an indolent expression and an undulating throat.” Llamas are not humans, and so, can not truly have expressions in the same way a human can, at least, not in a way humans are familiar with. Human readers are human, however, and can more easily relate to human characteristics and descriptions than to inanimate imagery. Poetry uses personification to familiarize the subject with the reader.
Literary elements are used in poetry to communicate an idea, image, ect, to whatever is reading the poem. Each element serves to assist the reader, and the way the author or poet uses them determines the quality and emotional connection held with the work.
Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Homework” utilizes several literary elements to convey a message of political, economical, and military unrest in the international realm. Ginsberg especially relies on the use of allusion, metaphor, and creative diction to manipulate the reader’s perspective to understand his meaning.
The most noticeable aspect of Allen Ginsberg’s “Homework” is the extended metaphorical theme. Ginsberg uses the common routine of doing one’s laundry to portray the greater, more complex state of the world. “If I were doing my Laundry I’d wash my dirty Iran” (line 1). Throughout the poem, the simple chore of doing laundry is ironically compared to the impossible solution to all of the world’s problems. Ginsberg suggests that the world today is a very dirty place in need of a good cleaning and uses the scenario of doing laundry to convey the large-scale complexity of the modern global picture.
Parallel to Ginsberg’s use of extended metaphor is his obvious use of allusion. Ginsberg uses the metaphor to allude to more specific issues in the global community. For example, when Ginsberg says “I’d wash the Amazon river and clean the oily Carib & Gulf of Mexico” (line 4), he is making a reference to the pollution caused by travelers’ and the oil industry’s presences in these areas of the world. When Ginsberg says he’d wash his “dirty Iran” and that he’d throw in the United States, he’s alluding to the all-around sketchy relationship between Iran and the United States. Ginsberg says he’d “Dump the whole mess of Russia and China in the wringer, squeeze out” (line 14), he is referencing how the Cold War and the spread of Communism around the USSR and China have affected our modern world and lives.
The creative diction found in “Homework” is also effective in manipulating the reader’s reaction to the poem and its themes. For example, Ginsberg lightens the overall mood of the poem when he throws in onomatopoeia like “Rub a dub dub” (line 6), or simile like “Bleach the little Clouds so snow return white as snow” (lines 10 & 11). Ginsberg also uses hyperbole, or exaggeration, to portray the complexity of the global situation when he says to “put the planet in the drier & let it sit 20 minutes or an Aeon till it came out clean” (lines16 & 17).
As a whole, Allen Ginsberg uses several literary elements to portray and symbolize a greater message. “Homework” represents the intricate network of the issues that the modern world faces, specifically political issues and the effects of pollution on the environment.
Anthem for Doomed Youth
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
– Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, –
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
Wilfred Owen wrote this poem in September through October in 1917 during World War I. He was recovering from shell shock of inCraiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh when inspiration struck him. Before entering the war, Owen aspired to be a poet and dabbled some, but wrote nothing of significance until serving in the military. His poem, “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” conveys the hopelessness he saw on the faces of the young trench soldiers. The indifference present on the field as one by one they are massacred is also depicted. Owen painted this bitter apathy using personification, alliteration, and metaphors within his sonnet, eliciting raw responses from his readers.
The guns in this poem take on malefic qualities through personification, such as monstrous anger. Instead of being just merely inanimate weapons, they mock the dead’s passage by making foul the sincere rites. The shells create “demented choirs” that wail in lieu of church choirs with “any voice of mourning.” The bugles call to the dead across the “sad shires” or England’s counties. The guns take place of the passing-bells, and the prayers over the deceased are stuttered out by “rifles’ rapid rattle.”
As previously stated, alliteration is prevalent within the poem’s lines. The “rifles’ rapid rattle” gives the sense of being rushed and distinct “shots” within the line. It helps paint the image of the dying man being “watched over” by fellow doomed youth shooting away funeral rites. While that is the most obvious example in the poem, alliteration is speckled in the stanza. “Drawing-down,” “glimmers of goodbyes,” and “sad shires” are all instances of alliteration from the poem.
But the biggest literary device present in the poem is metaphor. Owen compares the traditional symbols of funeral rites and mourning to the indifferent symbols of war. The guns were the passing-bells meant to honour the dead. The rifle shots were the sound of funeral prayers. The shells’ wailing were the church choirs singing the traditional hymns. Everything sacred, holy, and compassionate about how to treat the dead was compared to the harsh reality of battlefields.
The general indifference shown in this poem toward the dead was Owen’s attempt at pathos. He was trying to tug on his readers’ heart strings so they could put a stop to the senseless fighting. This antiwar stance is what spurred his other pieces and why this poem has been etched into our literature’s history. The haunting rhymes leave you craving peace and pitying the doomed youth’s march to suicide.