Saturday, December 13, 2014

Poetry Analysis

The three poems I chose to discuss were:

  • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. I found one of Silverstein's books as a kids and loved it so much that I looked for more. I chose to write about this poem because he is one of my favorite poets.
  • A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes. This is arguably Langston Hughes' most well know work. He is most famous for his use of Jazz rhythms in his works.
  • A Poison Tree by William Blake. I was actually most attracted to this poem by it's title.

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. 

"There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends."

The style of this poem is a limerick. This is set up in a abcccb, daeeea, eeea format which is very unique. This style puts emphasis on the center of the poem.The voice of this poem is hopeful. It starts with a bright, and fresh place that is full of life. This is contrasted with the second stanza which describes the place that the reader currently resides; a place that is dead, dark, and mysterious. The poem is closed with hope. Silverstein explains that the idealistic place from the first paragraph can be reached.

A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes

"What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up 
like a raisin in the sun? 
Or fester like a sore-- 
And then run? 
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over-- 
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags 
like a heavy load. 

Or does it explode?"
This style of this poem, as discussed earlier, is similar to jazz. It's rhyme scheme is abcdcefeghh. The rhyming usually skips a line. This format shows the reader when Hughes has finished a thought and is going onto the next.
The voice of the poem seems to be coming from someone who is in a position in which their own hopes and dreams are stifled. They are wondering what will happen to all their dreams, and trying to find hope in a situation that they are not completely happy with. This poem is the poster child for personification. In this work, dreams dry up, fester, run, stink, sag, explode, etc, In addition, the poem is filled with similes.

A Poison Tree by William Blake

"I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine.
And into my garden stole.
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see,
My foe outstretchd beneath the tree."

The style of this poem is a limerick which is written in a very basic aabbcc rhyme scheme.
This poem teaches the reader how harmful and poisonous hatred can be to those around you. The tone of this poem is bitter and almost proud. The reader sees how much emotion goes into this poison tree and all the resentment the subject holds for their foe.

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