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Following poetic devices have been used in the poem “The Laburnum Top” written by Ted Hughes –
1. Alliteration :- “(S)eptember s()unlight”, “a (s)uddeness, a (s)tartlement”, “the whole (t)ree (t)rembles”, “(w)histle-chirrup (w)hispering.
2. Simile: “then sleek as a lizard”
3. Metaphor: “a machine starts up of chitterings”, “the engine of her family”, “Her barred face identity mask”.
4. Personification: “the whole tree trembles and thrills”.
5. Transferred epithet: “Her barred face identity mask”.
There are mainly three themes which I find in the poem.
1. Celebration of Youth – The poet describes the benefit of being young. According to him, a young person can do anything. He is courageous, lavish, pleasure-seeking, passionate, brave and adventurous unlike the old man who is weak, lame, joyless, cautious and prefers rest.
2. Generation Gap – The second important theme in the poem is that of differences that arise between the parents and their children. Both have different perspectives of seeing the thing. However the old try to force the young to live their life as per the wishes of the former which creates sharp differences between the two.
3. Love is Young – In a patriarchal society, a male is always dominant. Whether he may be old or young, full of love or loveless, smart or ugly, he has the authority to choose a girl for himself while the latter doesn’t have any such rights. In the poem, the poet depicts that a girls desires young lover because only a young person can fall in love. Thus the poem can also be a critique of patriarchal society.
The poem “Crabbed Age and Youth” discusses contrast between the young and the old. In the first reading we find that the poem is simply about goodness of being young and problems of being old. However if we go better, we find something quite different.
This poem is about the differences between the parents and their children. The young people are young, energetic, lavish, adventurous, pleasure-seeking and joyful. On the other hand, the old people i.e. parents are weak, aimless, cautious, simple, miser.
Both have different ways of living their life and seeing the things. The problems arises when old start forcing the young to live the life as the former desire. These problems create difference between the two. This is why the poet says, “Crabbed Age and Youth cannot live together”.
Another important aspect here is the will of a maiden which is quite contrary to the society of that time which was patriarchal in nature. In the poem, the girl expresses her will for a young person as . an old would never be able to love her. I think, these lines suggest that girls should not be married to old people. They too have desires and aspirations.
These words (youth I do adore thee) are spoken by a maiden in this poem. “Adore” means “love”, “thee” means “you”. The maiden says that he she loves youth because love is young a person must be young in order to be in love. An old person cannot fall in love.
Following are the main literary/poetic devices used in the poem “The Voice of the Rain” by Walt Whitman.
1. Personification :- Rain is personified in the whole poem. The rain talks to the poet like a human. Here are some dialogues by the rain – “I am the Poem of Earth”, “I descend to lave the drouths, atomies, dust-layers of the globe”, “I give back life to my own origin, and make pure and beautify it;” etc.
2. Metaphor – The poet uses a lot of metaphors in the poem e.g. “I am the Poem of Earth”, “the voice of the rain” etc.
3. Alliteration – “(s)aid I to the (s)oft-falling (s)hower”, “(w)hence, (v)aguely form’d” etc.
The main theme reflected in this poem is the importance of cyclic nature of rain as well as the poetry of the poet. First, the water evaporates from seas and other water bodies to atmosphere. There it forms clouds which then come back to earth in the form of rain. The whole cycle of the water is vital for Earth. It is this cycle which makes the earth green and clean, It makes the life possible on earth.
According to the poet, like rain, his poetry is also vital for humans. It also has cyclic nature – First it goes from the poet to different people. Then, it changes them either by teaching them or making them smile or encouraging them or helping them to solve some problem or struggle against something. Finally, it comes back to the poet along with happiness, criticism, suggestions etc.