“Death be not proud” by John Donne
The poem “Death be not proud” by John Donne is an Italian sonnet. First, it has a total of fourteen lines with the first eight (octet) having a different rhyme scheme from the last six (sextet). The octet is of the a-bb-aa-bb-a rhyme scheme and the sextet is of the c-dd-c-e-f rhyme scheme. The octet introduces the main issue-which is informing death that it is not as powerful as it has been purported to be. The sextet provides reasons as to why death is just but a mere stage of life that will one day cease to have any relevance. This poem, having been written in English qualifies to be an Italian sonnet by the fact that it has an iambic pentameter. For instance, in the first line, the iambs are DEA-th, proud, though, CALL-ed and there.
“Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy
The tone of the poem “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy is ironic while the voice is sad and depressed. The irony particularly presents when she shows how society failed to appreciate the good character of the woman as she grew up and then get mesmerized by how good she looked when dead. Calling death a “happy ending” clearly drives the poet’s message of frustration to the audience. The poem aims to illustrate the woes of the girl-child in the quest for perfection and this has been easily prevented by using a depressing voice. The voice even borders on anger as Piercy pushes to show her annoyance towards the standards raised by society regarding the whole being of the woman-including her physical looks.
“The Flowers” by Alice Walker
Alice Walker’s poem “The Flowers,” tells of a young girl who in her daily routine of picking flowers steps the skeleton of a man who was probably hanged. One of the literary devices used by Walker in the poem is personification. In the second line, she says that the air ‘held’ a keenness… Holding is normally associated with human beings and other animals with opposable thumbs. In the seventh line, she uses onomatopoeia (tat-de-ta-ta-ta) to describe the singing rhythm of the girl Myop.
Thylias Moss’ “The lynching” on its part is an account of a white child witnessing the lynching of a black man just because of his color. A literary device that has been well used in the poem is characterization. This is especially evident in the way the poet describes the father, as a “holy ghost” who baptizes by fire. In this way, the reader can see the father as a self-righteous man who only believes in his race. Another literary device used is a metaphor where the poet says that the man’s flesh is “bark”.
Walker’s presentation is more effective than Moss because the reader easily moves along with the girl as she makes her way across the fields. The suspense created when the girl steps on the skull and the subsequent laying of the flowers on the shallow grave makes the story interesting to read.
“If we must die” by Claude Mckay
The poem titled “If we must die” by Claude Mckay talks about the unending conflict between people of the black and white racial backgrounds in the United States. The poem is an incitement to all African Americans to rise against the slavery and oppression of the White Americans. The poem titled “Composed on Westminster Bridge” is marveling at the early morning beauty of London City and River Thames. The author finds the view awesome even though almost everything he sees is man-made.
The rhyme scheme of the poem “If we must die” is varied across the lines, with the all but the last two lines rhyming in an alternate pattern. The last two consecutive lines also directly rhyme with each other. This rhyme scheme takes the pattern ab-ab-cd-cd-ef-ef-gg hence making the poem an English sonnet. The poem “Composed on Westminster Bridge” is also a sonnet but of the Petrarchan type with the first eight lines taking the a-bb-aa-bb-a rhyme scheme and the last six taking the c-d-c-d-c-d rhyme scheme.
“Autumn in Tehran” by Reza Bahareni’s
Reza Bahareni’s “Autumn in Tehran” has utilized various types of imagery. Inline 1, the phrase “a puzzling whisper…” is aural imagery as it represents the hearing of a sound. In the line that says “when a young woman showed me the sun that had just spread…” visual imagery has been used to represent the act of being directed to look at something. In the line, “It suddenly got cold I’m cold aren’t you cold? Aren’t you? – no, I’m still hot from kisses kisses”, the word hot is tactile imagery as it is a term normally used with sensory nerves only present on the skin.
“Freeway 280” by Lorna Dee Cervantes
The poem titled “Freeway 280” by Lorna Dee Cervantes is of the open-form type. This is because it does not follow a particular rhyme scheme and neither does it have a fixed number of lines per stanza. For instance, each of the lines in the third stanza ends with a different syllable. The first line ends with –ence, the second without, the third with –anes, the fourth withing, and the fifth with –air. As far as the number of lines per stanza is concerned, the first stanza has five lines, the second has eight, the third has six and the last stanza has six.
The resilience of the weeds that grow along underneath the “Freeway 280” has been used to illustrate the poet’s determination to overcome all the challenges that come her way. Just as the weeds see the construction of the freeway as an interference with their natural environment but which they have to deal with, so does she have to handle the hardships that life deals her.
The haiku poems by Masaoka Shiki
The haiku poems by Masaoka Shiki emphasize the poetry elements of hyperbole and symbolism