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Commentary On The Poem Child And Insect

1142 words - 5 pages

Child and Insect is a lovely poem about the disappointment in life, which a little boy is just running into and starting to realize. Robert Druce has portrayed a simple but very appealing image of a very humane situation in a child’s life. The writer has delivered his massage to the readers trough a game of the little boy and the grasshopper. Child and Insect is a poem filled with great a variety of literary terms such as alliteration, symbolism, onomatopoeia, repetition, comparison, contrast, personification and run on lines which work all together in order to reveal three different stages in the poem characterized by a drastic change in the mood and the tone of the writing.
In the stage being the first stanza of the poem Child and Insect the reader meets a little boy who is excited and euphoric because he has managed to catch a grasshopper. The rhythm of the poem is very fast and lively. An evidence for that is the onomatopoeia “clockwork fizz” which describes the insect’s movements as sudden and quick, comparing its legs to the hands of a clock too. It also illustrates its desperate attempts to escape the small palm of the boy described by the opening line of the first stanza “He cannot hold his hand huge enough.” Furthermore, not only the grasshopper’s movements are swift but the boy’s motions as well, shown by the run on line “He races back, how quick he is, look”. This line further emphasizes the rhythm of the poem and the energetic mood it creates. The run on line could also be interpreted as a representation of the child’s speech which is cut and uneven because of his cheerfulness and need for a breath. Moreover, the word choices of the author particularly words such as “snatched”, “quick”, “look”, “sudden” help to reinforce the pace of the poem and thus forces the reader to read quickly through the lines. The insect’s natural movements symbolize those of the kid. In other words, the boy is jumping like a grasshopper “through the shrieking meadow”. The personification “shrieking meadow” is not only another example of how the rhythm and mood in the poem are created but also creates an image of chaos among all the grasshoppers and other insects in the meadow which are “shrieking” and “chirruping” because of the child’s carefree run.
The middle of the first stanza is the first dramatic turning point of the poem where the mood changes in the exact opposite direction creating a great contrast in the tone of the poem. The child is so passionate and enthusiastic about his new discovery that he can not resist showing the grasshopper to someone, portrayed by the caesura “look! To his mother”. However, he is unfortunate to find out that the little green insect “lies broken on his palm.” Because “he [could not] hold his hand huge enough”, the child has squashed the insect and killed it unintentionally. The consonance “struts”, “brittle” and “crushed” which all contain the consonant “r” in the beginning...

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