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Poets At Play With Words Essay

1128 words - 5 pages

Poets have their ways with words which is how they can pull in their audiences, and cause people to be captivated by the words. A poem by Billy Collins is a typical show of a poet having fun with words. Collins’ poem “Taking off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes” has a funny but sarcastic diction, persona, image, simile, metaphor, symbol, alliteration, slant rhyme, allegory, and assonance. Some of the most noticeable lines are twenty-three, twenty-six, and twenty-eight. These techniques are repeated in several of the lines, but the terms that are focused on mostly are diction, persona, image, and symbol.
In the poem where it shows a funny but sarcastic diction is in lines one, seven, ...view middle of the document...

Billy is the speaker or persona that is shown throughout the poem.
The central image is found in lines twenty to twenty-six. In those lines, he talks about women’s “underwear, polar explorer, clips, clasps, and moorings, catches, straps, and whalebone, her nakedness being an iceberg” (24-26). These words are used to describe what he is seeing for instance, he uses line twenty-six “sailing toward the iceberg of her nakedness” the way he used that line to tell that her skin is so pale that it could be cold and white like a glacier. The way Collins describes taking her clothes off is by using line twenty-three “and I proceeded like a polar explorer” (23). Instead of writing it like that he could have said, “I started to undress her to show her beautiful white skin, but that sounds boring and plain.”
Some of the similes that are represented in this poem can be found lines 7, 11, 12, 23, 26, 44, 45, 46, and 47. Here are a few of the similes that are shown in the poem starting with the first one “complicated matter with mother-of-pearl” (7) the next one is “like a swimmer’s diving water, and slip inside” (11-12). Another simile is “and I proceeded like a polar explorer” (23) these lines are taking and comparing things like with line 7 it’s hard to find or catch pearls, so when something is hard people sometimes tend to say mother of pearl. For the other simile it’s probably an uncommon one that was used in 20th century. In the line “sailing toward the iceberg of her nakedness” this could be used to compare Emily’s skin to that of ice, and to say that her skin is so play that it matches snow in color. Collins’ use Emily’s poem “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” he uses the first line from hers for his line 44 which is “that Hope has feathers.”(Gross) Seems how Emily’s poems have some of these similes in them her reason for them could be different from Billy’s.
The symbolism that is found in this poem is shown in lines thirty-five to thirty-six,...

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