Understanding Lyric Poems Through Tone And Metaphor

971 words - 4 pages

Lyric poetry is a form of poetry where the author expresses his/her feelings and thoughts in a brief, compressed manner (Stanford). It is the most popular and common type of poetry today, conveying the authors emotions to the readers (Grimes). Although these poems allow the author to personally express him or herself, they should not be confused with stories like narrative poems (Grimes). Lyric poems can easily be compared to one another based on certain criteria. It is useful to compare these poems so that one can identify and become familiar with the different styles in lyric poetry. Similarities and differences can be found in the lyric poems “In the Station of the Metro” by Ezra Pound and “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats when comparing the criteria: tone and metaphors.

Each poem has it own tone or mood. A specific poem may depress the reader, while another may fill him/her with complete ecstasy. Both poems, “In the Station of the Metro” and “The Second Coming” leave the audience with a peculiar feeling. Most of the lines written in each poem are end-stopped lines finishing with commas. The use of the commas and short pauses capture the reader with suspense, compelling him/her to read more. This continues throughout “In a Station of the Metro”, differentiating it from the other poem. Another distinction between these poems is the use of enjambment. The poem written by Yeats contains run-on lines, unlike the one by Pound. An example of this is “The best lack all conviction, while the worst” (7). Yeats then continues with the next line, “Are full of passionate intensity” (8). He does not add any punctuation at the end of the first line. This method causes the reader to pause and slow down while reading, giving the poem an eerie effect. This effect is also triggered by the language chosen. Anarchy, blood-dimmed, drowned, darkness, beast, and apparition are only some of the creepy words included in these poems. Although both poems share a similar tone, it is not exactly the same. The poem by Pound starts off with this uncanny feeling, but ends up with the opposite mood. If someone only read the last line of this poem he/she would feel peaceful and content. This line depicts an image of flower petals, as opposed to a crowded subway station. In the second poem, the reader feels a sense of disarray because the events described are not what are expected to happen. Jesus is not supposed to be a beast and his arrival should not be chaos. This sense of confusion is another difference between both poems. The overall tone of each poem is similar with slight distinctions.

A metaphor is an indirect comparison between one object or idea to another (Stanford). Metaphors should not be confused with similes which are specific comparisons that use the words “like” or “as” (Stanford). Pound’s poem compares...

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