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Denise Levertov’s poem Zeroing In

Denise Levertov’s poem Zeroing In is a third person point of view narration of a conversation between a man and a woman describing what they understand is their ‘landscape’, which is a direct metaphor to represent their hearts. The male speaker utilizes a story of his childhood dog as a simile to describe what both he and the female speakers describe as ‘sinkholes’ and ‘moments of terror’ which are metaphors for the permanent pain that certain wounds cause their hearts..

The tone that the poem offers can be considered one of sadness because both speakers show a sense of resignation that no matter what in their lives they will not be able to surpass and move on from the wounds that so deeply anguish them throughout their lives. The title of this poem Zoning In is a clear symbol of the emphasis both speakers make inside the narration of the pain they have endured because of their permanent wounds. It also offers us a great amount of literal images that invite us to see within our minds what the speakers are seeing and thus feeling.

Making Peace by Levertov is a first person comparison through a metaphor of the feeling of peace with the process of writing poetry. The speaker states that by beginning to write the first words and metaphors a poem contains, we begin to instill peace within ourselves and progressively towards the entire world. It also suggests to us that if we restructured our lives as a poem can be restructured, ‘questioning our need and allowing long pauses’ we would feel more often the feeling of peace, and thus illustrating the concept of simile throughout the poem.

The tone of this poem is somewhat instructional and calm, giving us the tools to give ourselves a better life. Even though there are many examples of similes, the metaphor is the predominant element, beginning with its title Making Peace, as in writing poetry. Dylan Thomas’s poem Do Not Go Gentle is an abundant collection of many of poetry’s elements such as metaphor, personification, simile, images and repetition. It is a first person plea to men everywhere especially his father at the end to not soften up at old age and accept their time of death so willingly, to keep being the strong fierce men they always were.

The speaker makes this plea by making a series of demonstrations through poetry elements of why these men, especially his father, who was a “fierce military man and at the end became gentle and submissive in old age” (Grimes, P. 25) should do this. For example, ‘Old age should burn and rave’ or ‘Rage, rage against the dying of light’ are examples of personification and metaphor. The tone of this poem appears to be one of resistance against nature’s course and the attitude one naturally takes at the time of death.

The title of this poem is a literal connection to the poem’s theme and structure as it is clearly mentioned several times in the poem as a plea. China, this peculiarly short poem by Billy Collins is a simple metaphor of the life in China. The speaker directly compares himself as an ant ‘circling along a blue bowl’. He demonstrates by this simple poem, that no matter how tough life may get, he will always keep doing what he has always done, in a passive way.

At the end, the poem illustrates us with a detailed image of the bowl in which the speaker is contained, allowing us a literal image of the poem. Adage by Collins is an immense simile of the speaker trying to relate or define love to many aspects or simple moments of life. It is a first person point of view poem where the speaker assures us through this metaphor ‘Love is not as simple as getting up on the wrong side of bed in the morning wearing the emperor’s clothes’ that Love is not having a defensive attitude thinking that we are in charge and who ever harms us will suffer the consequences.

It is more about having a docile and accomplished mind as in the simile ‘like the way the pen feels after it has defeated the sword. ’ It is better to accept love even if it came late that if it had never come. He utilizes a bird as something that flies or arrives without notice. The tone of this poem is one of tranquility and peace, persuading the reader of no intended harm. Works Cited Page Grimes, Linda Sue. Dylan Thomas’ ‘Do Not Go Gentle’ Analysis and Commentary. Poets and Writers Magazine P. 25-26 November/December 2006

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