Literary Devices in Two Poems

This study will compare the tones, themes and the uses of various literary devices in two poems: Sylvia Plath's "Morning Song" and Galway Kinnell's "After Making Love We Hear Footsteps." The two poems focus on the relationship between a child and its parents, but, as this study will argue, Plath's poem contains a tone of alienation which is not present in Kinnell's poem, which is an unrelieved celebration of childhood, parenthood, and familial love of various sorts.

The tone and theme of the poems are expressed through the use of literary devices. Plath's alienated tone and her theme of the strange nature of a human infant are expressed through symbol, style, and voice, among other devices. Kinnell uses the same devices to express the joyous and playful tone of his poem, and the theme of familial happiness.

On first glance, it appears that with Plath's poem we will be entering joyous and playful territory as well. Our first image of the infant of the mother/poet is a pleasant surprise: "Love set you going like a fat gold watch" (Plath, line 1). We respond immediately to the image of a pudgy baby as a "fat gold watch," a very valuable object full of life and time. However, on second thought, there is something ominous about the poet's use of the image of a watch. After all, a watch runs down, runs out of time, stops. Is Plath giving us a hint of death in the image of a newborn baby?

But the next two lines seem innocent enough, with the midwife slapping the feet of the b



Related Essays

Female Literary Accomplishments .... breaks the convention of the romantic happy ending to .... besides reach for something beyond her .... in her .... O pioneers!," The Selected Poems of Walt Whitman (Roslin .... (9068 36 )

Precursors of Modern Feminism .... the understandably disturbing fact of having poems she had .... be cultivated only by an aristocratically happy few .... realism, even cynicism, about women's .... is not .... (4071 16 )

Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina .... Though they are poor, they are happy, and so when Lyle .... with the letters cut off and a whole .... of extra .... are places in Bastard that are tone poems that somehow .... (1802 7 )

Development of sacred scripture .... In later poems she is usually shown as treacherous and malicious .... Moses for his lack of faith, of .... for his .... Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man .... (10732 43 )

Category: Literature - L
Common Topics
Click Here to Get Instant Access to over 32,000 Professionally Written Papers!!!
Join Now  
Saved Papers  
Save your essays here so you can locate them quickly!
"Thank you for making such a high quality site! Your papers are the best I have seen around"
Debbie B.
"Your site was very helpful and gave me the details I needed in order to complete my essay!!!"
Mike F.
"This site is an excellent vehicle for quick referrences. Thanks a bunch!"
Carla T.
"Great site, I got a lot of new ideas I would have never thought of before."
Nate A.
"I love this site!!!"
Marie H.
Copyright © 2007 - 2014 Lots of Essays. All Rights Reserved. DMCA