400-Meter Free Style Analysis

Topics: Swimming, Symbolism, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (788 words) Published: February 27, 2013
In the poem “400-Meter Free Style” written by Maxine Kumin he uses many figurative languages and the form of the poem is very interesting. The format of the sentences symbolizes the laps on a swimming pool. They also symbolize how when you’re swimming at first it is smooth and fast but once you reach the curve of the pool, you slow down to turn around, then it smooth’s out again. Another symbolization that the sentences symbolize is that they are run on and you lose your breath when you’re reading it. Maxine is comparing the run on sentences to how the swimmer has to hold his breath without losing it when he swims. The form of the poem describes many things and really symbolizes the swimmer and what he has to go through to win his competitive race.

Competitive is the tone of this poem following behind it is strength and practice. This swimmer has probably been getting ready for this competitive race for a very long time he has been practicing and practicing that is the reason he is winning. “Practice is what makes winners”, his strength is what is helping him in the race to. When you are prepared for something and you practice it every day you’re ready for it, you get stronger and stronger every day. This competitive swimmer is good at what he does; he practices and practices so he can become better. He has trained every muscle in his body so that it is just reflexes when he races, he has gotten so use to it he doesn’t even have to think about doing it.

“The GUN full swing the swimmer catapults and cracks six feet away onto that perfect glass.” The type of figurative language being used here is a metaphor; the author compares the non-touched water to glass. By him saying this, the swimmer was probably the first to hit the water as it was non-touched. This also shows us that the swimmer was ready for the jump off. Another figurative language being used in this poem is personification in lines 30-37 in the sentence “The astonishing whites of the soles of...
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