Common Magic

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Jennifer Majiski

Common Magic

The poem ‘Common Magic’ by Bronwen Wallace is about how each person is in their own world, and we are all really alone inside ourselves because of our own memories and perceptions, yet we also need to coexist in a communal world in which we interact. The author also describes the positive and negative sides that make the world perfect such as love, interdependence and society influence. Wallace uses 3 specific literary devices such as; smilies, figurative imagery, and different archetypes.

“Words, flimsy as bubbles rising”, this simile shows how ‘lost’ the girl is in love and how she’s in her own personal world even though she’s interacting and talking. Her words sound flimsy and it seems that she may be somewhere else. The author implies how vulnerable a person may be when in they are in love but then he discusses how beautiful it can be, “she swims sleek and exotic as a mermaid.”

Figurative imagery was also used throughout the poem. The author uses them to express what the person is feeling or thinking. When he says, “her brain turns to water,” he is stating that she is not thinking about the real world because she is too busy concentrating on love. “The waitress floats towards you,” this explains how the speaker is in a crowded restaurant therefore the place is busy and the odds of her coming to take his order is very low, which makes her extraordinary and it seems like she is a angel floating. “His voice is a small boy turning somersaults in the green country of his blood,” which states that the old mans’ singing is calming and transports you to a joyful place, which helps forget the fact that it is just an old man on the bus.

Wallace uses archetype as another main literary device. Such as the girl in love, it helps you visualize someone that is always daydreaming and fantasizing, and is always in a happy uplifting mood. The old man on the bus represents the typical old person, being slow, puzzled and shaky. “It’s...
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