Full Moon and Little Frieda

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  • Topic: Poetry, Nursery rhymes, Itsy Bitsy Spider
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  • Published : December 12, 2012
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English Literature
January 15th 2011

“Full Moon and Little Frieda,” written by Ted Hughes, is about the memory of little Frieda, at two years old, noticing various things around her and also identifying the moon. Hughes conveys a sense of fascination throughout the poem through certain devices, metaphysical aspects and through the structure. The poem is a lyrical poem, which also adds to the fascination as lyrical poems are usually written as love poems.

In the very first line, “A cool small evening shrunk to a dog bark and the clank of a bucket,” onomatopoeia is used. This line begins with a quiet mood and the sudden sound of a bark, signifying Frieda’s fascination with the dog and how quickly she noticed something new. The assonance in the third stanza, “wreaths of breath,” gives a very breathy sound when read. This could be shown as a sense of fascination on the father’s part where he is so astounded by his daughter that he is breathless. Another example of assonance refers to the fourth stanza when Frieda cries, “Moon! Moon!” The repetition of the ‘oo’ sound sounds as though she is exclaiming in fascination at the moon now that she has realized its existence. “A spider’s web, tense for the dew’s touch,” is a metaphor referring to Frieda’s fascinated mind and how it seems to trap the images around her, as well as it being delicate, being a young mind. Personification is revealed in the fifth stanza as “the moon stepped back like an artist gazing amazed at a work” shows fascination from the moon onto Frieda, in this case.

Hughes conveys to the reader a sense that this scene is a part of a bigger picture, therefore employing the use of metaphysics. The metaphysical aspects are shown throughout as Frieda’s mind goes from “a cool small evening” to the moon; her fascination slowly reveals a bigger scene each time. Frieda recognizes the pain as a mirror and “tempt(s) a first star to a tremor,” meaning she has also realized the reflection of the alluring...
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