Poetry Analysis

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In the poem “An Echo Sonnet”, author Robert Pack writes of a conversation between a person’s voice and its echo. With the use of numerous literary techniques, Pack is able to enhance the meaning of the poem: that we must depend on ourselves for answers because other opinions are just echoes of our own ideas.

At first glance, the reader notices that the poem is divided into two parts in order to resemble a conversation. When reading the sonnet for the first time the reader may make the mistake in thinking that what the “echo” replies is an answer to the questions the “voice” asks. But in reality the “echo” isn’t replying to the “voice” but is actually performing its normal job. The “echo” only repeats back the last prominent sounds it hears from the “voice”, this explains why some of the words the “echo’s” category are different. This leaves with the “voice” asking numerous rhetorical questions, because the “echo” never really answers back. This technique enhances the meaning of the sonnet by showing the audience that all the answers we may need lay in the questions that we ask. For example, the “voice” starts the poem by asking “How from emptiness can I make a start?” (Line 1) In response the “echo” replies with the last sound it hears which forms the word “start.” (Line 1) In this case the answer to how the speaker can move from “emptiness” is only if he “starts” which was part of the original question (Line 1). This is also true to all the other questions in the lines following this example. By having the echo reply with words or sounds from the questions posed by the speaker we are able to see how the answers we seek are part of the questions we ask.

Pack’s poem is a form of enlightenment towards the audience with what the meaning portrays. The poet asks his audience to follow him step by step until the end of the poem where the meaning is clear. He starts the poem by stating his idea that all the answers we need are in our own questions and then...
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