Poetry Analysis of David by: Earle Birney

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The poem “David”, written by Earle Birney is a very emotional and allure piece. The major theme that pursues throughout the whole poem is maturity. Which includes the beginning of such, and all the obstacles that must be overcome. The tone is a very cynical one, especially when David asks Bob to push him off the cliff. Birney also uses figurative language and poetic devices to create an element of tension, complexity and emotion. This poem has no set pattern that is constant throughout. It has eleven sections in which are broken down into quatrains. Some verses are very different from others adding a trace of a story. Therefore, the verses do not follow the same rhyming scheme, making the poems emotion serious and mature. The lack of verse form also adds to these emotions. I feel this poem has impressionistic, decorative, and picturesque imagery. To allow you to visualize what’s going on and experience the emotions being expressed. Symbols were used to help add to the picture. One would be the bird that has a broken wing and moving in circles showed that everyone is capable of getting hurt. Another symbol is the goat’s bones, symbolizing that danger is always present in our lives. Birney used alliteration to flow from one word to another. An example of this would be “seracs that shore”. Similies were used to create an intense picture.”An overhang crooked like a talon” reveal’s the power and threat a mountain gives off. The metaphorical image: “... mountain... were made to see over, / Stairs to the valleys and steps to the sun’s retreats” relates to life. Mountains are the barriers to life in which you must overcome. The stairs resemble the chance to overcome the barrier. The sun setting shows missed opportunity. The diction Birney used I feel was very effective. He used many geological terms that associated the two men’s actions. Terms like bergshrund, névé, mire, traverse, and seracs are all used in proper diction. The time and date of this poem is...
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