Use of Poetic Conventions

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Question: Write a critical analysis of the poem “Yard-boy” by Edward Baugh. In sustaining your interpretation, you should explain the ways in which the writer’s use of poetic conventions (including literary devices) helps to reinforce the theme.

The poem Yard-Boy was written by Edward Baugh, who is a well known Caribbean poet. His use of different poetic conventions are evident throughout the poem. Poetic conventions are. Some examples of poetic conventions used in the poem are metaphor, personification, alliteration, imagery, allusion, euphemism, and hyperbole.

The first stanza of this poem is based on a historical reflection by the poet where he is making an historical allusion to slavery. Meaning the poet writes something that alludes to something in history. In the poem Yard-Boy refers to the poet. The tone of the poet in this stanza is one of contemplation as the mood of reflection is evident. The poet starts off the poem with “ He wielded my boyworld on his Charles-atlas shoulders,” According to the Oxford dictionary the word wielded means to have and use power or influence. The poet is showing how much influence Planters had over a boy child as boyworld refers to childhood. Also he is showing the influence the people he worked had on him. The first two lines of the poem “ He wielded my boyworld on his Charles atlas shoulders ” is the use of imagery as readers are able to see through the child’s eyes as the poet is able to reinforce how much influence the Planter had on the young slave. The use of hyperbole is seen where the poet stated “ I the skinny weakling” which shows that the poet was exaggerating as to how the slave boy looked. “ He couldn’t read ” is an implication of illiteracy which meant that the slave boy was not literate as slaves were not encouraged to be educated but they were to remain physically strong and mentally weak as they were to be totally dependent on planters. The poet in the seventh line of the poem continued to...
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