“Columbine High School/Littleton, Co.” Analytical Essay

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Ryan Douvlos
English 050
Analytical Essay

Imaginative writing is an art that expresses ideas and thoughts in an imaginative way. This art involves universal laws of human nature, and both time and place. Without connecting the reader through these principles, the author’s work is somewhat meaningless. In order for the author to gain something through his/her work, the author must be able to manipulate the perceptions of the reader. This can be done by successfully incorporating the five elements of craft found in literature. These elements function to focus the reader towards a specific end, and the five elements include: image, voice, character, setting and story. It is imperative that the author utilizes these elements to create a piece that stimulates emotions in the reader. Albert Goldbarth does a great job of effectively using each of the five elements of craft in his poem, “Columbine High School/Littleton, CO.” The poem is only 23 lines long, but after comprehensively analyzing the piece, the analyzer can see that Goldbarth intricately and effectively weaves together the elements of craft and delivers a story with several different layers of a deeper underlying meaning that what appears at first glance. Throughout the poem, there are separate images that appear to the reader. The first actual images revealed in this poem are the 15 crosses that represent the deaths of the high school students. Instantly the image of the crosses shifts to the photograph. In the picture is a woman, perhaps a mother of one of the murdered students, though this fact is left vague. It is left vague purposefully. It could be any of the mothers of the victims of this crime. The vagueness is meaningful in the sense that any of these women would be feeling the same amount of stress and sorrow that the woman in this photograph is feeling, and the author reveals the pain that the woman is feeling. We are able to see what is flowing from her brain into the wood she is leaning on; the

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