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Poetry

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Visualize Poetry Through the ages of poetry, many poets have been making images with the expressions that they use to become leaders in creating the art of language. Several authors of the poems that we study daily use personification to make animals and objects do things that people do everyday to give the poem a twist. Poets also use imagery to give their readers a good portrait of what they are trying to describe. “Southbound on the Freeway” by May Swenson and “Once by the Ocean” by Robert Frost include these two terms. These poems, “Southbound on the Freeway” and “Once by the Ocean” are similar to each other in certain poetic descriptions, but they also have some that are unlike.

One way these two poems are similar to each other is where the author uses many choices of poetic terms to get his audience’s attention. First, personification is found abundantly throughout each poem. For example, Swenson’s poem uses the personification like “Their feet are round and roll” (7) and “They have four eyes. The two in the back are red” (11, 12). As well in the Frost’s poem includes personification such as “The clouds were low and hairy in the skies” (5) and “Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes” (6). Those descriptions are very interesting and grab the reader’s attention. In addition to personification in these poems, there is imagery in “Southbound on the Freeway” and “Once by the Pacific” also. Swenson uses imagery such as “They have four eyes. The two in the back are red” (11, 12) and “Sometimes you can see a five-eyed one with a red eye turning on the top of his head” (13). Frost also uses imagery like “Great waves looked over others coming in” (2). As you see these poems are both similar by both using figurative language.

Next, a second similarity in these poems is how they chose to write these with patterns. First, alliteration is a key term they used in writing these poems. In “Southbound on the Freeway”, Swenson use alliteration such as “Those soft shapes, shadowy inside the hard bodies” (23). In “Once by the Pacific”, Frost uses it in “The shore was lucky being backed by cliff, the cliff in being backed by continent” (8, 9). Secondly, assonance is another pattern similarity between these great poems. In “Southbound on the Freeway”, Swenson uses assonance in the following line “Sometimes you can see a five-eyed one, with a red eye turning” (13). In “Once by the Pacific”, Frost uses assonance in the following “Great waves over others coming in” (2). As you see in both of these poems, the epic poets used a great amount of sound patterns.

While these poems both have many similarities, they also have a couple of differences hidden beneath them. First, the rhyme scheme is unlike each other. In Swenson’s poem, there is not any rhyme scheme included, but in Frost’s poem, the rhyme scheme is very noticeable and catchy. These are the first three rhymes. “The shattered water made a misty din. Great waves looked over others coming in, and thought of doing something to the shore That water never did to land before. The clouds were low and hairy in the skies, Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes” (1-6). The second difference is how the speaker’s tone is different. In “Southbound on the Freeway”, the author’s tone is slow and somewhat careless. In “Once by the Pacific”, Swenson’s tone is intense and fierce that keeps that readers attention. This shows how Swenson’s poem keeps the author’s attention longer. In these ways, “Southbound on the Freeway” and “Once by the Ocean” are very diverse.

In conclusion, these poems, “Southbound on the Freeway” and “Once by the Ocean” are similar to each other in certain poetic descriptions, but they still have some terms that are unlike. After studying these two poems, it is far easier to find the poetic terms. In the future, readers of these poems should be ready for finding multiple poetic terms and differences of “Southbound on the Freeway” and “Once by the Ocean”.

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