Poetry Explication of Charles Simic's Butcher Shop

Pages: 2 (517 words) Published: April 23, 2014
Poetry Explication of Charle’s Simic’s “Butcher Shop”

When people think of poetry, their brain signals metaphors, similes, rhyme schemes, and hidden concepts wrapped around the poet’s figurative language. This allows the reader to think perspicuously. One thing that stood out in Charles Simic’s “Butcher Shop” was his usage of similes, imagery, and shift of pronouns. Stanzas one and three exemplify the general theme of darkness, while stanza two creates a gruesome image; finally, the last stanza alters in the usage of pronouns.

Written in free verse form, his four, four line stanzas are introduced by an average, simple title which hold explicative meanings throughout the poem. It is exemplified in lines three and four that “there is a single light in the store / Like the light in which the convict digs his tunnel” (4). Simply, this simile remains unknown to us since it is unclear who wishes to evade and from what or whom. However, these lines from the first stanza allow the reader to furthermore acknowledge a sense of captivity and a yearning for freedom.

In the second stanza, lines six, seven, and eight illustrate blood, as it is “smeared into a map” (6); metaphorically the map signifies that the world is a site of violence. The profuse use of blood in this stanza expresses the idea that violence is a part of every given civilization. Simic describes this blood as “great” and big, paralleling it to great continents and bodies of water which one will find on a map. Consequently, an image of an apron saturated in blood is engraved into the readers mind, which clues them to a great deal of violence.

The first line in the third stanza states, “There are knives that glitter like altars”(9). This simile has opposing views being that knives create a cruel image whereas glistening altars make one think of holiness. Violence is highlighted several times, exaggerating the knives to glow in a dark church, shedding a light on brutality. The next lines use...
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