A Sound Of Sense By Robert Frost

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Poetry fundamentally speaks to the senses by using descriptive language that creates vivid mental pictures and sensations in the reader 's mind. Authors employ imagery and metaphor and other literary devices to add complexity to their work. Poet Robert Frost instead used what he called a “sound of sense” method in his approach to the language of poetry. He intentionally used the sound of speech (especially the colloquial tones of his native New England region) to develop his poetic meaning. His theory of sound was essential in developing the auditory images in his poems and his emphasis on living speech gave his poetry the subtle difference between the sound itself and the written image of the sound. While Frost admitted that the principle of sound of sense in poetry was not a new idea, he considered the use of it essential to the literary form: “The surest way to reach the heart [in a poem] is through the ear” (Frost qtd in Newdick 298). The measured words and sounds together convey the emotional intent of the poet in his works to make his poetry resonate with the reader. Sound of sense technique utilizes specific sounds and tones to construct an auditory awareness of the subject. The sound of the words combines with the rhythm of the verses to deliver the meaning of the poem. Frost described his technique as emphasizing “live” sentences over “dead” ones: “A live sentence conveys meaning not only by its component words but by its whole tone. And a good writer
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