Denotation In Poetry

Decent Essays

“Five A.M.” by William Stafford and “Five Flights Up” by Elizabeth Bishop are both full of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and sound devices, all which help allude to the poets’ similar optimistic and carefree states of mind. The overall message of both of these poems is one of facing trials, overcoming these trials, and then being able to move on from them. While Stafford does this quite figuratively by using an abundance of different techniques, Bishop takes a much more literal approach by minimizing her use of poetic devices and being very concise and purposeful with the ones she does use. In “Five A.M.”, the speaker is taking a walk around his neighborhood in the early hours of the morning. The use of denotation in the phrase …show more content…

The speaker uses the bird and the dog to portray these questions and, in turn, the answers. It is not until the last line of the last stanza that the speaker refers to himself. The use of denotation throughout the poem, in words such as quavering, ponderous, and meticulous reflect the thoughtful diction, similar as in the other poem. The use of personification, represented in lines: 8-9, 10, and 14, shows how the speaker is really trying to connect the characteristics of non-human objects and how they fit in with nature to the world the speaker lives in and where he fits into …show more content…

This is found in the second stanza, lines 14-16. ‘My feet begin the uphill curve’ signifies the speaker’s rise to the next challenge he will face and the denotation of the word thicket in the next line also contributes to this idea of a trial. The phrase in line 16, ‘Rain touches my face.’ is personified to represent something washing away and becoming new. The speaker in “Five Flights Up” reaches a similar understanding. After the observations made of the animals in nature, he realizes he can be just as at peace with the world as they are. In the very last stanza, there is a shift in between lines 24 and 25. It is in this shift where we find the speaker’s awareness that he is able to overcome his trials. He references his ‘yesterday’, and how, because of the peace he has come to take on, he is able to go on with this life in spite of his prior

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