Frank Bidart And The Tone Of Contemporary Poetry Analysis

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According to the article, Frank Bidart and the Tone of Contemporary Poetry, tone is “a figure for effects of voice we can imagine but never actually hear”. Tone is a way for the reader to fully understand what the poet is feeling when writing the piece, but tone is nothing without poetic language. Poetic language is how the poet uses words in order to make the tone and meaning of the poem clearer to the audience. In the article, “The Surrealism of the Habitual: From Poetic Language to the Prose of Life” the author, Alison James, explains that poets do not mean what they say but that the words they use are a form of symbolism to reach another meaning. Multiple poems will be used throughout this paper in order to show how poetic language and tone can be used to further the understanding of poetry. Tone and poetic language are the most important elements when it comes to poetry because they decide how the audience will receive a piece and if they will truly understand the message that the poet is creating.
Firstly, the poem “Fire and Ice”, written by Robert Frost, uses tone and poetic language in order for the reader to understand that the poem is about two opposite things being able to equally destroy us. In the poem, the lines that read, “From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire” the poet is using fire as a symbol for desire. This explains that the things that we desire most have the ability to destroy us. Additionally, the lines that read, “I think I

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