Sophia Pham. English 1A- 1. Mr. Brown. 24 April 2017. The

1208 WordsApr 24, 20175 Pages
Sophia Pham English 1A- 1 Mr. Brown 24 April 2017 The Power of a Poem For thousands of centuries, poetry is an outlet for writers to communicate their innermost emotions and convictions. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of a poem is its ability to draw in the reader and hold that attention so that the reader cannot do anything else. Written in free verse, the poem “Beware: Do Not Read This Poem” by Ishmael Reed compares the habits of an eccentric woman to the hypnotizing powers of a poem. Various uses of structure, tone, and poetic devices help establish the main theme of isolation. The composition of the poem is divided into three sections. The first three stanzas retell the literal events of an episode of…show more content…
The poem’s nontraditional structure contributes to the theme of isolation. Throughout the entirety of the poem, there is an obvious lack of punctuation and proper spelling. This style can best be shown in the first stanza: “tonite, thriller was / abt an ol woman, so vain she / surrounded her self w/ / many mirrors” (1-4). The evident misspelling of the words “tonight” and “about” along with the abbreviations of “old” and “with” support the poem’s bizarre set-up. Within the poem Reed constructs a whole new style of writing, differentiating itself from the common structural expectations. A further example of structural uncommonness leading to theme is the various spaces inserted throughout the poem. In the last few lines the speaker informs its audience about the statistic of missing persons in the U.S. “[Thousands upon thousands leave no clues] / nor trace only / a space in the lives of their friends” (45-49). Though not an obvious detail, upon closer inspection the reader can see the purposely placed spaces isolating the words “only a space”. The intentional structure is an implied comparison to the void left in the lives of loved ones. Furthermore, by comparing a reader’s unwearying attention to a missing person highlights the seclusion caused by the poem’s power to captivate its reader. It is saying that the reader is so immersed within the poem that they are gone, isolated, from the real world. The tonal aspects of the poem also lead up to the theme of

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