Category: Literature
Poem Analysis Essay Example

Poets use their writing abilities and skills to communicate information in unique ways. Occasionally, some use objects to represent real life phenomenon. In contrast, other poets directly blueprint their messages in the form of poetry. Regardless of the approach, one applies, the readers do strive to make sense out of what they communicate. Collins remains no exception from the field of writing poems. He has written a lot of poetries that many people find appealing to their interests. Personally, two poems by Collins prove the most alluring thus making the central focus of the analysis. The paper, therefore, analyzes various aspects Forgetfulness and Another Reason Why I Don'T Keep A Gun In The House poems by Collins. 

Forgetfulness forms the first poem to analyze. The title of the poem represents what the poet talks about. Collins skeptically chooses the title to ensure that readers grasp the meaning of the poem at a glance. The poem’s speaker is a person who experiences problems dealing with forgetfulness. As the writer presents, the narrator appears to age with time thus facing the difficulty recalling the past memories (Collins, 1). Collins warns people about the memory loss as they get older since it is unavoidable. The audiences of the poem are people with abilities to memorize. The claim stands since the audience must readily accept to lose memory at some point in time. He states in the eighth paragraph,

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“...No wonder you rise in the middle of the night

to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.

No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted

out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.”

Collins presents a well-organized poem with simple language that allows the reader to grasp every bit of the information. He carefully picks his words making each to have a meaning. Consequently, the reader visualizes what it means to lose memory. Moreover, Collins uses and connects the words systematically thereby creating the metaphor to forgetting the memory. The use of figurative speeches like personification and symbols dominate the poem. For instance, the reader notices personification when the writer states, “… and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag…” Additionally, the use of hyperbole features when he mentions “…not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen. It has floated away down a dark mythological river” (Collins, 1). The writer’s use of various figurative speeches leaves the reader with the task of connecting the information contained in the poem.

Furthermore, the poem follows no pattern. The numbers of sentences in each paragraph display no pattern. Some of the paragraphs contain four or three sentences with a minimum of two. Additionally, there is no use of rhyme scheme in the poem. Each word at the end of the sentence does not parallel the other. More so, each paragraph concludes in its unique way. However, the poem’s theme comes out clearly as forgetfulness. Every sentence in the poem relates to the concept of losing memory.

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Another Reason Why I Don'T Keep A Gun In The House poem by Collins comes next in the chronology. The topic of the poem does not directly seem to convey the meaning of what the reader expects. It does not mention of a gun anywhere. However, from the way the writer complains, the reader notices the implied meaning of the title. Collins also selects his words cleverly to convey the emotional feeling to the reader. The story of the barking dog seems to be annoying to Collins. However, he turns the situation playful and humorous following his ability to use appropriate words at the required points. The overall structure and the composition of the poem appeal to the reader. Personally, the right audiences for the poem are the people who seem to have problems in the society especially, with their neighbors. It offers a solution to the contentious situation that can lead to devastating repercussions. It is at such point where the meaning of the gun surfaces (Clifton, 31). One needs to ask what would have happened if Collins had a gun. The obvious answer is that he would have killed the dog, and the condition would have worsened. The claim gives the meaning to using the title Another Reason Why I Don'T Keep A Gun In The House. Apparently, Collins intended to use the gun to suppress the silence from the neighbor’s dog.

Furthermore, the five paragraph poem connects from the beginning to the end. Each concluding sentence has a connection to the anticipated one. The use of figurative speeches dominates the poem. For instance, the writer refers to the dog as ‘he’ throughout the poem. The writer says, “… He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark…” The use of the word “he” gives the dog the traits of a human being. Additionally, the aspect of symbolism surfaces in the poem. The barking dog symbolizes the problems that people undergo. Collins brings in the idea of a dog being in Beethoven’s Symphony, and a solo part at that. The generalization reminds the reader of certain circumstances that they must accept. It is rare for upright artists to put dogs in their symphonies (Collins, 1). The sentiment shows that the barking dog forces Collins not to take any action, as a result, of the status of the owner. It could imply that the dog’s owner is a person of high reputation. The point, therefore, explains various problems that people experience in the society.

Moreover, Collins accurately uses stylistic devices in the poem for diverse reasons. For instance, the repetition of the phrase, “The neighbors’ dog will not stop barking” stresses the problem of the barking dog. Besides, the writer repeats the words ‘dog’ and ‘barking’ to stress the magnitude of the disturbance to the reader. On the other hand, there is no evidenced pattern in the arrangement of the paragraphs. The first paragraph has four phrases, others five with the least three. Technically, the writer avoids the use of rhyming scheme and other patterns. The theme of the poem is apparent though not from the topic itself. Personally, attaching the theme for problem-solving proves appropriates. The topic helps in creating curiosity and providing the ultimate solution to the envisioned problems. It is, as a result, of lacking a gun that Collins escapes the problem. Killing the dog had a chance of creating permanent problems to him. In a deeper sense, the title is ironical. It informs the audience that the writer would have used the gun to dispense of the dog. Ironically, Collins declares a different solution to the problem and rejects the use of a gun in that matter. He states in the last paragraph,

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“…while the other musicians listen in respectful

silence to the famous barking dog solo,

that endless coda that first established

Beethoven as an innovative genius.”

From the above analysis, one realizes the commonalities in the way Billy Collins structures his poetry. The poet likes using simple words and phrases in communicating his mind. The two poems, Forgetfulness and Another Reason Why I Don'T Keep A Gun In The House employ the use of figurative speeches and stylistic devices. In the former, the poet uses hyperbole, personification, and symbolism among others. The later also has symbolism and personification as the major figurative speeches. Furthermore, the two poems do not display any pattern of writing. They both have a different number of phrases in each paragraph though well connected. Repetition evidences in the later as opposed to the former. However, clarity of words and the mood of the two poems are almost at par. The analyses consider various elements of poetry including the audiences, figurative speech, stylistic devices, and their structure among others.  The paper thus analyses the poems by considering diverse aspects of composing poetry.

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