Elements of Poetry and Essay Writing


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I was surprised to find that I could use so many of the techniques that poets use in writing my own essays. For example, by choosing certain words, I can set the tone for the essay and demonstrate certain attitudes. Also, I can take advantage of several technical methods, such as abstractions, assonance, and figures of speech to make an essay more interesting. Further, I think it is important to try and understand the poets meaning behind their word choice. After analyzing the poems of John Donne, Anne Bradstreet, and Robert Frost, I will discuss how I think certain elements can be used in my own writing.
Anne Bradstreet used words such as “loved”, “happy”, and “reward” to set a positive tone (963). The author’s attitude came across as grateful and appreciative. In contrast, Robert Frost chose to use words such as “perish”, “hate”, and “destruction”, which displayed a negative tone and attitude (1009). I never really gave this much consideration before, but I think I could use this technique in the future. By choosing the correct words, I can make sure the readers are interpreting my writing as I mean it to come across.
I also discovered several technical methods that can be used in my essay writing. This is another area that I never really paid attention to. Sure, I have used some of them, but never knew what they were called or understood the full effect of them. Abstractions and several figures of speech were amongst some of the methods that were found.
For example, “Batter my heart, three-personed God” (Doone 988), “To My Dear and Loving Husband” (Bradstreet 963), and “Fire and Ice” (Frost 1009), abstractions were used. Abstractions are words that we use to describe something that has no concrete reality (Charters 787). For example, in Doone’s poem, the author used words such as “weak” and “untrue” (989). Bradstreet also used this technique by using the word “love” (963). And finally, Frost’s word choice was cleverly utilized with using “desire” and “hate” (1009). These are also considered examples of figurative speech in that they use simile or metaphor in describing the subject (Charters 795). I feel by taking advantage of some of these techniques, I can make my essays more interesting for readers.
To add, I found several figures of speech techniques such as metonymy, apostrophe, hyperbole and symbols were used in Anne Bradstreet’s poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband” (963).

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In this poem, the author wrote “That when we live no more, we may live ever” (Bradstreet 963). I thought it was strange that she didn’t use the metaphor forever, instead of ever. I think the poem would have flowed better if she would’ve used another three syllable word to go with the end of the previous line which was “persevere” (Bradstreet 963). Bradstreet also wrote “The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray” (963). This is an example of apostrophe because she was comparing something intangible to someone or thing not generally spoken to (Charters 796). I also found the techniques hyperbole and symbol used in the lines in Bradstreet’s “My Dear and Loving Husband” (963). The author states “I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold / Or all the riches that the East doth” (Bradstreet 963). This is an example of hyperbole because there is no intention of this being taken for the truth (Charters 797). It also is an example of symbol because it is hard to read the description of the gold without actually picturing it (Charters 797). I feel I can use some of this figurative language in my own writings to add character and make them more interesting for the readers.
Robert frost also used figurative language in his poem and took advantage of the personification technique. In “Fire and Ice”, Frost uses the example of “tasted of desire” when describing the speakers life’s experiences (1004). This is personification because Frost is giving a human characteristic, such as tasting, and applying it to something inanimate, such as desire (Charters 796). I really like the personification technique. I think it adds character to an authors writing.
Moreover, when I analyzed Bradstreet’s word choice when she said “That when we live no more, we may live ever” I was taking into consideration the element of diction (963). Ever and forever mean the same thing so I’m curious as to why she didn’t use forever since it would have enhanced the poems rhythm. I think that by looking at my choice of words and giving diction thought, it can improve my ability to critically think and write in the future. Further, by putting thought into the rhythm of my writing, I think I can keep the readers more interested in my writing.
To conclude, I found several techniques that are found in the elements of poetry that I believe could be beneficial to writing my own essays. I have learned that by using certain words, I can set a positive tone for my essays and make sure my readers know that my attitude is optimistic and encouraging. To add, I’ve learned many ways to write more figuratively, rather than my usual literal approach. And last, I can look at different ways to describe what I’m trying to say in more of a creative manner. I’m looking forward to using these poets’ techniques in my future essays.



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