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In the poem Homework, I am wondering if I could find some help with identifying 5...

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thorm | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 24, 2012 at 9:47 AM via web

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In the poem Homework, I am wondering if I could find some help with identifying 5 literary devices throughout the poem.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM (Answer #1)

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There are multiple poetic, or literary, devices which can be found in Allen Ginsberg's poem Homework.

Assonance- Assonance is the repetition of a vowel sound within a line of poetry. This can be found in the first line of the poem.

If I were doing my Laundry I’d wash my dirty Iran.

The "i" sound is repeated (as noted by the bolded letters in the line.

Hyperbole- A hyperbole is an exaggerated statement. A hyperbole is found in the first line of the poem.

If I were doing my Laundry I’d wash my dirty Iran.

Readers of the poem know that Ginsberg can not actually wash Iran. This is obviously an exaggeration.

Alliteration- Alliteration is the repetition of a consonant sound within a line of poetry. Alliteration can be found in the fifth line of the poem.

Rub a dub dub for Rocky Flats and Los Alamos.

The alliteration appears in the repetition of both the "r" and the "d" sound within the line.

Imagery- Imagery is the use of descriptive language in order to allow the reader to form a mental picture of the "scene" depicted in the poem (or text). Imagery is found throughout the poem. One specific line which allows a reader to form a mental picture of what is going on appears in line two.

I’d throw in my United States, and pour on the Ivory Soap, scrub up Africa, put all the birds and elephants back in the jungle.

Here, the reader can see a great washer into which lands are being tossed.

Personification- Personification is the giving of human traits or characteristics to non-human/non-living things. Personification can be found in line ten.

Dump the whole mess of Russia and China in the wringer, squeeze out the tattletail Gray of U.S. Central American police state.

Here, Central America is given the ability to be a "tattletail."

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