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What literary devices are used in Wallace Stevens' poem "The Idea of Order at Key West"?

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tnqanh | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

Posted March 18, 2012 at 11:36 AM via web

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What literary devices are used in Wallace Stevens' poem "The Idea of Order at Key West"?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 18, 2012 at 12:08 PM (Answer #1)

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Wallace Stevens' poem "The Idea of Order at Key West" using many different literary devices, including devices of sound and devices of thought.

For sound, Stevens begins the poem in a regular rhythm, iambic pentameter, and then the poetic rhythm becomes irregular as the poet puzzles over the problem of order in language, and then, as order is restored in the epiphany, the poem returns to a regular meter. Rhyme is also used, but it is somewhat irregular.

Stevens uses several figures of speech, the most dramatic being apostrophe, or direct address, to the mysterious "Ramon." He also uses the figure of aporia, and several rhetorical questions.

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