What are the main figures of speech in Ezra Pound's ''Portrait d'une Femme'?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Portrait d'une Femme by Ezra Pound uses many different types of figure of speech.

Allusion: The title refers to Henry James' Portrait of a Lady.

Alliteration: The poem uses alliteration, especially with the letter "s", giving a sibilant effect –
Sargasso Sea, score, Strange spars

polyptoton: Uses multiple forms of the same root in "dull man, dulling"

metaphor: there are many metaphors in the poem. The dominant one is of the woman as a Sargasso Sea. Knowledge or ideas are compared with spars and wares and strange woods. An interesting idea is described as "pregnant with mandrakes". Days are described as a loom.

Apostrophe: "In the slow float of differing light and deep, No! there is nothing! " interrupts the list to address the person directly.


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