What simple strong emotions do Edna St Vincent Millay's words evoke in her poem "Travel"?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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"Travel" is a wonderful example of the power of simple but vividly descriptive words, used to create a clear picture that conveys exactly the message intended by the poet.

In each set of four lines, the "abab" rhyme pattern features strong verbs for the "b" rhymes to portray her relationship with the trains going by her, every night and every day. The noise is "speaking" and "shrieking" as the trains go by, demanding her attention during the day. At night, when all is quiet and she should be "dreaming," she instead remains aware of the sparks from the engines "steaming" by. In the closing lines, she admits to being comfortable and fulfilled with friends she has but has warmer feelings for friends she won't "be knowing" - but the lure of the trains remains and, if she could, she would take any train "no matter where it's going."

Her straightforward recognition of the power and appeal of the travel and the opportunity to go other places and meet other people shines through the poem's uncomplicated presence.


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