Could someone help me with foregrounding in ""kitty". sixteen, 5' 1", white, prostitute"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Foregrounding is any instance where an author or poet uses literary terms and calls attention to them through their salience. This poem uses plenty of foregrounding as the poet builds up his picture of Kitty through a variety of literary techniques. Consider the following just to give you some example of how this operates:

ducking always the touch of must and shall,
whose slippery body is Death’s littlest pal,

skilled in quick softness. Unspontaneous. cute.

the signal perfume of whose unrepute
focusses in the sweet slow animal
bottomless eyes importantly banal...

What is noticeable immediately is the use of alliteration in this extract. The repetition of "s" creates a sibilance that helps convey a lithe grace and sensuality that is foregrounded through the prevalence of this technique in these lines. The fact that it is not an isolated usage and that it occurs throughout these lines shows how the poet is deliberately foregrounding this technique, and how the image of Kitty is built up through it as a result. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial