How do you a write critical analysis of the poem "Full Moon and Little Frieda?"

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In order to write a critical analysis of the poem “Full Moon and Little Frieda” by Ted Hughs one has to decide what the author is attempting to say, how he/she says it, what literary devices are used, and if the author is effective with his writing. In many cases, having background knowledge about the author is helpful when writing a critical analysis. In the poem, “Full Moon and Little Frieda” the author is painting a picture of his young daughter as she sees the rising of the full moon in a rural setting. Ted Hughs appeals to the senses with his words, using onomatopoeia with the “clank of a bucket” while the child listens intently. He continues to describe the condition of a spider’s web and the brimming water in a pail that creates a mirror in which the first star will be reflected. His imagery appeals to the readers’ sense of hearing and sight as he describes the time of day: evening when dew is setting and stars are just emerging in sight.

In the second stanza, he uses metaphor to describe the cows as “A dark river of blood, many boulders, balancing unspilled milk.” In other words, the large dark brown cows are walking slowing in a line with full udders. His words again paint a picture for the reader. The child cries out as she sees the full moon rising. The last two lines personify the moon in a simile when Hughs says it has “stepped back like an artist.” The moon is looking down at the little girl who is looking up in amazement at it. Was the author effective in telling the story of the little girl watching the moonrise? Your critical analysis will answer that question.

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Full Moon and Little Frieda

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