In Jack Davis's poem titled "Land," what are some stylistic devices the author uses, and how do they relate to such themes as unity, wholeness, and spirituality?

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Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Jack Davis's poem titled "Land,"  some stylistic devices that he uses include:


In this poem, lines #1, #2, and #3 rhyme. In addition, lines #4 and #5 rhyme. Lines #7 and #8 rhyme, as well as lines # 9 and #10. Rhyme has the ability to add cohesiveness to a poem and adds a musical element to poetry.


Alliteration in a poem is when the beginning sounds of a word, ( a consonant or vowel) repeat in close sequence. Alliteration in this poem includes "love of land", and  "sun sinks."

Poetic Form

This a Free Verse poem. There is no set underlying regular meter in this poem that moves from line to line in the same meter. The power in Free Verse, with the absence of a strict meter, is in the choice of words, the order of words, and where the poet positions his or her line breaks. This leads to my next point.


Diction involves the words the poet uses to make his or her point. It also includes the precise order of those words. An example in"Land" is when Jack Davis order the words he chooses as follow:

herself in a cloak of night
embossed with the light

This is a very creative way of order words, words that are expressive, and rhyme and give the poem that above-mentioned musicality.


Tone is akin to mood. The mood of this poem is hopeful and a bit somber or at the very least serious at the same time. Jack Harris is lamenting that he needs to make the white man understand how important it is to cherish land. At the same time he is reveling in the beauty of land and highlighting how wonderful pristine, well-cared for land really is and how important it is to a nation.

krusteez eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The author makes use of enjambment throughout the poem. The flow of the sentences one into the next in lines 1, 2 & 3/8-11 reinforces the idea of unity in the poem. The poem is basically at 'one' from beginning to end.

Secondly, colours are used as metaphors which represent the wholeness of nature. "Her loveliness is summer red, pink fading gold." The colours represent the passing and progression of the day. The day begins with the heat of a red summer day, but as day breaks, the red turns to pink and finally fades into gold.

The idea of progression of the day and the wholeness of nature is further emphasized with, "as mother sun sinks to fold, herself in a cloak of night.."

The personification of "mother sun" shows the spirituality of the people and how they see the sun. The sun with its warm rays and the source of all being is like a mother keeping us all warm and caring for us. The sun is worshipped as a mother.

Finally through the use of contrast as in,"..cloak of night...embossed with the light," the poet again emphasizes the idea that nature is whole and at one. In nature, even in darkness, there is light.