What are some of the  language features used by Rona Adshead in her poem "Teenage Sky"?

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jmj616 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Rona Adshead, born in 1933, is an author from New Zealand.

In her poem, "Teenage Sky," Adshead uses a number of "language," or poetic devices.  

1. ALLITERATION: the repetition of words that start with the same consonant sound.  For example:

*hesitant horizon

*streaks of sunrise

*Mood and moment

2. ASSONANCE: the repetition of similar vowel sounds.  Adshead uses this several times at the ends of lines to create a kind of partial rhyme.

For example, in Lines 4-5, the word "hills" is not fully rhymed with a word like "kills" or "gills," but rather is paired with the word "mist," with which it shares the short "i" sound.  

Other examples are:

*blue, moon

*shower, pout, clouds

3. RHYTHM: Almost all of the poem's lines contain 8-10 sylllables.

4. METAPHOR: a comparison that does not use the word "like" or "as."


The entire poem is built on a metaphor: the comparison of the morning sky to the life of a teenager.  The poet's descriptions of the sky are really descriptions of a typical teenager:

*budding (growing)

*lipstick streaks

*awkwardly

*unsure of its shape

*pulls on its sturdy denim blue

*defiant

Sources:

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