The symbolism of the lights in the poem is perhaps the most important language technique. Lights usually symbolize hope, or clarity. In this poem the stars that the boy sees in the puddle, at the end of the poem, do connote the hope of a blossoming romance, but those stars are also described as "fragments" and "splintered," reflecting the devastation caused by the war. The bright stars also indicate a clear night sky, "bright and clear for the bomber's eye." The "Bright Lights" of the poem's title are thus tied up with a tragic sense of irony.
There is also throughout the poem a juxtaposition between images which connote the everyday, unremarkable events of normal life, like buying bread or taking a stroll, and, on the other hand, images which recall the danger and violence of war, like "dodging snipers" and "AID flour-sacks refilled with sand." This stark juxtaposition emphasizes how unnatural and invasive the war is.
There are also in the poem examples of alliteration, such as "death-deep, death-dark wells," and "mortars massacred." The alliteration in these two examples emphasizes the phrases and the macabre connotations that they evoke. The alliteration also, in the first example, emphasizes, by way of repetition, the harsh, abrupt sound of the letter D, onomatopoeically echoing the insistent march of death.
Finally, Harrison, midway through the poem, uses personification when he describes the "two shells scars" on the pavement where the boy and the girl stand. Describing the streets as scarred in this way helps the reader to appreciate the pain caused to the city by the bombs. The scars also suggest, however, on a more positive note, that the streets are able to heal themselves, at least to a certain extent. This impression of hopefulness is evident elsewhere in the poem too, perhaps most notably at the end of the poem when the boy holds the girl's hand. This image represents the hope of new relationships and romances, begun in defiance of the war being waged all around.