What are the figurative device and literary devices in this poem ? This poem is very simple therefore its hard to find the figurative/ literary devices , so can someone help me find them please....

What are the figurative device and literary devices in this poem ?

This poem is very simple therefore its hard to find the figurative/ literary devices , so can someone help me find them please.

Title: To you who would wage war against me

there are many lines you have not traced on my palms still

you think you know me , when i speak you nod knowingly as if 
you've read my mind and are only politely acknowledging the confirmation of my spoken words

but you cannot possibly know what i've been contemplating these days
my head is full of blood but you show no fear and i do not trust my hands which feel to me like stones

you do not cower when i approach though i am like a runaway train
and i can hear you voice cool and steady while my brain screams profanities into the air around your ears , our past had given you no reason to be afraid but still i am surprised you cannot see
the danger burning brightly in my eyes 
the fire i am struggling to control 

as i sit stewing in the kitchen's false light with tears my daughter comes to me frightened by what she cannot see afraid tonight to sleep 

i hold her in my arms singing soft words of comfort feeling her heart quickly beating against my chest knowing before i can think that i have forgotten us for our stupid little war

knowing in the incandescent light that anger will never move me as delicately as she has moved me this night

 

Thank you ...

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lbeavers2 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

The simplest definition of figurative language is words/phrases that go beyond the literal (factual) meaning. It is often used in poetry to have a word/phrase represent something else. The most common are similes, metaphors, and personification.

A simile is comparison of two things using like/as. In the fourth stanza in the above poem the speaker states, "you do not cower when i approach though i am like a runaway train". The speaker doesn't mean she/he has physically morphed into a runaway train... instead it is being used to represent how this person feels so out of control. They must be so forceful like a powerful train, but yet off the tracks or without a course. Another simile in stanza 3 "i do not trust my hands which feel to me like stones" which could represent how heavy his/her hands feel making them unmoveable/stunned.

Another figurative device is a metaphor where two or more things are compared without using like/as. (This is often much harder to distinguish at first for students.) I see line 2 as a metaphor, "there are many lines you have not traced on my palms still." The lines in your palm are typically representative to your individual genetic make up. Your fingerprints and palm lines are unique and not duplicated in any other human being. So here I think the speaker is trying to say you have not walked in my shoes or lived my life as I have because the person he/she is speaking to can't duplicate his/her life experiences they are his/her own.

The literary device that is apparent in this poem would be the imagery the speaker uses. Imagery is the sensory description used (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell). In the second stanza, I can visualize the conversation between two people. One who "nods knowingly" almost as if they are patronizing the other person... and then there is our speaker telling the poem who is frustrated by this reaction. The visual continues again with "my head is full of blood" reminding me of the cliche phrase "seeing red" or being angry.

The imagery dramatically changes in the next to last stanza where the speaker talks of her daughter, "hold her in my arms singing soft words of comfort feeling her heart quickly beating against my chest". Instead of the vivid description of blood and runaway trains it has shifted to the tender quietness of the embrace of a child.

 

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